The Machrie

The Machrie

The Machrie

The Machrie | Top 100 Golf Courses in Britain & Ireland

The Machrie is one of the older venues you will find on the NCG Top 100s: Great Britain & Ireland list, with the original layout of the golf course dating back to 1891. The venue is one of the most westernmost in the entire country, situated on the Isle of Islay, off the coast of Scotland.

Willie Campbell was the man to design the original layout, with DJ Russell coming in during the 2010s to redesign the 18-hole championship course into what we see today.

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A Brief History of the Machrie

The Machrie's history dates back to 1891. Willie Campbell - an eight-time top-ten finisher at the Open Championship during his playing career - was the man to lay out the original course on the southwest coast of the Isle of Islay.

A decade on, the triumvirate of James Braid, JH Taylor and Harry Vardon played a challenge match at The Machrie. The prize, £100, was the richest prize in golf at that time in 1901.

Changes have been made over the last century, but the major redesign came over a five year period in the 2010s. Former DP World Tour winner DJ Russell was brought in to make changes, and in the end, he redesigned the course to make it into the 18-hole layout it is today. It opened in 2018, with fewer blind shots and more expansive views of the sea along the front nine. 

The Machrie Review | NCG Top 100s

Measuring almost 6,800 yards from the back tees, the Par 72 layout is long, especially if the sea breeze is in your face. However, with four teeing options to choose from, fun can be had for players of all levels and abilities. The redesign from Russell features contoured greens, run-offs and swales, revetted bunkers and much more to make The Machrie a true links test. 

Five of the 18 holes play with the North Atlantic Ocean at their side, with the 6th and 7th tees basically being situated on the beach. The 9th and 14th holes – both par 3s, are two of the signature holes on the layout. The former is the shortest hole on the course at just 141 yards from the tips and plays out towards the sea. Six greenside bunkers lie in wait for any errant shot. 14 features no bunkers, but that does not mean it is an easy hole.

After facing the sea on the 9th, you turn away from the coastline and play inwards to start the back nine. 10 is a lengthy par 4, while the 11th could be seen as drivable. It is only 280 yards from the tips but it is narrow, playing through a valley.

“The 11th is instantly in my all-time best 18. This short par 4 moves through a valley with heather on both sides and is absolutely glorious.” - Steve Carroll - NCG 

The closing hole is the longest at The Machrie and winds its way back to the clubhouse. It is a tricky par 5 with a total of seven bunkers. However, with a solid drive, this could be reachable in two and offer up an eagle opportunity at the last... 

Where is The Machrie located?

The Machrie is the westernmost Scottish venue on the NCG Top 100: GB&I Golf Courses list. It is not on the mainland of the country, instead situated on the Isle of Islay. The Machrie sits just south of Glenmachrie, while Port Ellen - one of the biggest towns on the island and one of the best ways to get across to mainland Scotland - is five miles southeast of the venue.

What are the green fees at The Machrie?

The Machrie has different prices for a green fee depending on what time of year you visit the Scottish venue.

Throughout the winter months, a round will cost £65, while a day ticket will only set you back £100. Through the summer, those prices rise to £180 and £250, respectively. If you are a guest of the hotel, then the summer prices do come down significantly. 

For a full list of green fee prices, you can check out The Machrie's website here.

What practice facilities are there at The Machrie?

The Machrie is also home to the Wee Course, a fine six-hole stretch which sits between 17 and 18 of the championship layout. The six greens are in a small complex, with six teeing options, providing the opportunity to play 36 different holes ranging from 210 yards to just short pitches and chips. 
The Machrie also has the Hebrides Putting Green, which was inspired by the Himalayas at St Andrews. The putting green is more than 4,500 square metres and has a range of contours and slopes to make putting a challenge but also enjoyable.

There is also a short game area for players to work on their chipping and bunker play before taking to the golf course. The Machrie also has a covered driving range to allow golfers to practice in all conditions. The range has several target greens as well, ranging from 50 to 270 yards. 

Visit The Machrie’s website here.  
Go Back To NCG Top 100s Homepage