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Scotland’s Two New Beauties

Courtesy of Machrihanish Dunes Scotland’s Two New Beauties

Photo: Courtesy of Machrihanish Dunes

Kimber had the greens and tees seeded by the end of October, with the grow-in period beginning immediately. So after almost 130 years, the original Machrihanish links, whose pedigree includes Old Tom Morris, J. H. Taylor and Sir Guy Campbell, is going to have company. Soon there will be two regulation-length links courses on the Mull of Kintyre, not to mention a third eighteen, just fifteen minutes south, called Dunaverty. Located in the holiday village of Southend, Dunaverty (dating to 1889) measures only 4,799 yards and plays to a par of sixty-six. The views of Dunaverty Rock, Sanda Island and the coast of Northern Ireland are enthralling. The course has only two holes as long as four hundred yards, but several holes are quite stimulating, such as the 245-yard sixth, a stout par three, and the 412-yard seventeenth, where the green is fronted by a fifty-foot-wide stream. It should be noted that this course is, in literal truth, a cow pasture, where cattle and sheep graze contentedly. Say what you will, but all of it—the Machrihanish Golf Club, Machrihanish Dunes and the Dunaverty Golf Club—will add up to an honest golf destination meriting a two- or three-day visit. Or even longer, as other golf developments planned for the area (see sidebar) gain momentum.

Though transportation is also changing rapidly, at present getting to Machrihanish entails either a three-hour drive from Glasgow, with the "bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond" charming us first, followed by a gloriously beautiful run along the fjord Loch Fyne; a high-speed ferry ride, just forty-five minutes from Troon; or a flight to Campbeltown Airport (a half hour from Glasgow), which is minutes from the first tee of either of the two Machrihanish links. As this famously remote peninsula becomes increasingly accessible, travelers will be forced to confront the question: Which of David Kidd's brilliant new works to play first?Fortunately, there is no incorrect answer.

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