The journey to the Machrihanish Golf Club takes intrepid golfers to the Mull of Kintyre, the southern tip of the Kintyre Peninsula. The peninsula juts out 40 miles into the Atlantic Ocean off of the Ayrshire coast, putting the Machrihanish Golf Club at just under a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Glasgow Airport. It’s not the most accessible golf course, but rest assured, it’s worth the journey to play and stay for a couple of nights. Or, take a short flight for a wonderful golfing day trip that not many golfers get to experience.
The Machrihanish Golf Club was founded in 1876 as the Kintyre Club. Before the club officially existed, the course was crude; it had just 10 holes and took only a week to prepare. Two more holes were added prior to the club’s founding, and in 1879, Old Tom Morris was brought in to redesign the course and expand it to 18 holes.
The next architect to leave their mark on Machrihanish was J.H. Taylor, who made modifications to the course in 1914. In the 1940s, Sir Guy Campbell brought the course to its current configuration. It’s a traditional links that simply stretches out and stretches back, offering views of Machrihanish town, the coast, and hills off in the distance.
Brace yourself for an electrifying start to your game at Machrihanish. The course’s first hole, “Battery,” is rated as one of the best openers in the world. Designed by Old Tom Morris, this thrilling par four forces players to cut over a corner of the Atlantic on their opening tee shot while the beach, which is in play, beckons down below. Many golfers who’ve played the first at Machrihanish consider it their favorite opening hole, including none other than Jack Nicklaus. You just might do the same.
But don’t forget about the Pans Course! The addition of this nine-hole course designed by David McLay Kidd has further solidified Machrihanish’s reputation as a bona fide Scottish golf destination.