Golfing on Islay - Machrie Golf Links (6292 yds, Par 71)

Islay GolfThe Course was originally constructed in 1891 by Willie Campbell, who believed it was 'the best ground for a golf course that I have ever had the pleasure of viewing'.

Apart from a few changes made in the 1980s by Donald Steel, the course remains very much the same as when Willie Campbell first constructed it all those years ago. Thus it is a traditional links course and, when playing, one gets the feeling of going back in time to the days of Harry Vardon and John Taylor.

Indeed, the Machrie's main claim to fame is its own 'Open Championship' of 1901 which included the Great Triumvirate of Harry Vardon, John Henry Taylor and James Braid. It had the highest prize of any Open Competition at that time, of £100!

Whilst prize money has changed since then, the course has remained virtually the same with sand dunes providing natural hazards that will challenge most golfers. And with the winds that come off the Atlantic, even the most experienced of golfers will find something testing about the course.

Although the weather can be a handicap, there are times when it is an advantage. Because Islay lies in the Gulf Stream, the climate is such that we do not suffer the same levels of snow and frost that is problematic for other courses and consequently play is possible virtually all year round. Indeed, the winter turf is unique to the Machrie and golf is even made easier.

The aim is to provide a course that is suitable for the modern golfer but retaining the traditional quality so that you appreciate the magical feeling of walking in the shoes of bygone golfing greats.

A less demanding six hole course is also available for the less experienced. This course is much less physically demanding.

The Machrie Golf course has 18 holes and is located at a stunning location, close to Islay Airport, and the Big Strand. A 9 mile stretch of unspoilt beach with superb views over Loch Indaal and the Oa Peninsula

Machrie Hotel and Golf Links
The Machrie Hotel and Golf Links

More information on the Machrie Golf Course can be found here. Contact information: Machrie Hotel & Golf Links, Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Argyll, Scotland. Tel: +44 (0)1496 302310 Fax: +44 (0) 1496 302404

Islay also has an active Golf Club. More information can be found at

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Norman Newton - Islay guide
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