Machrihanish Golf Club, Machrihanish, Argyll
Founded 1876. Links Course
You simply cannot say that you have played every great golf course in Scotland until you have played at Machrihanish. Golfing enthusiasts go to great lengths to play certain courses but the pilgrimage made to play at Machrihanish is the most worthwhile of them all if you can find the time. Situated on the Kintyre Peninsula some 140 miles by road from Glasgow, Machrihanish was founded in 1876 and designed by Old Tom Morris and J.H. Taylor. Machrihanish is renowned for having one of the best opening holes in the world but the course in general boasts some of the most natural golfing terrain imaginable. If you have the time, it’s worth the journey.
Great golf is only part of the story when considering what makes the perfect golf trip. Thankfully, the other essential component parts are all found in abundance in Scotland, not least in the sights to see department. Whether scheduling a day off from golf or filling an afternoon after your morning round, there are many options regardless of which region you are visiting. The below is intended as a very general guide to sightseeing in the Ayrshire region.
Playing golf in Ayrshire is likely to see you staying no further south than Turnberry, from where some of the nearby attractions include the impressive ruins of Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries and Dundrennan Abbey near Kirkcudbright. Only ten minutes from Turnberry is Culzean Castle & Country Park (above) and this is well worth a visit when travelling to or from Turnberry.
And while you are likely to be far too busy playing great golf courses like Turnberry, Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes, other attractions north of Turnberry in the Troon area include Dundonald Castle & Visitor Centre in Dundonald Village, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Souter Johnnies Cottage in Kirkoswald and Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock.
You may not actually stay in Glasgow during your trip but there are plenty of sightseeing options including a visit to 13th century Bothwell Castle about ten miles southeast of Glasgow and the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve. The many museums in or near Glasgow include the impressive Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride, which provides an insight into rural life in Scotland in times past. If you are looking for a distillery in the area, Glengoyne Distillery, about 14 miles north of Glasgow is an excellent option.