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The Ultimate Stay & Play in Scotland

By: Golfshake Editor | Fri 27 Aug 2021

While we are all in agreement that playing golf is great, playing golf in Scotland is even better – there’s a reason the land is called the home of golf!  But for those based outside of Scotland, the vast wealth of Scottish courses may not be viable for a day trip, so what better place for a golf stay and play?

The Golfshake team originally visited the Ayrshire coast playing golf on the West coast of Scotland back in August 2020.  But with so many courses available it was only a matter of time until we ventured back and having heard about the ongoing developments at Dundonald Links we wanted to return and find out more.

You can watch the Golfshake travel video below as well read on to find out what we thought, the facilities available and the courses we played.  The most recent developments at Dundonald have extended beyond simply the golf courses with major work undertaken to build a brand new clubhouse (opening October 2021) as well as extensive accommodation facilities all of which Golfshake experienced during our trip.


Dundonald Links Lodges

Dundonald Links

The lodges at Dundonald Links opened in the summer of 2021 and each one has been custom designed with the golfer in mind.  Each facility comes equipped with fully-fitted kitchens, patio area, rooms for storing golf equipment and spacious bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. 

As an additional bonus, each group of lodges are surrounded by a practice putting green – meaning you can hone your skills whilst relaxing in the modern and comfortable accommodation.

There are 2-bedroom, 4-bedroom and 6-bedroom lodges available on the site and the stylish options reflect modern luxury.  The accommodation options are set out within 'pods' of 6 surrounding the private putting green.  Additionally, work was underway during our visit to complete a series of boutique-style hotel rooms closely located to the forthcoming clubhouse.

The existing facilities are impressive and once the work is complete this will become a standout venue and arguably the ultimate stay and play resort for any golfer.  The range of accommodation options available will ensure all visiting parties are catered for and for those staying in the 6-bedroom lodge will also find they get access to their own pool table!

Dundonald Links is now set up to be the perfect base for visiting golfers to this part of Scotland with several other first-class courses on the doorstep and over 40 courses along the Ayrshire coastline.  The course at Dundonald Links is a must-play and there is very little else you could ask for on top of what is already there. 

This should be a venue you seriously consider for your next trip!

Dundonald Links Golf Course

Dundonald Links Golf Courses

Dundonald Links is often referred to as one of the best golf courses in Scotland and the club’s history is rich and deep. The first layout was designed by 1883 Open champion Willie Fernie and it subsequently opened on March 23, 1911.

Measuring at 6,700 yards, it was one of the longest courses at the time. However, two world wars later and the site was virtually unrecognisable from the original course.   More recently the company have employed world renowned course architect Kyle Philipps who has renovated and modernised the course.

The stunning Ayrshire coast provides the perfect backdrop for his vision. The course features everything you would demand from a modern links course; deep rough, immeasurable undulations and plenty of gore bushes.  But unlike traditional links courses, you will find pine trees scattered across the property synonymous with the nearby paper mill.

Today, Dundonald Links is one of Scotland's most highly rated layouts in and you can expect generous fairways, undulating greens and several tee options to accommodate all visitors, regardless of ability.

The Golfshake team originally visited in August 2020 and thoroughly enjoyed the return in 2021 seeing how the course had changed in this time.

You can read Golfshake’s course review here.

The Ayrshire Golf Coast

The lodges provide the perfect base for you to stay and play at Dundonald Links. However, there are two alternative courses that are situated close to the site.

As a result of this, Western Gailes and Prestwick are also viable options if you are looking to turn your trip into a golfing tour.

Western Gailes

Western Gailes

Western Gailes has had many monumental figures in golf walk its fairways. Harry Vardon, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Tony Jacklin, Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson have all tested their game against this iconic course.

The course is nestled between the railway and the sea – a common theme for Ayrshire links courses – and the visitor must avoid both that certainly come into play for any errant tee shots.  The ever-changing wind directions provide a stern test for even the best of golfers and it will demand your utmost attention.

The undulating terrain combined with the exquisitely contoured greens provides an excellent challenge – which is all set in the folds of sand dunes.

There are plenty of hazardous areas to avoid, including the out of bounds wall that features from the 14th hole onwards.

Finally, in true links fashion, the plentiful pot bunkers will leave you pondering if going for the flag is worth the potential mis-hit that could result in a plugged lie in the sand traps.

You can read Golfshake’s course review here.

Prestwick Golf Club


Prestwick Golf Club may be the most famous of all these iconic courses listed given its heritage of having hosted the first  Open Championship.

Back in 1851, a group of 57 people - who socialised in the Red Lion Inn, frequently - made a decision to form a golf club after purchasing two cottages that sat adjacent to the tavern.  Old Tom Morris was tasked with the development of the land and he uprooted his wife Agnes and son Tommy from St Andrews to relocate to Ayrshire.

The original design accommodated 12 holes and the unique approach that he took proved popular. Ten years after its formation and the club held the first Open Championship.

In total, 24 Championships have been played at Prestwick Golf Club and the last time the facility had hosting rights was in 1925 – 65 years after the tournament's inauguration.

This is a course steeped in history and as you would expect you will find a first-class links course, quirky in places, memorably forever.

You can read Golfshake’s course review here.

Dundonald Links: The Ultimate Stay & Play in Scotland?

The investment that Dundonald Links has made will certainly propel the site as one of the best stay and play facilities in Scotland.  The course, already revered among golfing fanatics, will benefit from the contemporary accommodation additions making the perfect base for a golf trip to the Ayrshire coast on the West coast of Scotland.

The consensus from the Golfshake team indicates that Dundonald Links have done a fantastic job with its renovation and the ongoing work and any visiting golfer will be suitably impressed.

If you are looking to plan a golf break to this part of Scotland or just a golf trip in general then look no further than Dundonald Links - what more could you want?

For more information visit Dundonald Links via dundonaldlinks.com

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