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Why You Should Play Golf at Dundonald Links

By: Liam Moore | Thu 17 Mar 2022

Dundonald Links has seen heavy investment into the property, which has further launched it up the rankings of Scottish golf.

Golfshake Ambassador, Matt Holbrook, visited in the summer of 2020 and put together this review of the impressive venue.

However, stick around, as we are going to detail extensively all of the features found at Dundonald and why you should absolutely play golf at the reinvented hub.


Dundonald Links

Willie Fernie leaned on his vast and valuable knowledge of golf architecture when he was employed to design the first Dundonald Links course.

The 1883 Open Champion had his work proudly scattered across the British Isles and he completed his Dundonald project in 1911.

After operating successfully until 1918, the club had no option but to close its doors following the breakout of WW1.

To celebrate the reopening, that took place in 1922, James Braid journeyed to the location to supply a bunkering plan to the club.

For almost two decades, the club continued to flourish as weekly competitions and medals were played and enjoyed by the fortunate members.

That was until another globe-sized war would come to fruition, this time in the form of WW2 - and the premises was generated into a military base.

Within a week, the splendorous golf course was unrecognisable; tanks dominated the fairways and men in uniform moved with vigour and intent.

They remained present on the site during wartime and even extended their right to stay as an army camp well into the 1960s.

The modern history of Dundonald Links starts in 2003, when Kyle Phillips traversed to Scotland to visit the complex for the first time.

After many years of military control, Phillips laid out his vision and the end result is what you see today: perfection from top to bottom.


Dundonald Links

The course that golfers play today was opened to the public in 2005 and executed exactly how Phillips had envisioned when drawing up the design.

He noted: “I tried to utilise the strongest and most interesting of the natural features and then create grander, more dramatic landforms and features over the remainder of the site.”

To say he achieved this feat would be nothing short of accurate.

A par-72 route that measures over 7,100 yards from the championship tees, seldom are there more rewarding rounds of golf than that found at this Ayrshire facility.

Although it exhibits a fair test, there is plenty of danger in the form of pot bunkers and a burn that is present throughout several holes.

The par-5s, normally a moment of respite on a general golf course, can be absolutely ruthless and thus, pars on these monstrous holes should absolutely be celebrated. 

There are two fundamentally outstanding holes, that it’s difficult to differentiate which one belongs to signature status - so they’re often both labelled that way.

Firstly, the par-3 11th is the shortest hole on the course and measuring a mere 120 yards, the majority of golfers will have a wedge in hand.

Distance control is vitally important however, as this green is well-protected by bunkers and slopes steeply towards the danger.

The alternative signature is the par-5 18th, and if you believe you were in for a gentle finish we urgently implore you to think again.

Ranging 560 yards from the tips, your drive will need to catch the left side of the fairway to ensure you miss the bunkerage that lines the right.

Another accurate shot will need to be executed flawlessly as more bunkers threaten to wreck your card at the final obstacle.

You’ll then be required to hit an approach shot to a green that is sternly guarded by pot bunkers at the rear and a ditch at the front - good luck escaping this one with a par!

Dundonald Links provides a hefty and significant challenge to your golf game, all the while set in the most beautiful of environments: it’s golf done right.


Dundonald Links

The recent investment injected into Dundonald Links has resulted in a vast improvement throughout the entire complex - which is especially highlighted through the construction of luxury lodges.

Each and every one has been designed with the golfer in mind, with storage for clubs and other golfing-related accessories.

The interior exudes cosiness and comfort and each lodge is equipped with fully-fitted kitchens, bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a patio area.

A pool table and other amenities are included to ensure you do not have to leave the property for evening entertainment.

Each group of lodges also surround a practice green, meaning you can continue to dial in your short game until the late hours during the summertime.


Canny Crow

The Canny Crow restaurant is the sole eatery at Dundonald Links and it is often referred to as one of the greatest in the Ayrshire area.

Providing a perfect environment for fine dining, intimate evening meals or corporate meetings, the Canny Crow can accommodate a wide range of bookings.

It is positioned on the first floor of the clubhouse and offers visitors a choice of formal seating to private booths.

The head chef has crafted the menu to feature a range of golfing classics and some selections include steaks cooked to preference and a range of Scottish-inspired dishes.

Every protein source is locally obtained and only the freshest of ingredients make it to the tables.

Dundonald Links is a sensational facility that has grown rapidly over the previous two years, largely thanks to the heavy investment injected into the majestic venue.

Having hosted the European Tour Qualifying School from 2008 to 2011, they have since played host to Senior Open Qualifying and the historic Boys Amateur Championship.

The facility then made further progression into the realms of professional golf, by hosting the 2017 Scottish Open.

They are set to play host to the 2022 Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, which will be another milestone since its remaster in 2003.

To put simply, Dundonald Links looks set to charge up the Scottish golfing rankings and all of the new implementations will greatly assist that ambition.

If you’re impressed by the magnificence of Dundonald Links, then please visit Golfbreaks.

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