3. Dundonald Links – Irvine

Andy Marshall PGA Professional’s Top 10 Courses in Ayrshire

 

Another one of my favourites in Ayrshire is Dundonald Links which is located near Irvine and was originally known as Southern Gailes.  This Kyle Philip’s-designed golf course was purchased by Loch Lomond Golf Club in early 2003 to provide its global Membership with a traditional links challenge.   The courses name was changed to Dundonald Links to reflect the area’s rich history as Dundonald means ‘Fort Donald’ and fortifications have been discovered nearby dated to between 500 and 200 BC.

Dundonald LinksAs early as 2008 Dundonald Links was chosen as the venue for the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School and it continued to host this important tournament until 2011. In 2012, it was the turn of the Seniors to test their skills against Dundonald’s challenges when the course played host to Senior Opening Qualifying. The prestigious Boys Amateur Championship came to Dundonald in 2014, before the course welcomed some of the world’s best female golfers for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open in 2015 and 2016.I  t’s a great test of golf with the wind playing a big part in the difficulty factor. It hosted the 2017 Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open with broadcasting worldwide.

Dundonald Links

 

Although the current clubhouse isn’t stunning to look at (it’s a temporary facility) the welcome you receive and the facilities within more than make up for that.  The course meanwhile challenges all aspects of your game and several subtle changes which have been made in the past 2 seasons to some of the greens have made it more playable and my opinion enjoyable.

From my perspective the 18th hole is the best on the course  – it’s the longest hole and almost always a three shot hole.  Playing down the left side of the fairway from the tee will avoid the two bunkers on the right.  An accurate second will ensure you miss the cross bunkers waiting to catch any wayward shots and will set up an approach to a green guarded at the front by an imposing ditch and to the rear by pot bunkers.  Don’t get greedy here, it just might spoil your card!

 

Dundonald Links is relatively new in Golf Course terms – but making its mark and hosted the 2017 Scottish Open Championship.  It should definately be on your list of Ayrshire Golf Course to play