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Mach Dunes offers golfers something they won’t find anywhere else. This ruggedly beautiful complex nestles on the southernmost tip of the Kintyre Peninsula and plays host to perhaps the world’s most natural links.
But it’s not just the golf that sets this incredible site apart. Visit this unspoilt gem and you’ll enjoy the very best of local cuisine and hospitality set against a spectacular Atlantic backdrop. It’s a quintessentially Scottish experience.
In recent years there have been some changes at the resort which has garnered more than 40 accolades since its launch in 2009. A new course manager has ensured the links is in spectacular condition and with some particularly enticing stay-and-play deals on offer there truly has never been a better time to visit this golfing paradise.
Add in The Machrihanish Golf Club next door – an Old Tom Morris design – as well as Dunaverty and Carradale Golf Clubs, and it makes Kintyre one of the most sought-after golfing destinations in the world.
Here we look at the unique offerings of Mach Dunes.
1. Mach Dunes: A links like no other
The course at Mach Dunes is golf as Mother Nature intended. It is the only course ever created on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and every care is taken to preserve this precious environment. Only tees and greens are shaped, while the fairways follow the natural lie of the land and are only mown shorter. The course is in fantastic condition currently under the stewardship of course manager James Parker, who joined Mach Dunes in Spring 2022.
James says: “We embrace the rugged, windswept links reserving intensive maintenance to greens and tees only. Whilst we wholeheartedly respect and admire the manicured courses of this world, we at Mach Dunes choose to manage our course less intensively. We treat our designation seriously and therefore treat the course as a nature reserve that embraces golf rather than a golf course that welcomes nature.”
The result is a course that offers a unique challenge to golfers. No lie or shot is the same. This is the true essence of the game at its most basic: golfer against the elements, golfer against himself, and golfer against a wholly natural course that is never stagnant.
Sales and Marketing Manager Craig Blue says: “Mach Dunes is one of the most unique and special golfing experiences out there. The course is as natural as they come with 18 demanding but incredibly fun golf holes. The course was designed by David McLay Kidd and many visitors can instantly see why with spectacular green complexes that place an emphasis on creativity. The ever-changing linksland at Mach Dunes gives you that rare opportunity to create and craft golf shots you might never have imagined playing before.”
2. Luxurious accommodation complements the golf
The centrepiece of The Village at Mach Dunes is The Ugadale Hotel and Cottages. This elegant venue has garnered a huge amount of accolades, including Resort Hotel of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Hospitality Awards. It includes 22 luxuriously furnished guest rooms as well as the Serenity Spa for those who want some extra pampering. Guests wake up to stunning sea views, with the Hebridean islands of Islay and Jura visible on a clear day.
The hotel is complemented by eight award-winning, self-catering beachside cottages. Sitting on the Atlantic shore, these beautiful, two-bedroom properties are built from natural stone and have been refurbished in the past year. They include modern kitchens and ensuite bathrooms. Guests can relax in a spacious living area while reflecting on their day on the links.
Then just five miles away in Campbelltown, there’s The Royal Hotel with its 23 sumptuously appointed guest rooms, stunning harbour views and elegant restaurant.
A free shuttle service runs between all three residences and the golf course between April 1 and September 30.
3. The best of Scottish food and drink
Guests at Mach Dunes have an array of outstanding dining experiences to choose from. At The Village there is The Old Clubhouse Pub, which was the original clubhouse of The Machrihanish Golf Club back in the days of Old Tom Morris. The atmosphere at The Old Clubhouse is one of a relaxed old-world style golf pub serving up delicious pub food and gourmet dinner offerings, including their world-famous Haggis Nachos.
Venture into nearby Campbelltown and you can savour the delights of fresh seafood and dry-aged steak at The Royal Hotel’s Harbourview Grille or the relaxed revelry and honest fare of its Black Sheep Pub.
Then of course there’s the whisky. Campbelltown is one of the historic centres of the industry and at one point was home to no less than 34 distilleries. There are still three running now, including Scotland’s oldest family-run site – Springbank.
4. So much to do away from the links
Step away from the golf and there’s a range of other things to do around Mach Dunes. The area is blessed with some of Scotland’s most stunning beaches, including Saddell Bay where Paul McCartney shot the video for his No.1 song Mull of Kintyre. Machrihanish Beach itself is a three-mile, golden stretch of sands and perfect for an afternoon stroll. Other beaches in the area offer a rich variety of wildlife, historic sites and the chance to sample some of the best surfing conditions in all of the UK.
For children there’s plenty to do too, with horse riding (including pony rides for the little ones), a wildlife observatory and Campbeltown’s Aqualibrium leisure complex. The Campbelltown Picture House is another treat and is the oldest continuously-run, purpose-built cinema in Scotland. Or take a trip to the Daavar Island Caves with their painted walls.
Of course, in an area this unspoilt there’s plenty of good walking. Beinn Ghuilean is nearby, coastal treks offer spectacular ocean views and The Campbelltown Town Trail lets you immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this picturesque spot.
5. Tempting Mach Dunes offers to get you in the swing
Now’s the time to visit Mach Dunes with special offers in place. Deals for the Ugadale Cottages include:
1 August – 30 September
2 nights with 2 rounds – from £345pp*
3 nights with 3 rounds – from £435pp*
1 October – 31 October
2 nights with 2 rounds – from £315pp*
3 nights with 3 rounds – from £390pp*
*All prices are per person, based on four people sharing. Subject to availability.
– Accommodation in the beachside Ugadale Cottages
– Full breakfast each morning in the Kintyre Restaurant (Ugadale Hotel) adjacent to the Cottages
– Golf at Machrihanish Dunes
If you want to take advantage of this offer, email [email protected] and quote “UGADALE COTTAGE OFFER”.
So, if you want a golf experience like no other, try Machrihanish Dunes.
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