Machrihanish Dunes provides the best overall golf experience in Scotland, according to readers of the country’s biggest-selling golf title, bunkered.
The stunning four-star development on the Mull of Kintyre, which only opened in 2009, came out on top in the magazine’s Scotland’s Best Experience competition, run in conjunction with the national tourism organisation, VisitScotland.
Readers were asked to nominate the Scottish golf club or resort that they believe offers the best day out for visitors, with Machrihanish Dunes finishing comfortably on top of the standings.
It takes the title from the Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire, which was the inaugural winner of the award.
Winning Scotland’s Best Experience caps a fantastic year for Machrihanish Dunes, which was also recently named the ‘Resort of the Year’ at the Golf Tourism Scotland awards.
David Southworth, the President and CEO of the resort’s parent company, Southworth Development, was delighted to accept the award from bunkered.
“As the recognised home of golf, Scotland is blessed with a long list of world-class courses, clubs and resorts”, said Southworth. “So, for Machrihanish Dunes to be recognised by bunkered readers for offering Scotland’s very best golf experience is a tremendous honour.
“I can tell you that our team is all smiles at this wonderful news, and we sincerely want to thank everyone who gave us their vote. Here’s hoping we’ll have the chance to offer a warm Machrihanish Dunes welcome to many more bunkered readers in the new year to come.”
"The warmth of our hospitality in Scotland is as renowned as the quality of our golf offering and nowhere is this more evident than at Machrihanish Dunes" - Mike Cantlay
Bryce Ritchie, editor of bunkered, added: “Scotland’s Best Experience is a competition that seems to have really caught the imagination of our readers. We believe this is because it isn’t just another, predictable list of the country’s best courses but is, instead, giving people the chance to vote on the thing that really matters most to golfers - the whole experience of playing the game.
“It is an award that reflects the very best of Scottish golf and, to that end, Machrihanish Dunes is a very worthy winner. It is an incredible development which demonstrates that, with a consumer-focused approach and an unerring attention to detail, clubs can achieve great things. Congratulations to them.”
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is the home of golf and, as such, boasts many of the world’s finest golf courses to entice visitors to our country. But what keeps visitors coming back year after year to play golf in Scotland is not simply the quality of the courses but the quality of their experience and the welcome they receive when they visit.
“Thankfully, the warmth of our hospitality in Scotland is as renowned as the quality of our golf offering and nowhere is this more evident than at Machrihanish Dunes. They are worthy winners of this award amongst the world-class golf destinations we have in Scotland and I’m sure they, along with the rest of the country will revel in welcoming the world in 2014 and beyond.”
Machrihanish Dunes won... but who did they beat?
Here's a run-down of the top 20 clubs in bunkered's latest Scotland's Best Experience poll:
1. Machrihanish Dunes
2. Kingsbarns Golf Links
3. Turnberry Resort
4. Aberdour Golf Cub
5. Crail Golfing Society
6. The Roxburghe Hotel
7. Carnoustie Golf Links
8. The Gleneagles Hotel
9. Machrihanish Golf Club
10. Archerfield Links
11. Castle Stuart Golf Links
12. Murrayshall House Hotel & Golf Courses
13. Macdonald Spey Valley Golf & Country Club
14. St Andrews Links
15. Trump International Golf Links Scotland
16. Fairmont St Andrews
17. Blairgowrie Golf Club
18. Dundonald Links
19. Gullane Golf Club
20. Royal Dornoch Golf Club
For full coverage of the Scotland’s Best Experience reveal and more reaction from Machrihanish Dunes, pick up a copy of bunkered, issue 128, on-sale now from all good newsagents.