Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club opened in 2008, is located beside the 19th-century, Old Tom Morris-designed Machrihanish Old. Courtesy of Machrihanish Dunes G.C.
Machrihanish Dunes golf course
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Machrihanish Dunes golf course
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club was laid out naturally over a coastal Site of Special Scientific Interest on the Kintyre Peninsula. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club -  hole 7
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - hole 7
The seventh hole at Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club sits exposed beside the sea. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club -  hole 18
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - hole 18
The 18th green at Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club is well defended. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club -  hole 10
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - hole 10
The 10th at Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club is a short, potentially drivable par 4. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Machrihanish Dunes G.C. - hole 11
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Machrihanish Dunes G.C. - hole 11
The 11th hole at Machrihanish Dunes G.C. is a long par 5. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - 18th
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - 18th
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club culminates with a long, par-4 18th hole. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - clubhouse
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - clubhouse
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club has a small clubhouse on site. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
The Ugadale Hotel
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The Ugadale Hotel
The Ugadale Hotel in Machrihanish has been fully restored, including the bar area. Courtesy of Machrihanish Dunes G.C.
Old Clubhouse
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Old Clubhouse
The Old Clubhouse, formerly the clubhouse for Machrihanish Golf Club, has been renovated and turned into a small pub and restaurant. Courtesy of Machrihanish Dunes G.C.
Ugadale Hotel
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Ugadale Hotel
The Ugadale Hotel is located steps from the first tee and practice green of Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club. Courtesy of Machrihanish Dunes G.C.
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club brings a shot in the arm to historic and scenic Kintyre Peninsula

Machrihanish Golf Club, a 19th century course, has always been one of the world's great hidden gem links courses. Now, with the addition of 21st century Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, there are twice the reasons to make the journey to the Mull of Kintyre, not to mention recent upgrades in area accommodations.

Machrihanish Dunes opened in 2008, more than 100 years after Machrihanish, though the two play beside each other on similarly rugged, coastal dunesland. Machirhanish Dunes was laid out on a Special Site of Scientific Interest and thus virtually no sand could be moved.

The result is a course design by David McLay Kidd that is full of both sunken and elevated greens, tees and tumbling fairways. Few shots are played to the same level, and that's just what the operators of the course wanted when plotting it out: a return to the expeditious nature of 19th-century golf.

When the course originally opened, the rough could not be cut with machines, and sheep were called upon to do the job. That's changed a bit in recent years, as the thick fescue that lines fairways has been thinned a bit, and certain other playability factors have been improved, as well.

In addition to the new 18-hole course, which features a full driving range and chipping area plus a small pro shop and bar, the owners have also invested in the Ugadale Hotel, a 22-room luxury hotel located across the street from the famous opening hole of Machrihanish, "Battery.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
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Is it sacrilegious to call a links course in the birthplace of golf the Bandon Dunes of Scotland? In many ways, that's exactly what Machrihanish Dunes is. Both are on hard-to-get-to sections of coastline that attract golfers to play neoclassic links golf. The big difference is that in pre-Kidd Bandon, Oregon there was nothing, but the pre-Kidd Kintyre Peninsula was already home to fabled Machrihanish Golf Club. That is where the story gets interesting.
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club brings a shot in the arm to historic and scenic Kintyre Peninsula