Discover golfers’ paradise on the Isle of Arran

Teeofftimes’s Market Sales Manager for Scotland, Will Stillwell, shares his golfing exploits from a recent visit to the Isle of Arran and the scenic village of Machrihanish in Argyll…

Some may call me biased, however I am a firm believer that when the sun shines in Scotland you would be hard pressed to find a country that offers a more diverse and beautiful landscape. Couple that with the fact the country boasts the highest number of golf holes per capita, and it’s easy to see why Scotland remains one of the world’s greatest golfing hotspots. My recent visit to The Isle of Arran and Machrihanish has only strengthened my belief that Scotland offers an unbeatable backdrop for the glorious game of golf.

My trip began on the Isle of Arran after a short ferry ride across from Ardrossan. Despite being only 432km² with a population of just over 5,000 people, the Isle of Arran is home to a total of seven golf courses.

Shiskine Golf Club

My first port of call was Shiskine Golf Club located in the village of Blackwaterfoot. The course itself is very unusual, at just 12 holes long. However, what it lacks in length the course more than makes up for with its breathtaking scenery. This is a very natural links course which prides itself on maintaining pristine condition all year round. With undulating fairways, large elevation changes and rocky outcrops this is some of the most fun you will have on a golf course. The signature hole is aptly named The Crow’s Nest with the green perched up high above sea level. But in truth there is an abundance of great par-3s at Shiskine Golf Club that would be worthy of signature status.
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Brodick Golf Club

A short drive from Shiskine brought me to Brodick Golf Club, another must-play venue when visiting the Isle of Arran. The course is fairly flat, making it an enjoyable and easy walk, but with many holes running parallel to the beach golfers still get the benefit of the fantastic views across the bay. The course is a pleasant mix of parkland and links and, again, offers a number of great par-3s. Two highlights come at the 4th and 15th where you are required to carry the water to well-protected greens – correct club selection is vital.
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Other courses on the Isle of Arran well worth a visit include Lamlash and Whiting Bay.

From Locharanza in the north of the island, you can catch the ferry directly across to Clonaig. The costal drive down from the ferry port to Machrihanish provides some of the most spectacular views across Kintyre and over the Firth of Clyde to Arran. Given its remote location in the southern part of the Kintyre peninsula, it is hard to believe that Machrihaish is home two world-class golf courses. A perfect excuse to visit this beautiful part of the country!

Machrihanish Golf Club

When you arrive on the first tee at Machrihanish Championship course it isn’t hard to see why it features on so many peoples’ bucket lists. The views from the tee box are spectacular, and your first drive of the day is required to carry across part of the Atlantic to the fairway. Machrihanish Golf Club lays claim to best opening hole in Scottish golf and, as you work your way through the following 17 holes, the layout continues to delight.
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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club

Likewise Machrihanish Dunes is a fantastic track offering some of the most unique and interesting golf holes I have had the pleasure of playing. As suggested by the name, the course works its way through a majestic dunescape and delivers breathtaking views across the Atlantic Ocean, hole after hole.
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