True golf at Machrihanish Dunes
Thursday, October 22, 2009
With the Open Championship at St. Andrews next year, one of the best golfing venues is on the shelf. So where do you go? There are many options, but one I experienced after this year’s Open was Machrihanish Dunes.
Machrihanish Dunes is the type of golf course that Old Tom Morris, Young Tom, Robert Ferguson and Willie Park played in the mid to late 1800s.
It is rough, but the truest links, mainly because very little dirt was moved to get the project approved. I was told it is the first new golf course on the West side of Scotland in 100 years, mainly due to the hoops the developers had to go through to get the deal done.
All that said, it is a true delight to play. The term “rub of the green” could have originated at the Dunes as the fairways have more angles then a deft politician that kick the golf ball in any direction, both intended and unintended. Add wind and rain and you’re hitting driver, 3-wood and 4-iron to a 407-yard par 4, which I did.
What has prompted this excited utterance about the Dunes is that the first flock of Hebridean sheep has arrived.
The sheep will play a key role in thinning out the rough and maintaining other areas of the course where mowing is not permitted according to the Keeper of the Green, Keith Martin. There are not many golf courses in the world that have to fall back on four-legged animals to help maintain the grounds.
The experience is golf in one of its truest forms.