Machrie Golf Course

(The Machrie, Machrie Golf Links)

An eighteen-hole links course located amongst the sand dunes at the southern end of Laggan Bay in Islay, Machrie Golf Course (or simply The Machrie) lies 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Port Ellen and is the home of the Islay Golf Club. The course was designed in 1891 by Willie Campbell (1862 - 1900) and is 6782 yards (6201 metres) in length, with a par 72. It was laid out with unusual length by 19th century standards to attract golfers to the island and is unique in having holes that cross the dunes, resulting in characteristic but challenging blind spots.

In 1901, the Machrie hosted a famous match between James Braid, John Henry Taylor and Harry Vardon, with a prize of £100, reputed to be the largest of its kind at that time in the United Kingdom.

The course is owned by the Machrie Hotel, which was bought in 2011 by former BBC Chairman and Goldman Sachs partner Gavyn Davies and his wife Baroness Nye, who set about redeveloping the property as an international golf resort. While some changes had been made by Donald Steel in the 1980s, the course was restored and modernised in 2018 by D. J. Russell (b. 1954), noted as Vice Captain of the European Ryder Cup team in 2006 and as a golf course architect.

Islay Golf Club lease time on the course and its members compete annually for a silver replica of a Kildalton Cross, originally donated by the Ramsays of Kildalton Castle and replaced after being stolen in 1968.

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