Purchased and developed by Loch Lomond, the club was eventually sold to a leisure operator in 2019. Investment in amenities and the course followed immediately.
Dundonald Links has become the place to stay in Ayrshire. The facilities are world-class and provide an easy base for golf from Turnberry to Royal Troon. They have set the bar for all others to aim for. The facilities finally match the golf and the end result is one of the best all-around, pure golf resorts in the UK.
This is a pure pay-and-play venture - there are no members and as such, it is unique in the UK. If you're charging top dollar to exacting overseas visitors, you need to deliver especially if this is their first impression after flying ahead of the wing across the Atlantic. Dundonald hit the mark at every opportunity.
Golf Course Review
Dundonald Links is found a short journey from Glasgow on the Ayrshire coast. North of Troon and south of Irvine, the course is set back from the coastline and Irvine Bay. Western Gailes and the railway form the club's eastern boundary.
Dundonald Links by Kyle Philips
Golf was first played here in 1911 when Willie Fernie designed a golf course, Southern Gailes, that measured 6,700 yards! That golf course would have been one of the longest in the world at the time of construction. The modern course was built by Kyle Philips on the former site of Southern Gailes in 2003.
Dundonald Links was a part of the Loch Lomond Golf Club until it was sold to the leisure operator, Darwin Escapes. In a massive investment, £25 million has been spent to develop the venue into a resort with a clubhouse, luxury lodges, and hotel rooms. Despite being sold, Loch Lomond members still have playing rights over the course.
Recent Facility Upgrades
18 luxury lodges have been custom-designed with golfers in mind, with bag storage and drying areas, en-suite bathrooms, large living spaces, and fully-equipped kitchen and dining facilities. Kyle Phillips also created a series of private putting greens on their doorstep.
The clubhouse gives one what isn't offered in abundance from the course - Irish Sea views. East facing, you're treated to sunsets with some of the finest food in Ayrshire. The facilities are plush and everything one could hope for. For private club members from America, this is what they're used to and they won't blush at paying for the top drawer experience on offer. Sauna, steam room, and high-pressure showers round out the amenities. When Dundonald Links hosts the Women's British Open and Final Open Qualifying, the pampered PGA Pros will feel right at home.
Most importantly, there is £1m of investment in the course itself, with a focus on improving the playing environment, experience, and a new halfway house.
On Course Highlights
There appears to be some architectural templating at Dundonald Links:
- The Valley of Sin at the 7th Green.
- The 17th is reminiscent of the 17th at Muirfield.
- The 11th embodies the elements of the Eden on the Old Course.
- The routing is superb, containing sets of triangles that change direction in play. An important factor with a prominent prevailing wind. Both nines return to the clubhouse.
- The 3-hole, triangular loops include Holes 1-3, Holes 7-9, and Holes 14-16.
Dundonald Links Photography
Dundonald Links - Videos
Watch: Scotland - Where Golf Began's Expose on Dundonald Links
The Links Diary Video Montage of Dundonald Links
Watch Dundonald's Hype Video Here
Erik Anders Lang Visits Dundonald Links
Where to stay
Featured Architect: Alister MacKenzie
As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...