Saturday, October 7, 2017

Machrihanish Dunes bills itself as “the world’s most natural course,” and it’s no challenge to imagine that this beautiful stretch of green along Scotland’s Atlantic coast is exactly that. The 7,092-yard links layout from architect  David McLay Kidd plays with its routing along the sea, spilling toward the coast then darting back in. keeping the nearby isle of Islay in view and seamlessly integrating into a neighborhood that also includes tracks by Old Tom Morris and William Campbell. But more than just following the land, the course safeguards it: incredibly, only seven acres of the property’s 259 were disturbed during construction. Also: local Hebridean black sheep meander around the property and help to maintain the rough, while club policies on fertilizer, waste and irrigation are among the most responsible anywhere. All of this, plus strident protection of local flora and fauna, led to Machrihanish Dunes receiving the Golf Environmental Organization Certification for creating and maintaining a sustainable golf operation – the first UK course to earn the honor. Consistently recognized for excellence in environmental stewardship, the course is also a fantastically enjoyable test of golf, a testament to the purest best aspects of the fame’s past and an example to follow for the game’s future. A club, a ball, the natural land, the win off the sea and good friends playing the greatest game ever conceived – we’ll lift a wee dram to that. Machrihanishdunes.com

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