3rd Green looking backI loved the par 3 6th Bunker protecting the 17th green
Dundonald Links opened for play in 2003, but if you didn’t know it, you’d think this course had stood here for hundreds of years. I must admit I am a big Kyle Phillips fan, the way he combines natural links-style golf with modern methods, seeding and irrigation make his courses some of the best modern tracks in the world today.
There used to be a course named Dundonld on this site before the Second World War, but like Turnberry it too was converted for military use. Dundonald Links is surrounded by some great courses including Western Gailes, Glasgow Gailes, Kilmarnock Barassie and Royal Troon to name a few, and it’s a venue that can hold its head high in such lofty company.
The clubhouse, changing rooms and restaurant may be some five-star portacabins, but you will receive a warm welcome on your arrival. I’m really here for the golf as I’d only heard good things about this track, and when you arrive at the first tee you can see why. The course measures over 7,100 yards from the tips, but there are three other teeing options to choose from. You can tell the course had championship golf in mind from the layout and it has already held some top amateur events and professional qualifying tournaments.
On the day I play it I found the fairways to be fairly generous, but you could see how those could be pulled in to toughen it up for the big events, and the large undulating green complexes were fantastic – for the weather we’ve had this year they were in amazing condition, rolling fast and true. It’s also nice to see the sun out after the deluge at Turnberry, and the yellow heather that lines the fairways is in full flower. But like the black widow they are beautiful to behold but can kill your scorecard with just one visit.
Dundonald is another course on this trip for which I could run through all the holes – not a weak one among them. But just to say I loved all the par-3s, especially the 15th as it gives me a quick peek over to Western Gailes where I’m to play this afternoon.