5th Bunker just off right fairwayBeautiful views from the 8th green Undulations on the 13th green
If Old Tom can be happy with his creation at Machrihanish then David McLay Kidd must be elated with his own contribution, and while itís hard to compare from generation to generation I feel the Dunes will one day be the number one course in the area. Itís a stunning track with some fantastic routeings through the dunes and if youíre looking for amazing views from which to play golf, there are not too many better settings than this.
Itís hard to imagine that no modern equipment apart from some mowers was involved in building this course. The only development to take place were the shaping of the tees and greens -the fairways are as natural today as theyíve always been, but have been cut with mowers, while Hebridean black sheep assist in keeping the rough down.
Machrihanish Dunes is the only course in the UK to be built on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSi) and you can see why Ė it really is a special place. I started on the 10th hole, but from the opening tee shot at the 392-yard par-4, to the crescendo that is the 443-yard par-4 eighteenth every hole is a joy to play. Iím a big lover of elevated tees and there are only few holes in the world that match the view you soak up when you make it to the very back tee at the par-5 seventh hole. You do have blind holes at Mach Dunes, this is links golf after all and I feel it only adds to the feeling of stepping back in time.
Iím not going to run through stand-out holes as I feel the whole course is a unique experience and Iíd be hard pushed to come up with a weak hole. What I would say is if Old Tom were to come back and play this course, like the great sportsman he was, he would take David McLay Kidd to one side, pat him on the back and congratulate him maybe with a tinge of envy but certainly with plenty of admiration.