Looking down the 4th fairwayShelter at the below the 8th tee 11th Playing throught the dunes
Next up is Old Tom Morrisís course at Machrihanish. I have to say off the bat weíve had a harsh winter this year so a lot of courses have suffered and none more so than Old Tomís, but I also get the feeling that the people who run the course could be more pro-active. The greens next door at the Dunes and at Dunaverty have suffered the same weather but have coped better and all credit to them.
If a course can rest on its laurels (and I think thatís one of the reasons Machrihanish gets away with it and visitors still come to pay homage) itís Old Tomís design. The club was originally known as the Kintyre Golf Club and came into being in March 1876. Golf had been played on the links before then, but the meeting that took place at the Argyll Arms Hotel made things official. The course was first extended from ten to 12 holes with the advice of Charles Hunter of Prestwick and then to 18 by Old Tom Morris in 1879 when the first hole was moved to its current location. And believe me itís a stunning opening hole, played across the beach, which is in play and runs all the way along the left of the hole. You can cut off as much as you dare!
JH Taylor made further alterations to the course in 1914 and Sir Guy Campbell carried out the final changes. I do feel Sir Guy missed a trick by not keeping the burn in play at the back of the 18th green, but apart from that itís another course I would recommend you play.
Stand-out holes: obviously the first tee, there are not many better opening holes in the world let alone Scotland; the par-3 fourth at 121-yards is a great little hole from an elevated tee; the tough par-4 seventh at 476 yards and the 341-yard eighth. The 558-yard tenth is a great start to the back nine and starts off a great run of holes to the 166-yard par-3 fifteenth.