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Great links golf for everyone
Dundonald Links is a new golf course. Yet it looks as if it's been around for quite a while, and that's because it has been. In a previous life it was known as Southern Gailes. But in 2003 the folks from Loch Lomond Golf Club purchased it and changed the name to Dundonald (which means "Fort Donald" -- a reflection of the location's early past). They thought it would be a good 2nd course for their members and, in this case, a links layout making it more in keeping with Scottish golf.
They hired the brilliant golf architect, Kyle Phillips, to make whatever changes needed to turn it into a first class layout. Mr. Phillips is the genius who designed the fabulous Kingsbarns Golf Course in Fife, just a few miles from the Old Course at St. Andrews. He didn't have to look far for inspiration in this area either. In the same neighborhood as Dundonald Links are the great Ayshire links courses of Prestwick, Western Gailes, and Royal Troon.
Dundonald Links is a 6,340 yard par 72 from the visitor's tees and is not an easy golf course -- especially for a mid-handicapper like me who is not particularly long off the tee. (That's being kind!) And like any links golf course, when the wind is up (when is it not?) it's a real challenge. But unlike many links courses that are the out and back variety (see its closest neighbor, Western Gailes), this golf course is designed so that no matter which way the wind is blowing, 6 holes play downwind, 6 holes play into the wind and 6 holes play with a crosswind.
Lots of testing holes here, and many of the greens are the "don't dare miss it" variety. For example, if you miss the green on the 9th you'll have an up-and-down every bit as difficult as the upside-down bowl green at the 2nd at Royal Dornoch.
The 18th is a cracker of a finishing hole with a meandering burn (stream) in front and to the right of the green. If your approach shot gets involved with the burn, it can ruin a round.
Dundonald Links (as did Kingsbarns) immediately became a "must play" and has been chosen as a qualifying course for the Senior British Open Championship when it is played at Royal Troon or Turnberry. No doubt it will have the same honor when the Open Championship comes to the area.
Golf Nook Rating - BIRDIE
For What to Do All Day, please see Ayrshire page.