Golf was born in Scotland much more than 6 hundreds of years ago, and it has generally been the range a person dream vacation spot on earth for a “Bucket List” golf journey. But though it oozes record, great new classes continue on to be designed, and many notable kinds have opened in modern many years, with additional on the way.
There is no scarcity of great classes to engage in across all of Scotland, but fairly handful of have lodging, and oddly, what is rarer than a new training course is a new resort. There are considerably far more choices for exceptional golf than remarkable lodging when checking out the Birthplace of Golfing, and that is why Dundonald Inbound links is these types of a sport changer for golfing tourists.
The locale on the Ayrshire Coastline is best, as this element of Southwestern Scotland, just 40 minutes south of Glasgow airport, is a person of the richest for golfing in the whole region. If you were to search down from the sky you would see several contiguous globe class one-way links programs bordering each individual other, typically separated by very little far more than a fence, inlet, or railway monitor, and Dundonald sits in the center of a cluster that incorporates the two courses at vaunted Royal Troon, a Environment Prime 100 program, recurrent Open up Championship venue and house to just one of the most renowned holes in golfing, the Postage Stamp Prestwick, a further Globe Major 100, birthplace of the Open Championship and host of a lot more than any class other than St. Andrews Aged Western Gailes, an additional stunner and several less properly regarded but standout “hidden gem” hyperlinks these types of as Irvine, Gailes Links, and Kilmarnock Barassie (far better known as simply Barassie), so shut that I strike a shot onto the study course while participating in Dundonald, and it was not these a lousy shot. Most of these programs are in just a 5-15 moment generate of the vacation resort.
There are far more than 40 golf programs in Ayrshire, and you could enjoy a distinctive one particular every working day for weeks without the need of a weak link, nevertheless in my mind Prestwick is the must play, extremely-quirky, extremely-historic, thoroughly unique, entire of blind pictures, just just one of my all-time most loved courses on earth, and I have played terrific programs all more than the planet. Royal Troon and Prestwick are on any fantasy “A-List” Scottish golfing vacation, and as none of these courses have lodging of their possess, Dundonald is the new greatest household base. The vacation resort even gives nearby remain and enjoy one-way links offers in partnership with its neighbors.
But even though Dundonald Inbound links is the 1st new one-way links golfing vacation resort to open up in Scotland in numerous years, and provides a great deal want luxurious lodging and foods to the region, the class by itself is not new, which is a good issue. Golf programs acquire several years to increase in and even the finest new styles carry on to increase for a lengthy time immediately after they open. This a single debuted as Southern Gailes in 2003, the next class at Loch Lomond, a prestigious private club. It was built by acclaimed architect Kyle Phillips, renowned for Kingsbarns outside the house St. Andrews, which numerous look at Scotland’s biggest course of the past 25 years. Phillips did a different exemplary job in this article, and the training course has hosted various Men’s Scottish Opens, and is about to put on the Women’s Scottish Open (July 28). Following year it will be the ultimate qualification web-site for the 2023 (British) Open up Championship.
Soon after Loch Lomond bought the class, the new homeowners, a vacation resort group based mostly in Wales, made the decision to acquire a step back in historical past and go with the title of the original program on this web-site, developed in 1911 by Open up Winner Willie Fernie, but razed for navy use in WWII. Through the pandemic, Phillips did some upgrades, the experienced backlinks system was reborn as Dundonald, and it is incredibly great, a deserving addition to any Scotland golf vacation. It performs business and rapidly and is completed in the typical fashion with holes set between ridges of rough and gorse, with some memorable and distinct pot bunkers (stay clear of the “Cauldron” at all expenses) strategically positioned throughout, and a couple holes exactly where a wee melt away (creek) will come into engage in, most memorably the remarkable finishing gap, eighteen. For the reason that it is so convenient to attendees remaining here, it is uncomplicated to perform 36 in conjunction with just one of the community stars, or just squeeze in an added heat up or neat down 9. Or you could possibly just keep listed here for the total working day and go about twice – as before long as I walked off eighteen, I wished to play it once again.
Dundonald is a actual offer Scottish links, but has much better features than most, and although it is quite walkable and really should be walked, buggies are accessible, abnormal for this form of structure, whilst the motorized pushcarts have GPS shows created into the handles, a truly useful touch for those people who have not mastered the format by means of repetition. They also offer caddies, the pretty ideal way to perform golf. The charming halfway property serves up a savory pie of the working day alongside with scrumptious sausage rolls, and suits perfectly with the in general fantastic cuisine the vacation resort features for just about every meal.
The study course begins and finishes promptly outside one particular of the nicest modern day clubhouses in the British Isles, the centerpiece of the new vacation resort. At the exact time Phillips was upgrading the program, the new house owners poured $40 million into the clubhouse and boutique resort. The clubhouse is a stunner, fitting the landscape fantastically and crafted from neighborhood natural products, which includes the stone exterior and residing eco-friendly roof, even though inside is wood walls, leather seating, and a one particular of a sort “aerial” show of antique golf golf equipment adorning the restaurant ceiling, anything that attracts stares and admiration from just about every visitor.
The ground flooring of the clubhouse has a effectively-outfitted professional store, reception region for the resort, very wonderful men’s and women’s locker rooms every with steam and sauna, and an excellent state of the art gymnasium. It is positioned as an attraction for professionals when the vacation resort hosts tournaments, but otherwise you will in all probability have it to your self if you pick out to pay a visit to publish golfing. I never noticed any individual else in there, and staff members seemed amazed that I made use of it.
Upstairs is the major cafe and bar, which is brilliantly intended, divided into 3 distinct zones, one with white tablecloths for a fancy evening out, one particular a lot more casual for golfer’s lunch or laid again evening meal, and all around the bend, a red leather banquette bar area with pool table and the truly feel of a actually amazing bowling alley. You can sit in any area for any food, and the very same broad menu addresses the whole area, with a incredibly different range of causal (burger, fish and chips, etc.) and good eating selections, with a major emphasis on neighborhood, natural and significant-high quality ingredients, and significant variations everyday. The mother nature of the resort is that quite a few site visitors will devote 4 or 5 evenings (or additional) although enjoying all over the space, but try to eat in this article most nights, and it is best for that, as you can keep coming back with out obtaining bored. I experienced breakfast day-to-day, several lunches and quite a few dinners, and the high quality of the foods across the board was exceptional. Charges are also really affordable, normal for a excellent cafe, not like the numerous fancy golfing resorts where they get massive expense account corporate groups and you are a captive audience, so they jack the menu prices ridiculous high.
They surely do not deficiency for consume either, with both equally professional and local craft beers and ales, a deep wine record, and an great whisky collection, around 100 Scotches plus Irish, New Environment and Japanese choices. Dundonald acquired the world’s only remaining cask of 36-12 months-aged Bunnahabhain 1980 Canasta Cask Finish ($125 per dram), and unlike a lot of dear rarities, it is so great and so distinctive that for whisk(e)y fans it is really worth hoping. The cask anchors a individual whisky space, best for non-public foods. The vacation resort also has a partnership with Glasgow-primarily based Robert Graham 1874, 1 of the UK’s oldest whisky and tobacco merchants, and an unbiased bottler, and you can pre-buy whisky and cigars and have them delivered to your area, a definitely wonderful touch.
The 22 suites are in standalone structures radiating out from the clubhouse, with separate entrances, a privateness element that has come to be very attractive given that COVID. There are a pair of units each that contains two particular person hotel-design and style suites, each and every with luxury lavatory, living space, personal outside terrace and significant flatscreen High definition tv (they also have incredibly superior Wi-Fi in the course of). The lodges every single have 2,4 or 6 bedrooms encompassing a key residing location with entire kitchen and expansive sofa seating (the 6 area also has a pool table). The lodges ring their individual putting eco-friendly, and have significant out of doors decks. These are just absolutely ideal for golfing buddy/foursome visits, as each and every bed room has its own lavish en suite marble toilet with heated towel racks and oversized rain shower, but they share a lot of prevalent house. This getting Scotland, they also have a drying place with tons of hooks and racks and a washer/dryer, pretty helpful for longer golfing journeys.
I have been to most of the top rated golfing resorts in Scotland and Eire, and I was exceptionally amazed with Dundonald Inbound links. In summation, it has excellent, upscale lodging that is excellent for a Scotland golfing excursion, irrespective of whether for a couple, foursome or 4 partners. It has excellent food items with tons of possibilities and very substantial quality, and each the foods and lodging are sturdy values. It has an excellent golfing program and quick obtain to a lot of other standout courses, such as a pair of the world’s best. It is quick to get to, incredibly nicely operate, and has initially level amenities.
But possibly the greatest surprise of all, especially at this strange time in our lives when just about each resort and restaurant in the planet is battling with staffing challenges, is how very good the provider is. From the pro store to the bar to starter on the golfing class, the people at Dundonald are falling around them selves to be beneficial, and it is the variety of boutique place exactly where you have the exact bartender, identical waitstaff and similar entrance desk staff each and every working day. You get to know them by identify, and they get to know you. The resulting knowledge is deeply related and deeply private in a way that is sadly also scarce in the hospitality sector, like a dwelling absent from household among some of the very best golf in Scotland. Dundonald Inbound links is fantastically at ease and welcoming, and I would gladly return in a heartbeat.
In other breaking Scottish golf news, while I was visiting Dundonald, it was declared that Castle Stuart, an acclaimed Best 100 program at the other conclusion of the place, way up in the Highlands, has been bought and is starting to be part of the Cabot Selection. Cabot operates Canada’s greatest golf resort, Cabot Cape Breton, is having prepared to open a new and really predicted golf vacation resort on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia in early 2023, and is establishing two much more resorts, in Revelstoke in the Canadian Rockies and west central Florida. Castle Stuart jumps ahead of these since it already has a wonderful program and confined onsite lodging, but the massive information at the assets, renamed Cabot Highlands, is the just introduced addition of a 2nd class, by Tom Doak of Pacific Dunes fame, and new lodging, opening in 2024.
There have been good motives to travel to Scotland for golf for hundreds of years, and it just keeps receiving superior!