Dundonald Links is situated in Ayrshire on the West Coast of Scotland, a stretch of golfing terrain unrivalled in the world. This Kyle Phillips’ designed links has hosted the prestigious Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open in 2017, the first course to host both the gents and ladies’ tournaments back to back and is now recognised as one of Golf’s “must play” courses.
The generous fairways and undulating greens partnered with a wide choice of teeing options offers a challenging and enjoyable test of golf to players of all abilities. Its coastal location and links conditions allows this golfing experience all year round.
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Originally known as Southern Gailes, the Kyle Philip’s-designed golf course was purchased by Loch Lomond Golf Club in early 2003 to provide its global Membership with a traditional links challenge.
The name was changed to Dundonald Links to reflect the area’s rich history. Dundonald means ‘Fort Donald’ and fortifications have been discovered nearby dated to between 500 and 200 BC.
More recently, in the early 1900s, there was a golf course on the site of the current links, however, it was converted for military use during World War II and lay dormant until the beginning of the 21st century.
It didn’t take long for the worldwide golfing community to sit up and take notice of this fine new Ayrshire Links.
As early as 2008, Dundonald was chosen as the venue for the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School and it continued to host this important tournament until 2011. In 2012, it was the turn of the Seniors to test their skills against Dundonald’s challenges when the course played host to Senior Opening Qualifying. The prestigious Boys Amateur Championship came to Dundonald in 2014, before the course welcomed some of the world’s best female golfers for the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open in 2015 and 2016.
Sustainability is central to how the ambitious grounds team at Dundonald Links go about preparing and maintaining a world class golf course.
They are custodians of the land and focus on schemes to ensure the natural environment in which Dundonald Links sits is robustly protected and enhanced where possible.
Awards like GEO Certification in 2013, STRI’s Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2014 and IAGTO’s Sustainable Golf Course of the Year 2015 are proof that a zero waste to landfill policy and exceptional water management initiatives are creating important and tangible environmental benefits.
Investment in education has been a key driver of Dundonald’s pioneering environmental work. A range of measures including seminars delivered by experts like Open Championship Ecologist Bob Taylor have encouraged buy-in at every level of the club’s business.
From a golfer’s perspective, the steps taken to ensure minimal impact on the local environment and ecology have significant benefits. Good agronomic practices create better quality playing surfaces and by favouring and managing suitable disease and drought tolerant grasses, Dundonald Links fits sympathetically within the wider landscape while offering a very fair test of a player’s skills.
While the primary motivation is always to create an unparalleled golf experience, the team has also taken on some very important ecological challenges. The Small Blue Butterfly was thought to be lost to the area, but through careful consideration of their habitat, not only has this rare but important indigenous species been successfully re-introduced, it is thriving.
Dundonald Links continues to champion pioneering environmental practices and sits at the forefront of Scotland’s leading position in sustainable golf course management.