Play Machrihanish Dunes in Scotland for a shot at the golf club's million dollar hole-in-one contest
MACHRIHANISH, Scotland – When I visited Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club in June, I was riding high from my second career hole-in-one the day prior at Turnberry Resort.
An ace on the 11th hole of the Ailsa Course in the shadow of the iconic Turnberry lighthouse - what could be better?
A million bucks that’s what. I should have saved my hole-in-one (read about it here) for my round at Machrihanish Dunes. Maybe I could have sweet-talked my way into the course’s latest promotion: the “Mach. Dunes Million.”
Four lucky participants who play the course between July 15 and October 15 will have a shot at a cool million dollars. Four registered individuals will be chosen by random drawing for the opportunity to shoot for the grand prize on Oct. 26.
The contest will take place on the picturesque 14th hole at Machrihanish Dunes, a 167-yard par 3, the first of two back-to-back par 3s along the water. It was one of my favorite holes on my recent West Coast swing, so much so, I made it my Facebook profile (see the photo above).
Each amateur finalist gets one swing. I would gladly give up my amateur status – and take on the vaunted United Kingdom tax system that fleeced Phil Mickelson of much of his Scottish Open and Open Championship earnings – to take home that kind of cash. For more on the competition, click here.
The real truth is I’d go back to Machrihanish Dunes in a heartbeat even without the cash incentive. The fresh sea air and charming Village at Machrihanish Dunes, home to the brand new Ugadale Cottages (see the bottom) and refurbished Ugadale Hotel, are worth the journey. The food in the The Old Clubhouse next to the hotel was excellent. (Try the what locals eat, the haggis nachos or the sticky toffee pudding.)
Most people don’t, but I actually enjoyed playing Mach. Dunes more than the original Machrihanish Golf Club. David McLay-Kidd’s Machrihanish Dunes opened in 2009 on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the first course ever to be built on such a site and also the first to be built on the west coast of Scotland in over 100 years. It was the first 18-hole golf course in the U.K. to earn certification from the Golf Environmental Organization, and was named the most ecologically-friendly course in the world by ABTA Golf Magazine in 2012.
The village and course at Machrihanish Dunes will be busy this fall hosting the Machrihanish Dunes Hickory Open to be held in September, and the 15th Annual International Pairs Competition scheduled for October. By the way, you can book tee times on the west coast of Scotland right here at TravelGolf.com.
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