Machrihanish Golf Club has become well known in the last few years, mainly because of its exceptional first hole, which requires the round's opening shot to carry the Atlantic. At 436 yards, it is a tough start, particularly into a breeze.
The par-70 course is set in dunes in the small village of Machrihanish, which is situated on the western side of the remote Kintyre Peninsula. There are also views across to the islands of Jura and Islay.
Machrihanish Golf Club, which stretches out to 6,462 yards from the blue tees, was ranked the No. 39 course outside of the United States by Golf Digest in 2005, and the first hole is often rated as one of the best opening holes in the world. The classic links holes, after No. 1, are the fifth, which is another par 4 with its fairway like an elephant's graveyard, the 10th, a clever dogleg par 5, and the par-3 15th, a one-shotter with real difficulty if the elusive green is missed from the tee.
The golf club was founded in 1876 as the Kintyre Golf Club. It had 10 holes before the club officially existed, and was quickly expanded to 12. In 1879, Tom Morris was brought in to redesign and expand the golf course to the full 18 holes, including today's first hole. J.H. Taylor made some modifications in 1914, and in the 1940s, Sir Guy Campbell brought the golf course to its current configuration.