Designed by Kyle Phillips, one of the game's top architects, Dundonald has been recognized as one of the best new courses in the world (Robb Report 2004). The 7,100-yard, par-72 golf course is located about an hour's drive southwest of Loch Lomond and five minutes from Prestwick International Airport.
Dundonald's longest hole is the 560-yard 18th. From the tee, golfers must avoid the three bunkers on the right. Cross bunkers await a second shot that is hit less than perfect. The green is guarded at the front by an imposing ditch, and pot bunkers await any shot hit long.
Formerly known as Southern Gailes.
|Front/Red (W)||72||5560 yards||73.4||131|
|Black M: 76.3/138||460||405||540||215||550||170||405||395||410||3550||465||120||350||410||540||215||470||420||560||3550||7100|
|Blue M: 74.0/138||430||375||530||195||535||155||375||385||385||3365||430||120||335||370||510||205||450||395||545||3360||6725|
|White M: 71.7/135||410||365||510||175||515||135||370||340||360||3180||375||120||330||360||500||170||405||385||515||3160||6340|
|Red W: 73.4/131||320||310||470||120||480||120||325||290||315||2750||325||100||310||320||415||125||385||350||480||2810||5560|
Great conditions and welcome on a frosty morning.
It has been raining or snowing in the Glasgow area for the last two weeks. Many courses are closed but our course was open. It was open but extremely wet in places. With the forecast of frost we knew it would be winter greens at our home course. We decided to visit an Ayrshire course for the weekend in preference to our home course. We had all played Dundonald before and knew it would be in great condition with play on both the fairways and greens allowed. (unlike some others). When we arrived at Dundonald at 08:45 for a 9:30 tee time we were told there was still a frost which would be gone by about 11am, all green were still ain play and we were given free coffee and bacon roll as way of compensation for playing the early holes on a slightly frozen course. We started in a good mood which just got better as we played. The course was in great condition and we had no complaints at all. We new the layout was great and the condition would be great. Some green were hollowtined but the ball still ran true. We all highly recommend Dundonald at any time of the year but in winder is is head and shoulders above other courses in the west of Scotland.
Designed by Kyle Phillips, who did the acclaimed Kingsbarns near St. Andrews, Dundonald is a modern links course that certainly fits to what you expect when you come to play golf in Scotland. This newer course is the host of the 2017 Scottish Open, so you know it's going to be a good test, and it was. And while it may not have the views of Kingsbarns or even nearby Western Gailes certainly, it's a really nice collection of holes, including some fairly challenging par 3s. I played this course right off the redeye, so I didn't have my best wits about me, but I still found it very enjoyable and a perfect introduction to the other eight courses I would be play. All-in-all, Dundonald Links is a first-rate Scottish links experience.
Super Course pity about the pace
Had the pleasure of playing a superb links course. When you were on the course you felt that you were in paradise. The layout was interesting, the condition outstanding and the greens most probably the best I have played on - yes Brabazon take note.
The only disappointment was the pace of play - 5 hours 30 minutes for a 2 ball. Caught up with a 4 ball complete with 4 caddies after 3 holes. Even though they were losing balls they never thought to let us through until the 11th - would have thought the caddies from the course would have known better!!!!! Still the rest of the experience certainly made up for this. Would definitely play again especially as my son played to 2 under off the back tee's - me not so good but enjoyed the experience all the same
Solid but unspectacular
Played Dundonald Links about two weeks before the Ladies' Scottish Open. The good from this, the course was in amazing condition. The bad, half of the tee boxes were closed for the tournament. There were a few holes where it was the blacks or all the way up front. Not ideal for a 12 handicap. Couple that with the fact that Dundonald is one of the longer links around and this made for quite the challenging day.
The staff and facilities were nice and all went well; however, I wish somebody would have told me about the tee box situation. If you are a low handicapper, you might enjoy this place more than I did.
As for the golf itself. This course is inland, but does play like a links. The turf conditions are links-like and there will definitely be the shot options that a links brings. It must be noted that you will not hear nor see the sea; if you are into eye-candy it is not here. The course does loop around so there will be a variety of directions played. This is true for par 3s, 4s and 5s so your club selection will change on tee shots and approaches. There really weren't any holes which stood out as great or bad. Just a solid set up on a good course. Once again, due to the Open coming there, the conditioning on and around the greens was great. Not sure if this is always true.
Over all, I would recommend the course, but considering all the options in Ayrshire, this would not be the top of my list. If you are in Ayrshire for the better part of a week and already have Prestwick, Turnberry, Troon and Western Gailes on your itinerary, this would be a good first round.
Maturing into a very enjoyable modern links experience
A golf course is a living, growing and changing entity. Such was the case when I played the Dundonald Links almost ten years ago compared to a round last year. Located in proximity to great and historic links Kilmarnock Barassie, Glasgow and one of my favorites, Western Gailes, I came into my first round with lower expectations and they were met. At that time, Dundonald Links (originally known as Southern Gailes) was part of a recently failed golf and housing project that was bought by nearby Loch Lomond with the thought of giving it’s members a links experience to augment their brilliant and lush Tom Weiskopf design that embraces the shores of the ethereal and mysterious Loch.
My first impressions of the work of Kyle Phillips upon the sprawling property were simply that it was a dish not fully baked. Architects (and course operators) are aware that the majority of those who play their courses, particularly in the early days of significant work, will not notice what is not if you can focus their attention on what is. I sensed work awaited in drainage engineering and run off areas in particular. While these are not things of glamour, if left unchecked they can provide for a maddening array of inconsistency in ground conditions, causing some drives to bound and run (as they should on a course with the name “links” in it) or to plunge inexplicably. Given the weather of Scotland, drainage issues and run offs too severe for the common winds are troubling signs.
However, through the passage of time (and even more drama in ownership over the last few years), Dundonald Links has emerged as a highly enjoyable experience with former areas of concern corrected. From just over 6,400 yards to tipped out at 7,300 yards, Phillips has embraced a Kingsbarns design philosophy that provides for generous and creative landing areas, saving the greatest challenges for the green complexes which still fairly reward a well planned shot. Due to the aforementioned winds, the course can play much longer than the card. The par 4’s play deceptively long and I would say that the par 3’s are the true standouts of the course. The elevated par 3, 6th Hole is brilliant at 170 yards with a valley left and a pot bunker lurking amongst the seemingly safe haven of dunes behind the green.
Dundonald Links is as challenging as you choose to make it and it’s sweeping and equitable design provides for a very enjoyable modern links experience.
A modern inland links
Architect Kyle Phillips of Kingsbarns Golf Links fame didn't have much too work with on a flat inland site without sea views, so he jumped on the bulldozer and started shaping. The result is a modern links through man-made dunes that feels artificial. You just can't replicate the authenticity of its nearest neighbor, Western Gailes, without Mother Nature's guidance.
But Phillips' expertise on links golf did ultimately reveal a solid collection of holes. The fairways are wider than the average links, so it's a good warmup course for Americans fresh off an overseas flight. Burns protect the path to the greens at no. 9 and no. 18. The 13th and 16th holes run parallel to the railroad tracks that separate the course from Western Gailes, but in opposite directions.
The 11th hole amuses and befuddles, easily rating as the most interesting moment of the day. The 120-yard par 3 rises over a marsh to an elevated green. Short shots knocked down by the wind typically end up in the hazard or in three deep front bunkers. Misses long might end up in a devilish pot bunker smaller than a bathtub. It takes the local knowledge of a caddie and the skills of a single digit to hit that green in regulation.