The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links

Port Ellen,

Isle of Islay, Argyll PA42 7AN

  • Office

    +44 (0)1496 302 310
  • Pro shop

    +44 (0)1496 302 310
  • Fax

    +44 (0)1496 302 404
  • Golf pro

    David Foley (PGA Head Professional).

About the course

  • The Course:

    18 holes. Seaside links. Undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb.

  • Surroundings:

    Coastal duneland.

  • Designer:

    Willie Campbell

SSS or slope






How to get there:

90 miles (of land and sea) W of Glasgow

By road & ferry: take the car ferry ( from Kennacraig to Port Ellen (approx 2 hours). From the ferry terminal in Port Ellen (on Islay), follow the A846, direction Bowmore. After 4 miles The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links entrance is on your left. By air: contact The Machrie Hotel to arrange a "Fly&Play" package, involving a short flight from Glasgow.

The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.

Est. 1891

The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links: A trip to The Machrie is an "essential" Scottish golf experience not to be missed. Here on the Inner Hebridean island of Islay, is a full-blooded, through-the-dunes links layout that challenges and inspires in equal measure.

Occupying a stunningly unspoilt and natural setting, several holes run alongside the "Big Strand" (beach) of Laggan Bay. If you are not gazing out across the bay to the open Atlantic, you'll probably be facing inland where extensive peatlands lead up to Islay's small mountain ridge. In the far distance two of the three "Paps of Jura" can be seen, pudding-bowl mountains that are located on Islay's closest neighbouring island.

Willie Campbell's design weaves its way through impressively towering dunes. At the par-4 7th the only route to the fairway is to drive up and over a sizeable dune, one of many testing tee-shots required. On a first outing you may be left thinking there are a few too many blind shots to cope with; be assured this feeling ebbs away the more you play these spectacular links.

Many of the superb greens nestle down in sheltered hollows, sometimes (but not always) protected by well-placed pot bunkers. Deep rough is found not too far beyond the rolling fairways; beware, it is often deep and ball-swallowing rather than light and wispy.

More remote than many of Scotland's renowned seaside links, The Machrie makes up for its "splendid isolation" with a wonderfully natural, scenic and pleasantly challenging layout. All the ingredients are here for a most memorable golf break, where some enthusiastic golfers have been known to go round the course three times in a day. After all that golf, nothing goes down better than a dram or two of the local "peaty" whiskies (Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin among them!).

List of courses: Scotland - South


Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.

Booking in advance is advised.

Green fees

Visitor fee, 18-holes in high season (April thru' Oct): £180; hotel resident £115.

Contact club for full details, discounts, Stay&Play packages, etc. [Last updated: 2023].

Other information

Players generally walk this course. Golf carts available for hire. Limited availability of caddies (must be booked in advance).

Practice facilities


Did you know?

The Isle of Islay (pronounced and formerly spelt "Isla") is home to some of the biggest names in Scotch whisky - Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Port Ellen, to name a few.

The Machrie rose to prominence in 1901 when James Braid, Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor (the "Great Triumvirate" of golf) competed for a £100 prize on the Machrie Links - possibly the first time that a prize of this amount had been offered.

Published ranking

Scotland's 19th best course (Golf World, 2022).
Britain & Ireland's 44th best course (Golf World, 2022).
World's 75th best public access course (Golf World, 2023).


  • The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links3-star

    Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Argyll PA42 7AN

    +44 (0)1496 302 310

    Visit website

    Far from the madding crowd, this friendly and well-appointed hotel (and lodges) provides accommodation and excellent food. The highly-rated Machrie golf links is on-site and several world renowned whisky distilleries are in the locality. CHECK FOR CURRENT STATUS DURING REFURBISHMENT.

    • Golf at this hotel:

      The Machrie

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