Eight of the best island golf courses in Argyll

Argyll & The Isles is home to some of the most scenic golf courses in Scotland, if not the world. And did you know that many of Argyll’s golf courses are found on the islands? Set in outstanding coastal locations, Argyll’s island golf courses offer breath-taking views from every tee. Each course has its own character and challenges, and visitors are always welcome to play. So if you fancy a golfing break in Scotland, check out Argyll’s island golf courses. It’s a great way to meet the locals and experience the beauty of Argyll’s islands. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you’re enjoying your round of golf.

Islay
The Machrie Links golf course is set in the dunes of the Hebridean island of Islay. It must be one of the most beautiful locations in world golf, overlooking Laggan Bay, a dramatic stretch of unspoilt sandy beach. Originally designed in 1891 by Willie Campbell, the 18-hole championship course has recently been fully modernised by D J Russell, the former European Ryder Cup Vice Captain and PGA tour player, and is open for the 2018 season. The course has a special place in the heart of many golfers, who prize its ‘edge of the world’ feel and connection with traditional golfing. Sand dunes provide natural hazards, while the winds that come off the Atlantic provide even expert golfers with interesting challenges! The new Machrie hotel is due to open in summer 2018 too. Construction work is still ongoing, so changing-room and bar facilities will be fairly basic this season. To book your ‘tee time’ at Machrie Links, call 01496 300134. Other highlights on Islay include: whisky distilleries, RSPB reserves and history.

And if you’ve made it out to Islay, then don’t miss the chance to play a round on one of Kintyre’s golf courses. Kintyre packs in three of Scotland’s best links golf courses, Machrihanish Golf Club, Machrihanish Dunes and Dunaverty.

Bute
Golfing enthusiasts are spoilt for choice on Bute. This lovely island is home to no less than three fabulous golf courses: Kingarth, Port Bannatyne and Rothesay. One of Argyll’s most accessible islands, Bute makes for a fabulous short golfing break from Glasgow. Hop on the CalMac ferry at Wemyss Bay and you’ll be there in less than an hour. Other highlights on Bute include: Mount Stuart, a visit to the Bute Brew Co and Rothesay Castle.

Kingarth
Bute Golf Club’s nine-hole Kingarth course is a stunner. Overlooking the sands of Stravannan Bay on the wild west coast of the island, this course offers challenging golf in a spectacular setting. There are panoramic views across to Arran and the Kilbrannan Sound to Kintyre in the west and to the Ayrshire coast in the east. Golf has been played here for more than 129 years, making it the oldest course on Bute. Just pop your £15 green fee into the honesty box at the clubhouse.

Port Bannatyne
Founded in 1912, Port Bannatyne is almost unique in having 13 holes, with the first five holes being played again before a separate 18th. It's a scenic course, with views to the hills of Cowal and the mouth of the Kyles of Bute and Loch Striven. From the highest point of the course, at the 8th tee, look west to Ettrick Bay, Loch Fyne and the Kintyre peninsula. The green fee is £12 during the week and £18 at the weekend. Just put your money in the honesty box!

Rothesay
Over the course of the 20th century, many of the golfing greats have played the historic 18-hole course at Rothesay Golf Club. Founded in 1892, the course was extended and re-laid out by James Braid in 1908, with a first tee only three quarters of a mile from Rothesay pier. The course circles around Canada Hill which, at a height of about 400ft, gives spectacular views. The great Walter Hagen played the course and said that the views could not be beaten anywhere in the world! To book your tee time, call 01700 503554.

Colonsay
Head to the Hebridean island of Colonsay for a fabulous island golfing experience. The 18-hole Colonsay Golf Course is on indigenous machair, typical of the finest Scottish links golf courses. When you arrive at the first tee, you will be struck by the beauty of the course’s setting. Two sandy bays form the western fringe of the course. The course is reputedly over 200 years old, having first been played in 1775. It’s now owned and managed by Colonsay Estate. You can pay the green fees, £5 per round per person, at the Colonsay Hotel or the Estate Office. Other highlights on Colonsay include the McPhies of Colonsay, Colonsay House & Gardens and Kiloran Bay.

Gigha
The Gigha Golf Course is a lovely nine-hole course on the picturesque island of Gigha. The course offers panoramic views of the island and mainland. You'd better have your driving in good order when playing the Gigha course, as the rough can be very unforgiving. The fee is £15 per day. Other highlights on Gigha include: Gigha Boathouse, beaches and walking.

Mull
Tobermory Golf Course is a nine-hole course set on the cliff tops above Tobermory Bay on the beautiful island of Mull. It offers superb panoramic views to Ardnamurchan, Loch Sunart and, on a clear day, the Isle of Skye. Due to the hilly nature of the course, it provides a tough challenge to all golfers. The green fee of £20 can be popped in the honesty box. Other highlights on Mull include: white-tailed eagles, Duart Castle and Mull & Iona Food Trail.

Tiree
For a truly remote Scottish golfing experience, head to the island of Tiree. The Vaul Golf Club is located at the east end of the island. The nine-hole course, which was established in 1911, offers a fabulous round of golf with stunning views. It's the perfect course for visitors who enjoy a relaxed golf environment - just pay your day ticket in the clubhouse honesty box and off you go! Other highlights on Tiree: beaches, surfing and sunshine!

Find out more about golfing in Argyll & The Isles.

Header image: The Machrie, Islay