How Machrihanish cracked our latest list of the world’s 100 best golf courses

A view of Machrihanish in Scotland.

Machrihanish in Campbeltown, Scotland is ranked 97th on our list of the 100 best golf courses in the world.

Gary Lisbon

GOLF released its latest ranking of the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses (2023-24), and while Pine Valley once again claimed the top spot, eight newcomers found their way into the rankings. Here we present them to you.

Newcomer in the spotlight: Machrihanish / Rank: 97

Location: Campbeltown, Scotland
Play: Semi-private
architect: Old Tom Morris, 1879; JH Taylor, 1914; Guy Campbell, 1940s

Why it made our list according to one reviewer:

Machrihanish is a worthy re-entry into the top 100, thanks in no small part to a spectacular front nine that winds through the most majestic dunes on the west coast of Scotland. But it’s the greens that are truly worth the trip. Setting up tilting and tilting surfaces makes the challenge extremely entertaining. The drive to the golf course may seem daunting, but in a time when the world seems ever smaller, Machrihanish is one of golf’s last true adventures. — Tim Gallant

You can visit Machrihanishs The “Top 100 Courses” page can be found here.

More about Machrihanish

Located on the Mull of Kintyre, the course makes the most of its romantic surroundings, starting with the opening tee, which runs diagonally across the beach. One panelist considers the 3rd hole to be an ideal links hole and writes: “The tee shot sits blindly over a rolling dune, creating a sense of adventure as you aim your ball into the unknown.” Then climbing the hill opens up “There is a view of the Irish Sea in the distance, with the beautifully situated green in the foreground, sunken in its own natural amphitheater.” The crumpled fairways never let up, creating awkward postures that make playing difficult in windy conditions. But the real star is the green tones. The surfaces from 12 to 16 are all brilliant, illustrating that the best links holes are not necessarily limited to those closest to the sea. It’s always a joy to find a course that raises so many questions and is less than 6,500 yards long. – Ran Morrissett


Josh Berhow Publisher

Josh Berhow is managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated from Minnesota State University in Mankato with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at How Machrihanish cracked our latest list of the world’s 100 best golf courses

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