Monday 24 October 2011

Dundonald Links Best Environmental Performance

Dundonald Links has received the ‘Best Environmental Performance Award’ at the recent Ayrshire Business Awards. Over 260 business leaders from Ayrshire and beyond attended the annual awards ceremony which recognises the best performing companies in Ayrshire. The event was held at the Gailes Hotel, Irvine where the BBC’s Kaye Adams presented the awards.

The ‘Best Environmental Performance Award’ award, sponsored by Nestle (worlds leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company), has been designed for organisations that demonstrate environmental best practice, ethical best practice or sustainable development. In order to qualify for the final selection process, Dundonald Links was invited to demonstrate these practices and to explain the impact that these initiatives have had on the company.

Dundonald competed with two major employers in Scotland, McCaig Renewable and Lowmac Recycling, for the award.

Bill Donald, General Manager, Loch Lomond Golf Club and Dundonald Links, commented:

“This is a tremendous achievement for the team at Dundonald Links and is testament to all their hard work and commitment in ensuring that the golf course is maintained to the very highest of standards with environmental best practice always in mind.”

The club website also features an environmental policy.

Dundonald Links is committed to the implementation of a wide range of proactive measures, to help protect, and sustain, the local, national, and global environment, and strives for continual improvement of its environmental management systems.

Our Vision

To provide players with an authentic and distinctive links land experience by using best environmental practices and policies.

Our aim is to:
  • Minimise waste, working towards zero waste
  • Minimise energy consumption
  • Protect and enhance biodiversity
  • Maximise the Club’s role to provide the public with knowledge of ongoing environmental issues
  • Inspire others to pursue sustainable resources
For further information, please contact Guy Redford, Director of Golf, Dundonald Links

T: 01294 314000 or E:

Monday 25 July 2011

Turnberry and their iWine List!

It's been repoerted in the Scottish papers as the world's most expensive menu. The West Coast Golf Links golf resort of Turnberry has decided to use iPads for the wine menu instead of traditional paper and leather bound versions!

Turnberry is trialling the product for the wine list in its fine dining restaurant and plans to extend the concept to its other restaurants and bars by the end of the year all owing their guests to use the obvious benefits of inbuilt  search tools to find out more about their wine.

Ralph Porciani, director of operations at Turnberry, said: "We've seen this in the States for a while and it improves and enriches the experience of choosing from a menu. The ability to combine images, with more colourful background information on the product - be it the wine maker or the grapes - is incredibly satisfying for guests and gives them a far more informed choice."

"Around 60 per cent of our guests wander around with an iPad already tucked under their arm. So it is a technology which is very useable and very familiar to many people."

In other countries where the iPad has been used instead of a menu, restaurants have claimed a rise in turnover from diners finding their ordering inhibitions are lifted when ordering direct, rather than via waiters.

The trend began in the US shortly after the launch of the tablet devices last year. The technology used in some American restaurants allows staff to communicate with customers through email-style messages, suggesting, for example, that they may be ready to buy another drink - and also pay for their meals through the device using an in-built swipe card slot.

Another first for one of Ayrshire's West VCoast Golf Links

Scottish Amateur Heads for West Coast Links

Troon Welbeck’s Michael Stewart heads into this week’s Scottish Amateur Championship which is being held at the West Coast Links gem of Western Gailes between the 25 and 30th of July aiming to become the first golfer for twenty-eight years to successfully defend the title.

The 21-year-old, who defeated Fraserburgh’s Jordan Findlay 3 and 2 in the final at Gullane twelve months ago, has enjoyed another superb season, winning the South African Amateur Championship in February before narrowly losing the final of The Amateur Championship at Hillside last month.

Legendary amateur Charlie Green was the last man to win back-to-back titles in 1982-83 and Stewart is relishing the prospect of retaining the championship in his native Ayrshire, believing he is a vastly improved player a year on from his East Lothian win.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of defending the title as it’s been a while since anyone’s achieved that. There will obviously be some extra pressure on me but I seem to thrive on that and play some of my best golf in pressure situations, as I did in some of my close matches last year,” said Stewart, who is eyeing a place in the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup side to face the United States in September.

“All aspects of my game have improved since my win at Gullane and I would say I’m definitely a better golfer. The SGU squad training over the winter was of real benefit and the win in South Africa and my run in The Amateur Championship was great for my confidence. It will be nice playing at home in Ayrshire and I’m excited about the week ahead.” he added.

Scotland’s 256 leading amateur golfers representing 150 different clubs will descend on the Western Gailes links, which last hosted the championship in 2002 when Andrew McArthur defeated Scott Jamieson in a keenly contested final, before both players went on to compete on the European Tour.

The last Ayrshireman to win on home soil, was from another West Coast Links course, Barassie’s Jim Milligan in 1988.

Action gets underway on Monday morning at 0645 with 128 ties being played over the first two days. The 36-hole final will take place on Saturday 30 July with 0830 and 1300 tee-times. Live scoring and updates will be available throughout the week here on the SGU's website.

You can find out how you can play Western Gailes and the rest of Scotland's West Coast Golf Links courses on the website

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Golf and Bed and Breakfast Ayrshire

A new collaboration has been set up in Ayrshire to help promote and develop the bed and breakfast marketplace to Ayrshire. The group calling themselves ABBA is being promoted via their new website with information on more than three dozen B & B's across Ayrshire.

Last year B & B owners were invited to a meeting hosted by Ayrshire Business Gateway where more than 30 owners met and voted in favour of forming such an association. A working committee was formed to devise ways forward such as sourcing funding, web design and promotion of local attractions. They have since had discussions with Business Gateway, South Ayrshire Council, VisitScotland, Ayrshire’s Tourism Forum, the Ayrshire and Arran Hoteliers Association and also the Ayrshire Food Network who have all been very supportive of the venture.

Essentially the aim is to publicise what Ayrshire has to offer in order to encourage people to come and enjoy their stay so that they want to come back again.

If you are interested in joining ABBA or for more information please contact any of the following Ayrshire B & B Association Committee Members through the ABBA website

The Dormie House in Prestwick is already an associate member of Scotland's West Coast Golf Links offering a high quality bed and breakfast property in close proximity to the wonderful Prestwick Links. Peter has some great golf deals throughout the summer so have a look at The Dormie House website where you can book his best rates directly online.

Friday 3 June 2011

Dundonald Games Golf Links Swings into Action

Entries are now being accepted for the inaugural Dundonald Games Links Golf Day. This unique eighteen hole handicap stableford event is open to both ladies and gents and will be played over the magnificent Dundonald Links golf course in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland just 24 hours ahead of the annual Dundonald Games on Friday 5th of August.

A website specifically for the event has been created by joint sponsors Plan B and visitors can book their accommodation online courtesy of Bookasssist.

Entry forms can be downloaded or you can go reserve your fourball online and pay by Cheque or even PayPal.

For those who just want to play great Ayrshire golf you could hardly do better than play 18 holes over the magnificent Kyle Phillips layout at Dundonald. The course is a wonderful challenge but remains a fair test of all golfing abilities with fast, three club greens, some wonderul pot bunkers, an abundance of dunes and some of the best laid out holes in Scotland.

The day is about enjoyment and added to the golf you will have access to the practice area and free range balls as well as Nearest the Pin, Longest Drive and the handicap stableford event - if you don't have an official handicap there are limited spaces available just to enjoy the course.

Entry is currently strictly limited to 60 golfers and it is sure to be subscribed very quickly so don’t hesitate to get your application in. You can reserve a single or a discounted fourball and pay by debit or credit card.


And the Kilted Part?
Well first off it’s not obligatory but we thought that given that it’s an official part of the Annual Dundonald Games week and the day before the games itself we’d add a little bit of fun and offer players the opportunity to compete in their kilt with a special commemorative Targe being presented to the winner of, we believe, Scotland's very first Kilted Golf Classic.

We look forward to welcoming you to both the Links and the Games and perhaps an extended stay in the Ayrshire area.

Friday 27 May 2011

Fun Golf Event for Ayrshire Visitors in August

This year will see the inaugural Dundonald Games Links Golf Day incorporating the first Kilted Golf Classic teeing off on Friday 5th August.

This unique 18 hole handicap stableford event is open to amateur ladies and gents with an official handicap and will be played over the magnificent Dundonald Links golf course. The course is a wonderful challenge but remains a fair test of all golfing abilities with fast, three club greens, some wonderful pot bunkers, an abundance of dunes and some of the best laid out holes in Scotland.

And the Kilted Golf Classic? Although not obligatory we thought that given that it is an integral part of Dundonald Games Week we would add a little bit of fun and offer players the opportunity to compete in Highland Dress with a special commemorative trophy being presented to the winner!

Entry is strictly limited to 80 golfers and it is sure to be subscribed very quickly so do not hesitate to enter. You can reserve a single or a discounted fourball from only £45 per person including coffee and bacon roll on arrival.

For further information and reservations visit Dundonald Games Golf website

Friday 6 May 2011

Prestwick St Nicholas co-hosts the Scottish Area Team Championship

Prestwick St Nicholas is co-hosting, along Prestwick Golf Club, the Scottish Area Team Championship on the 14th and 15th May.

The field will feature 96 of the country's leading amateur players (including internationalists) representing their respective areas. The Ayrshire six man team consists of Scottish and South African Amateur Champion Michael Stewart (Troon Welbeck), a trio of Kilmarnock Barassie players - the new Ayrshire Strokeplay Champion Jamie Mackay, 2010 Ayrshire Matchplay winner Euan Brown and Scotland boys international Jack McDonald, and bidding to go one step further than their semi-final appearance last year are Michael Smyth (Royal Troon) and John Haggarty (Loudoun).

The format will see all 16 teams play 36 holes stroke-play on Saturday 14 May (one round over Prestwick and one round over St Nicholas) with the leading 4 teams qualifying for match play on the Sunday to determine the medal positions.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Ailsa Craig for Sale!

According to our very favourite online news website For Argyll - and it is worth reading some of the opinion pieces that they write - Ailsa Craig, or Paddy’s Milestone as it's always been known to us as kids, the unforgettable iconic shape seen from many of the golf courses of Scotland's West Coast Golf Links and seen by millions of TV viewers when the Open is held at Turnberry is up for sale!

Owned by the 8th Marquess of Ailsa, it is being sold by Knight Frank and by Vladi Private Islands, the agent who sold Sanda Island off the east coast of the Mull of Kintyre and who is currently also selling Barcaldine Castle in North Argyll as ‘an island-like property’.

Ailsa Craig is not even yet on the Vladi website, but the 245 acre rock with its distinctive conical shape, lying ten miles off Girvan  on the south Ayrshire coast has an asking price of £2.5 million.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Final hole swing sees Charlotte Ellis clinch Helen Holm

England's Charlotte Ellis staged a charge over the last few holes to win the Helen Holm Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play championship over Royal Troon's Open championship links course on Sunday 24th of April. She had been trailing 16 year old twin Leona Maguire from Co Cavan, Ireland by three strokes with six holes to play until the 25-year-old from Minchinhampton birdied the 13th, 15th and 16th holes to be one shot behind Maguire with two to play. Both parred the short 17th and then Leona, who had made all the running from the start of the 54-hole tournament, ran up a double bogey 6 at the last, taking three shots to get on the green and quite depressingly a further three putts from six feet. Ellis stepped in to win with a par 4.

"Even when I holed out for a par on the last green, I really didn't think it was to win. It was only when Leona eventually missed a two-foot second putt, that I realised I had won. It's the biggest golf title I've ever won but I feel sorry for Leona."

Friday 22 April 2011

Scottish Women's Open Amateur Golf at Troon

If you're at a loose end this weekend you could always head for the Ayrshire coast to Troon and see a field of 99 ladies compete for the Helen Holm Trophy the 54-hole Scottish women's open amateur stroke-play golf championship at Troon.

The event which is taking place between Friday 22nd and Sunday 24th of April is played with two rounds over Troon Portland after which the leading 66 players and ties contest the final 18 holes over Royal Troon. The field of 99 is made up by golfers from 11 countries, including Russia and the Czech Republic and with the weather forecast set fair it could be a nice relaxing day out.

Live scoring from the Helen Holm Trophy 2011 event

Friday 15 April 2011

Ayrshire Burns Festival 2011

"No golfer is an island." I think that was the saying was it not?

Anyway the point is that whilst the reason for your visit to Ayrshire may well be world class links golf there is a whole lot going on in Ayrshire throughout the year from great wining and dining to a full calendar of events at Scotland's number one horseracing venue Ayr Racecourse.

There's also a number of great festivals and events across the county.

May sees the tenth anniversary of the Burns Festival with a range of music and cultural events taking place over four days so if you're in the area golfing you may want to take in a concert or comedy show in the evening. You can find out more at the Burns Festival 2011 website or check hotel availability for Ayrshire that weekend.

And while you're at it as well as downloading your golf app for the courses you might want to brush up on your Burns Poetry and yes there's an app for that too... An iPhone app has been developed to allow enthusiasts around the world to download and instantly access Burns' poetry.
The app includes:
  • a searchable database of every poem written by Burns
  • a summary of facts about the poet's life 
  • a guide to hosting a Burns Supper
The Robert Burns iPhone app is available from the iTunes store.

Prestwick's Salt Pan Houses

The Salt Pan Houses, Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club - a history outdating the 26th Oldest Club in the world

Standing on at least at least half of the tees and fairways of Prestwick St Nicholas a player cannot miss these iconic features, sitting between the 1st and 3rd greens.

Occupying what today would be a prime residential site these grade A-listed buildings sit right at the seashore, built around 1760 for the salt boiling industry; before the advent of refrigeration, salt was vital for preserving food for the table and also for sailors travelling around the world. Known as the Maryburgh Salt Works, they were probably salt pans with housing above. Women would collect buckets of salt water and bring them into the Salt Pan House, emptying the water into large metal basins (salt pans) under which a fire would be kept stoked. The water would be boiled off and the resulting salt deposits scraped off and bagged for sale.

The pair of houses are linked by a later wall which has been heightened and which was originally open at centre. The roof covering may originally have been pantiles or thatch, as shown by the deep skews with moulded skewputts along the roofline. The buildings were occupied well into the 20th Century with a recent visit by an elderly Canadian gentleman to the Club confirming for us that his uncle had grown up in the southerly one.

Although what remains is incomplete, the surviving buildings have been described as "certainly the most complete upstanding remains of the (saltboiling) industry on the west coast of Scotland". In fact, they appear to be most complete to survive in Scotland. The Prestwick burgh/records of 12th February 1480 uses the term "salt pan hous" which suggests the existence of the industry locally by that time. The burgh records also discussed applications for erecting of salt pans on 25th June 1763 and 7th Sept. 1765 (information provided by Kyle & Carrick civic society).

With the Club moving to its current site in 1892, it's clear that the Salt Pans are significantly older and are important historical Scottish buildings which can often be taken for granted. Why not come along and see them from the course, where the sea can be seen from every hole.

See the new video of Prestwick St Nicholas on

Monday 28 March 2011

Sunset Golf on Scotland's West Coast Golf Links

Turnberry, the world’s first golf resort located on the Ayrshire Coast, will relaunch its highly popular sunset tee‐off times from next week as the clocks change and the long summer nights stretch out ahead.
With the Ayrshire sunset in April touching down at 7.56pm and with daylight lasting until 10.05pm in June, golfers are presented with a new four hour window to take to the course with tee off times starting from 3pm to as late as 6pm.

The sunset rates start on Monday 28 March 2011 with a round at the world‐famous Open Championship Ailsa course costing £95. The sister course, the Kintyre, can be played for £55. Tee Times can be booked in advance with no restrictions.

Stewart Selbie, General Manager at Turnberry Resort, commented; “Sunset golf is very popular because of our West Coast location. The views across the Irish Sea to Ailsa Craig in sunset hours are simply stunning. The colours of the course, the sea, the sky and the beach come into sharp contrast and in dramatic light provide the most incredible scenery. Quite a backdrop while playing, what I believe, is the best golf course in the world.”

Earlier this month, The European Tour announced that Turnberry will stage the 2012 Senior Open Championship for the seventh time, making it the most popular venue for the tournament in its history.
Sunset Golf at Turnberry is available seven days a week until 30 September 2011. For further tee time information contact 01655 334 032 or email

You can also book your Ayrshire accommodation online with a number of great golfing hotels in Ayr, Troon, Prestwick and Irvine.

Friday 4 March 2011

Senior Open Championship to return to Turnberry in 2012

The Senior Open Championship will return to the spectacular setting of Turnberry on the Ayrshire coastline from July 26-29, 2012, continuing the Scottish resort’s rich history with the prestigious Championship which began with the inaugural staging in 1987.

It will be the seventh occasion that Turnberry’s Ailsa Course has hosted The Senior Open Championship, the most of any venue on the roster, surpassing the six editions played at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

The classic links hosted the first four Senior Open Championships, with Neil Coles wining the inaugural Championship in 1987, Gary Player capturing the title in 1988 and 1990 and Bob Charles lifting the trophy in 1989.

Tom Watson, whose own career is so closely aligned with Turnberry’s proud heritage, then held off the European Senior Tour’s leading career money winner Carl Mason in a play-off when the Championship returned to the Ayrshire Coast in 2003, before fellow American Loren Roberts captured his first Senior Open title in 2006.

Turnberry has also hosted The Open Championship on four occasions with Watson featuring prominently in 1977, when he memorably defeated Jack Nicklaus in what became known as ‘The Duel in the Sun’, and in 2009 when he lost in a play-off to Stewart Cink at the age of 59.

David Hill, Director of Championships for The R&A, said on behalf of the Championship: “We are delighted to announce the return of The Senior Open Championship to Turnberry in 2012, a venue that is steeped in the history of both The Senior Open and The Open.

“The Ailsa Course has provided some of golf’s most memorable moments over the years and hopefully we will once again experience the magnificent support of the Scottish golf fans, just as we did the last time The Senior Open Championship visited the Ayrshire coast in 2008 when we had record crowds at Royal Troon.”

Stewart Selbie, General Manager of Turnberry, said: “Turnberry is delighted to welcome The Senior Open Championship back to the Ailsa course in 2012. Following the success of The 2009 Open, it is entirely fitting that our next Major should be the Senior Open, a tournament which has such a strong connection with the Ailsa course over the years. This announcement confirms Turnberry’s position as a great venue for major Open Championships”

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: "Turnberry is an iconic golf location and I am thrilled The Senior Open Championship is returning to South Ayrshire next year. We are, of course, the birthplace and home of Open Golf and we are also well-known for hosting major international events, so it’s going to be a fabulous sporting occasion.

“I look forward to welcoming players, staff, fans, family and friends to South Ayrshire for this wonderful event and will ensure a great time is had by all here on Scotland’s very own golf coast.”

EventScotland, the national events agency, has supported the staging of The Senior Open Championship since 2005 and the 2012 event will be the marquee event on Scotland’s golfing calendar that year.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “The Senior Open Championship is one of Scotland’s most prestigious regular golf tournaments. We are delighted to see it return next year with significant benefits for Turnberry, South Ayrshire and the wider ‘Home of Golf’ expected. It is important for Scotland to maintain its support of these major events as we prepare to host The Ryder Cup in 2014 and to ensure the ongoing development of the sport on our shores.”

The Senior Open last visited Scotland in 2010 when Carnoustie hosted the Championship for the first time. Germany’s Bernhard Langer claimed his first Senior Major Championship and will defend the title from July 21-24 when Walton Heath Golf Club, in Surrey, England, is the host venue for the Championship’s 25th edition.

Discounted advance tickets can be purchased online, with season tickets now available at £60 for a season pass and any one day passes at £16.50. They can be booked online at, where other discounts and offers can also be found.

Friday 18 February 2011

Ian Bunch Retires from Role at SWCGL

Following his recent retiral from his position as Secretary at Prestwick Golf Club, Ian Bunch has now passed the baton on with regards to Scotland's West Cost Golf Links.

Ian was instrumental not only in the creation of Scotland's West Coast Golf Links but also in the earlier set up of Golf Tourism Scotland. His enthusiasm for and understanding of the golf tourism sector made both contributions invaluable and his presence in Ayrshire's golfing circles will be missed.

SWCGL however will now look to appoint a new chair to take the marketing group forward. In line with the changes there will be a new Executive Committee set up to develop the new strategies required to deal with the current challenges and this committee will meet early in March and be comprised of four golf course representatives, one golf professional and a hotelier.

Anyone looknig for further information on how Scotland's West Coast Golf Links can work with your business should in the meantime contact administrator Ian McCaig on 01292 521404.

New Bunker for Dundonald Links

Once again the greens crew at Dunonald Links are hard at work reconstructing the 9th fairway bunker, making it more of a challenge for your return visit to Dundonald.

Currently the 9th is playing as a long par 3. Upon completion it will be sure to test your golfing ability and add new character to an already challenging hole here at Dundonald Links.