It started with a map, it always does. It would take us to the hiding place of a would-be king, an island where the first whiskies were brewed and the sheep outnumber people. A place so unfussy that even Paul McCartney is known simply as “Paul”. Shiskine, Machrihanish, Dunaverty and The Machrie - the frontier courses of The Frontier Collection.
Episode 3: Dunaverty
Dunaverty Golf Club is best summarised by the late golf writer and honorary member, Jock MacVicar. As he tells it, an American who’d come to play The Machrihanish and The Machrihanish Dunes was looking for one more round in the area.
“Play Dunaverty”, Jock suggested.
“I’ve never heard of it,” said the American. “Are you sure it’s any good?”
“Trust me,” Jock responded confidently.
“Mmm, it’s very short,” said the American after looking up the scorecard. “Can’t be much of a golf course at 4,800 yards”.
“No, no, it’s a lovely little golf course. I assure you, you’ll enjoy it,” Jock replied, standing firm.
“Well, the green fee is very cheap, so it can’t be really good.” insisted the American.
“Listen,” Jock said, “Take my word for it. Play Dunaverty.”
Compelled by Jock’s confidence,the American went. When he returned he described his experience to Jock.
“At the first hole, I teed it up and I played in a farmers field. At the third hole, I teed it up and played from a caravan park. And then,” the American said, “At the fifth green, I looked around, and I was playing in golfing heaven.”
As the MANORS team reached that fifth green, we entered the pearly gates too. We climbed up hills, down hills, through valleys, dips and dunes. Every time, thinking we’d seen the best of Dunaverty, only to round a corner and be floored again.
A special mention must go to the par 4 11th. Where the tee box is at such a dramatic vantage point overlooking the course, even our Co-Founder and head of product, Nick Watts (28 HCP), drove his four iron 270 yards to the green below.
You could spend a lifetime ticking off bucket list golf courses in Scotland; St Andrews, Royal Troon, Prestwick, North Berwick - that’s a life well spent. But if you never made it past the top 50, would you really know the home of golf? The dining rooms are the grandest in an old house, but they don’t reveal who lives there. Shiskine, The Machrihanish, Dunaverty - these are the playrooms where the kids grew up and the memories were made. They make this old house a home.
That said, there’s always room for a bit of grandeur…