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Golf: The Machrie – The Must Play In 2012

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Do you get many Americans coming here?” I asked Simon Freeman, the head greenkeeper at The Machrie, Isle of Islay.

“Only the ones who know their golf and the history of the game.”

Anthony Pioppi headlines his post, “Optimism at The Machrie Golf Links for 2012 Season… Recently I had an email chat with Simon Freeman, the head greenkeeper at The Machrie Golf Links and he is extremely optimistic about the future with new owners Gavyn Davies and his wife Baroness Sue Nye at the helm.”

Anthony advises, “The Machrie is located on the Isle of Islay off the southwest coast of Scotland. Besides the Willie Campbell golf course that opened in 1891, one of the finest links layouts in the world, there are eight distilleries producing the unique peaty-flavored, brown-hued heavenly liquid known as Islay single malt whisky.

And good on you Anthony for remembering there’s no “e” in Scotch whisky however you could have mentioned that the natives would be most impressed if you pronounce their idyllic island “Eye lah” and not “Isle lay”

Alas The Machrie Hotel is closed for accommodation but the bar is still open and if there’s insufficient time for visits to the eight world-famous malt distilleries then you can sample their produce at the bar.

Even the experts agree that some of the strongly peaty Islay malts are an acquired taste. However it was my good fortune to find one with a less peaty taste. Caol Ila (pronounced cull-eela) means, “The Sound of Islay” and the distillery is a very short distance from Port Askaig, which is one of the two main ferry terminals for the island.

It appears that new owners have established a new web site and ain’t this the truth? Well at least my truth.

“Play it twice and fall in love!” And play it twice is good advice because there’s quite a few blind shots. So you’ve got to play it once to get a feel for where you’re going the second time round.

And this from Golf Monthly, “Not long, it relies heavily on alternative means of defence, including some thought-provoking blind shots and a burn beside the pretty par-3 10th. The links follows an anti-clockwise oceanside loop from the hotel to the 12th before weaving its way home back and forth among the dunes.”

Here’s the links to Anthony and to Golf Monthly  

Quote of the Day

"No mere golfer deserves it, this extraordinary combination of beauty, solitude, and freedom!" - James Finnegan, the author of "Blasted Heaths and Blessed Greens" writing about his Machrie experience

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