Changing times at Machrie Bay Golf Club

New greenkeeper Willie McNally at Machrie Bay golf course.

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Machrie Bay golf course, the nine-hole family friendly layout on the west side of the island, is once again being managed by the golf club committee.

For the last 20 years, Dougarie Estate, the landlords, have been running the course, but now the club is again doing what it did for the previous 100 years.

A new greenkeeper, Willie McNally, has been appointed, new machinery acquired and many more committee meetings are being held.


Since the course’s inception in 1900, the club maintained the course as a family friendly one, with wide fairways, not too much rough and not very long holes so that even beginners could get around it.

But the greens were always kept fast and true and with the subtle slopes on them, putting needed skill and it was difficult for even an experienced golfer to record a sub par score. The course record stands at 62 gross, the same as the gents SSS.

The green fees for the course were kept at a reasonable level; the membership fee for the club was the cheapest on the island, and a large body of supporters, coming for their holidays and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, made for a vibrant, successful golfing community.

The club is determined to once again raise the profile of golf at Machrie, especially for families, with children of 12 and under playing golf free – when accompanied by a full paying adult.


The tea room in the hall is a very pleasant place to enjoy a cuppa and delicious snack or light meal.

The tennis court has been restored to use and the putting green is still good fun.

The committee members are working hard to ensure that the club and course continue for as long as there are people wanting to play and join.

And to celebrate the return of the course management to the club, an Open Golf Day will be held on August 14, open to all, golfers and non-golfers alike.

And the Ladies Open Texas Scramble returns this year on July 7. So get over to Machrie and enjoy!

Elizabeth Ross

The new greenkeeper Willie McNally at Machrie Bay golf course.