A highlight of an interrupted sporting year was undoubtedly 18 holes at the spectacular Ardfin golf course on the Isle of Jura, tucked away on the rugged West Coast of Scotland.
Having walked the site in 2014 as the course was being laid out, and seeing the enormity of the project in front of them, Ardfin is a staggering achievement of patience, design and investment. What Australian architect Bob Harrison and his team have created, with the considerable backing of Ardfin owner Greg Coffey, is quite simply brilliant and must surely rank amongst the most beautiful courses in the world.
Designed initially as a private course for Mr Coffey and his friends, there has always been a huge degree of intrigue about Ardfin. Not least due to the remoteness of the location and the considerable effort that has gone into the development. Harrison originally thought it was joke when he was first shown the site! For a few years it seemed that only a handful of people had ever played the course and any reviews were non-existent. With tee-times now available and golfers able to stay in the new quadrangle of superb rooms, the mystique is slowly lifting and the emergence of a world class golf experience is clear.
Make no mistake the course is a proper challenge, but one that has to be embraced as a trade off for the exhilarating views that define the course. Dramatic courses perched on cliff tops, wiggling along the shore and exposed to mother nature, are never going to be walks in the park. The greens are small, and if you stray off line anywhere from tee to green you are severely punished. Keep the ball where you can see it and enjoy the views from the fairway.
The course has three distinct parts to it. The first seven holes lie to the East of Jura House, the next seven holes wiggle dramatically along the shoreline past the Boat House, with four tough holes back up the hill to finish. There are a handful of holes that must be considered for most golfers lists of favourite holes in the UK. The stretch from the 8th to the 12th along the shoreline is quite simply as good as it gets.
Rather than describe each hole in detail, the best way to get a sense of the place is through this brilliant flyover of the course.
Ardfin is obviously worth the travel time to play on its own, and flights from Glasgow to the neighbouring island of Islay fly daily. But just five minutes from Islay airport lies the recently redesigned Machrie golf course which acts as the perfect warm up round before the challenges of Ardfin. The two courses now combine for a true bucket-list golfing destination. It is holiday golf at its very best.
Golf in the UK for mid and late summer look one of the safest bets for travel opportunities this year. So for help arranging a trip to Ardfin, or any other UK golfing destination, please do get in touch and we would be glad to help you plan the perfect golfing adventure.