Legendary designer hails his “amazing” Dundonald Links ahead of final Open qualifying
Renowned golf course architect Kyle Phillips believes the “rhythm of the golf course” will be key when Open Championship hopefuls take on his Dundonald Links layout in Final Qualifying this month.
Visiting the Ayrshire resort ahead of the event, Phillips alluded to some of the challenges players like PGA Championship hero Michael Block can expect to face on July 4 as they make a last-ditch charge to play in golf’s oldest Major Championship. Those who succeed at Dundonald Links – as well as at the three other Final Qualifying venues across the UK – will earn a coveted place in the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club from July 20-23.
On the characteristics of his championship layout, Phillips said: “More than just a great hole or a couple of great holes, it is about the rhythm of the golf course. One thing people describe to me is the variety of the shots they have to play during the round.
“Certainly, how players manage the breezes that come off the sea always has a big factor in who the ultimate winner is, and being able to recover from around the green is always a big part of playing here.”
Dundonald Links is certainly no stranger to hosting top-level tournaments, having welcomed several prestigious events such as the Boys Amateur Championship in 2014, as well as the DP World Tour’s Scottish Open in 2017. Since 2022, the venue has been home to the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open.
Phillips initially masterminded Dundonald’s par-72 course at the start of the century, later returning to oversee renovations in 2013 and 2021. Refining several key tee boxes and bunkers, The American’s latest redesign was part of a lucrative investment by owners Darwin Escapes to transform the popular club into one of the UK’s finest golf resorts.
Phillips – whose other design masterpieces include the acclaimed Verdura Resort in Sicily and Scotland’s Kingsbarns Golf Links – also praised Dundonald’s luxurious new accommodation and facilities. Putting greens designed by Phillips are surrounded by spacious lodges, while golfers can also opt to stay in the resort’s on-site hotel.
“That’s where you want to be. You can meet your friends here or even meet new friends around the putting greens – there are three different complexes and each has a different putting green in front of it.
“There are barbeque areas, areas just to sit out and enjoy the evening or even take a stroll near the golf course. It’s such a great time whether you’re just a fourball or you’ve got a group of 16.”
After what promises to be an unforgettable day of golf, players can dine at the stunning Canny Crow restaurant, situated on the first floor of the clubhouse with views overlooking the course. Meanwhile, the adjoining Whisky Room is stocked with rare tipples and popular favourites from around the world.
C/O IAGTO 26th June 2023