News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« on: January 19, 2023, 05:04:39 PM »
We were lucky enough to spend Xmas on Islay staying at the excellent Machrie Hotel with friends. To begin, hereís  a wee taster of the accoms. Theyíre really fabulous!


The Hotel (and 18th Green):




Our two-bedroom lodge:



Very nice!


And so to the topic at hand. The weather was generally uncooperative for the playing of the golf, but Xmas Eve presented a decent opportunity to venture forth upon the Links.
This was our first time staying on site but our third playing of the Course and the first for our friends. We hadnít endured six hours of driving, a two-hour ferry and a stopover in Inveraray for nothing!


Apologies for breaking this over a few posts, but I started a long one a couple of days ago and lost the lot. This Siteís formatting gets ever worse!
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2023, 05:20:47 PM »

Thereís a LARGE number of great holes at The Machrie and itís hard to single out any one for more praise than the others, but the 17th seems to have burrowed into my brain so much that I had to go out the day after Xmas to take some photos to assist the ever-ageing FBD memory.


Hereís a quick sketch plan of the hole to help your orientation of the photos.


The dotted black line areas are the landing zones for the weak/scared (normally me!) and the bold/strong (me on this one occasion!).
The area further from the tee (playing from the bottom of the image) is some fifteen or twenty feet (apologies, European friends - trying to keep this accessible for the colonial cousins) above the first LZ. Between the two is a lovely ridge cut to fairway-length so as not to be a total hole-killer. There is an aiming pole which youíll see more of later.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2023, 05:29:38 PM »
So, at last you say, here we go!
Only 308 off the white tees, this has to be easy.



The view from the Whites ( and the first hint of the Ďeasierí LZ:



Weíre old, ever more infirm, tired, whisky-sodden (did I mention Islay has 9 distilleries?) and supposed to be enjoying our vacation, so we all (2 gents/2 ladies) moved up to the yellow tees. That was a revelation. So enjoyable.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2023, 05:44:09 PM »
So, from the yellows, the hole looks a bit more like this:



Weaker players can elect to play safe and bump something into the LZ leaving a decent lie but totally blind second. (Blindness was THE major feature of the Course though itís long history, before DJ Russell came in and reshaped and realigned a bunch of stuff making it way more tourist-friendly but perhaps arguably less interesting). Not to me! I love it.


The Ďfirstí LZ. Some lovely, flowing contours, but the line to the green is straight over that rough on the ridge. The marker pole over on the left really only indicates the line to the upper LZ from the back tees:
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2023, 05:52:20 PM »
So, here we are on the upper level, where the big-hitters (and me from the yellow tee!) can reach.



Getting there will usually lead to a good run-out to about here with this very tasty view of the green:



Yes, thatís a winter green. Hey, itís Scotland in December!
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2023, 05:57:43 PM »
The green is wonderfully framed by the surrounding dunes and makes for a very inviting target:



Anyone noticed the other feature of the hole yet?:
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2023, 06:06:08 PM »
A few shots from around the green. Wonderfully intimate, almost dell-like. A feature of many of the greens at The Machrie. Contributing to the feeling of remoteness:






The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2023, 06:15:47 PM »
Cracking view from the dune at the back of the green back up the hole towards the hotel:
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2023, 06:19:35 PM »
And a final panorama of the hole from green to the upper landing area, hopefully indicating the lovely, rolling, multi-level nature of the fairway:
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2023, 06:24:31 PM »
So, just a hole/golf course which is more than everything I want and need in design and layout. I canít recommend The Machrie highly enough. Easily amongst the must-do pilgrimages of world golf. Oh, and did I mention the nine distilleries?
Love,
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

James Brown

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2023, 08:59:48 PM »
This is so nice to see.  Making my first visit there next July.  Been on the list for a long time.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2023, 01:48:24 AM »
Looks like a really cool hole, Marty.


The first, lower landing zone you refer to doesnít really look like a choice at all though? In other words, you would never choose to lay backÖ or would you?

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2023, 05:33:00 AM »
Looks nice. And no bunkers.
atb

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2023, 05:59:16 AM »
Looks like a really cool hole, Marty.


The first, lower landing zone you refer to doesnít really look like a choice at all though? In other words, you would never choose to lay backÖ or would you?


Ally, of our foursome, only I made the further LZ - and Iím no flat-belly! From the further back tees, I definitely couldnít have made it (and havenít in the past). It was also relatively calm when we played it - Iíd hate to see it in a howling westerly. You need to jump on a wee boat and get over to see it!
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2023, 06:00:07 AM »
Looks nice. And no bunkers.
atb


Well spotted, Mr T! And the hole is perfect without.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2023, 07:03:57 PM »
This is so nice to see.  Making my first visit there next July.  Been on the list for a long time.


James,
I hope you enjoy it as much as me. I could happily be a member there and see out my remaining years enjoying the course. Honestly, it's really special. Let us have your thoughts after your visit!
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2023, 11:12:04 PM »
Marty:


Did you ever play the previous version of the course?


My impression from seeing the routing map years ago was that the 17th was one of the only holdovers from the previous routing.  I only played it once, forty years ago, in brutal conditions, but it was a standout hole then even after all the other blind approach shots.  But I think the hole was changed to add the alternate fairway, or at least that wasnít a practical alternative the day I played it.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2023, 06:57:21 AM »
Tom,
Iím ashamed to admit our first trip to Islay was only four years ago, so never got the chance to see the old layout. I managed to find (only a couple of weeks ago) this on eBay:

So Iíve been devouring the contents!


There are a few plans included in the book showing the changes over the years, so Iíve been overlaying them on Google maps trying to decipher the development of the links. Quite a few alterations!:



Fascinating stuff,
Cheers,
MB.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Peter Sayegh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2023, 07:45:02 AM »
Martin, thanks for the pics. Glad you enjoyed your stay.

I was going to ask you if there was a picture of the original plans in the clubhouse. Is the one shared above from the book? If so, are the original yardages mentioned? The club website has them listed under a rendition of the plans and I can't believe the distances. Must've been some stout threes...or just one or two of them. Are there pictures of the original greenS on number eight? Were the alternate greens (and the alternate tees on nine) a seasonal option or just a shorter routing?
https://themachrie.com/the-golf/the-transformation-of-the-machrie/

Sorry for the homework. Your post pushed me to look into the place.
Peter

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2023, 08:23:00 AM »
Peter


Check out page 5, post 103 of Ed Oden's thread on compilation of routing plans. It has the plan and the individual hole lengths although it doesn't state the length of the extended 8th which in the article attached to the plan was stated as being 750 yards while the extended 9th was 620 yards.


Must have been a lot of flat bellies back then  ;D


Niall

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2023, 08:45:43 AM »
Gents,
The book has a series of plans from 1891 to 1979. Iím currently overlaying them on to Google Earth to try to unravel all the changes.
Hereís the table of lengths (also from the book) showing the originals:

Nothing under 200 yards - and as for the 8th and 9th!!! Eek! Although the book says they were abandoned fairly early.
Cheers,
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Peter Sayegh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2023, 11:02:43 AM »
Thanks Nial, Martin.
Martin, what are the present short holes? How do they play?
Peter

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Photo Essay: The Machrie, Islay, ehm, Scotland - Hole 17
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2023, 11:42:19 AM »
Thanks Nial, Martin.
Martin, what are the present short holes? How do they play?
Peter


Peter,
No better way than seeing them in the flesh/grass:


https://themachrie.com/the-golf/hole-3/


https://themachrie.com/the-golf/hole-9/


https://themachrie.com/the-golf/hole-14/


Interestingly, the ninth and fourteenth have had bunkering added since these aerials. The fourteenth actually being redone while we were there.
Cheers,
M.

The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back