Ardfin is a country estate on the island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
The ancient 12,000 acre estate is home to Jura House.
It was purchased in 2010 by Australian hedge fund manager Greg Coffey.
Coffey engaged Aussie architect Bob Harrison to create a golf course worthy of it’s idyllic surroundings on the Jura coast.
Harrison had for many years assisted Greg Norman in his golf course design venture.
He was lead designer on a number of impressive projects including:
- The Moonah at The National
- The Grand
- The Glades
- Pelican Waters, and
Ardfin Golf Course opened for play in 2017.
In designing Ardfin, Bob Harrison had a vast landscape- but not one normally associated with great golf.
It is not a sand based course, but rather is built in rocky terrain along spectacular clifftops overlooking the sea.
Harrison routed 10 holes along the cliffs creating a series of challenging and drop dead gorgeous golf holes.
I know of no other course around the world that is so dramatic for so many holes.
This is not to ignore the holes not immediately on the coast.
The last four holes are a championship finish, and although not located right on the clifftops, do have extensive sea views.
On the front nine holes three and four are a nice change up playing through some marshland.
Then five & six move slightly inland with a completely different feel again.
These holes are defined by the rock walls they play through.
The 5th reminds me of The Road hole with a green located at the junction of two walls and protected by one well placed pot bunker..
Ardfin is not an overly long course, but is quite tight off the tee on a number of holes.
Harrison challenges the golfer to think his way around, rather than overpower the course.
Golfers will definitely benefit from repeat playing and knowing the lines of play.
One would imagine that Ardfin would be subject some wild weather at times.
We were blessed with two glorious days for our stay, but the site is very exposed.
It could get a tad difficult when the weather comes in..
It should also be mentioned that the accommodation and services at Ardfin are just as special as the course itself.
With only small numbers visiting at any given time, the visitor is made to feel very special.
Picnic lunch at the halfway hut is a delight!
For golfers the par 3 course is a nice addition, and another more substantial short course was underway when we visited.
With gardens and a private beach to explore it becomes a memorable getaway indeed.
Notable holes include:
- hole 1 (Mrs Macquaries Chair), a spectacular, dramatic opening par 4 on the cliffs- see pic top of page
- hole 2 (Seaweed Path), an epic long par 3 over a chasm
- hole 8 (Campbell's Garden), a gorgeous short strategic par 4- it is a unique hole
- hole 9 (Stone Age Barrier), another dramatic clifftop par 4 with views to die for.
- hole 10 (Douglas Cave), a long and rather unusual par 3 with a long carry from clifftop tees to a distant half hidden flag.
- hole 11 (Bruce's Fleet), a really nice change up with the fairway falling to sea level where the approach to the green is over marshland, but with a spectacular sea backdrop.
- hole 12 (The Boathouse), a long par 3 over the beach to a green set against the cliffs
- hole 19, a short little par three off a tiny tee set on a clifftop ledge to a green tucked in the trees
Ardfin is one of 'the great golf experiences'.
The combination of a drop dead gorgeous golf course, with 6 star service and accommodation on a remote island location is irresistable.
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For suggested destinations see: Golf Destinations- Scotland
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