Islay Life

Learn more about the locals’ relationship with the golf course

Islay Golf Club is a historic private members club founded on Friday 22nd May 1891, which has its home at The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links. Mrs Ramsay of Kildalton formally opened the course by striking off the first ball.

Immediately thereafter a 36-hole match was played between Willie Campbell (course architect), Bridge of Weir, and Willie Fernie, Troon. Campbellā€™s knowledge of the course stood him in good stead, especially in the first round which resulted in his being 5 up. He ultimately won by 7 and 6.

Islay Golf Club continues to have its home at the Machrie Links and many Islay residents play an active part in the club. We spoke to some of them.

Discover some of the people who make life
on Islay so unique and fascinating…

Paul Graham

Paul is the visitor centre operations manager at Ardnahoe Distillery, as well as a member at Islay Golf Club, whose home course is The Machrie.

Maggie Pollard

Maggie returned to Islay, after several years living on the mainland and has since become a proud member of Islay Golf Club, whose home course is The Machrie

Sam Johnston

Sam is a production operator at the Laphroaig whisky distillery and the former captain of Islay Golf Club

Jess McMillan

Jess arrived on Islay in the early 2000s and volunteered on an RSPB reserve. Since then she has moved to a farm with her husband, who is an Islay native, where she hones her golfing skills by hitting balls into the fields when farming gets in the way of golf.

James Brown

James’s Octomore on Islay Farm is home to a herd of Highland Cattle