Darwin expands golf portfolio with Dundonald acquisition

  • Dundonald

    UK holiday firm Darwin Escapes has purchased Dundonald Links for £4.5 million

  • Dundonald

    The championship course was designed by Kyle Phillips and opened in 2013

  • Dundonald

    Phillips said he wanted to “create a championship Ayrshire links that felt and played as though it was an old, rediscovered course”

  • Dundonald

    The club was previously owned by Loch Lomond Golf Club

  • Dundonald

    Dundonald Links hosted the Scottish Open in 2017

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Darwin Escapes has expanded its golf portfolio with the £4.5 million purchase of Dundonald Links near Troon, Scotland, from Loch Lomond Golf Club.

The club’s course was designed by Kyle Phillips and opened in 2003. It is regularly-ranked among the UK’s best and hosted the Scottish Open in 2017. The acquisition represents another step into golf for Darwin Escapes. The holiday firm is currently working with Brian Huggett and Tim Lobb on the redesign of The Springs in Oxfordshire, which it bought in July 2017, and owns The KP Club in Yorkshire.

Darwin’s initial plans for Dundonald are focused on accommodation and the clubhouse. Managing director Lindsey Esse said: “Whilst the Dundonald Links golf course is world class, we feel that its supporting facilities do not match this standard and we aim to develop Dundonald Links into a leading golf resort with luxury self-catering lodge accommodation and a new, state of the art clubhouse with a premium food and beverage offering, as well as a range of leisure and golf facilities. In our wish-list, subject to planning, are a spa and an indoor golf performance centre.

“This will make Dundonald Links a unique proposition in the local area, which we hope will attract both golfers and non-golfers to holiday in this beautiful setting and will put us in the frame to host European Tour events.”

Dundonald Links was opened in 2003 with a design inspired by Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes. At the time, Kyle Phillips said that his intention was to “create a championship Ayrshire links that felt and played as though it was an old, rediscovered course”.

Club manager Ian Ferguson said: “I am so pleased that Dundonald Links has been acquired by Darwin as their enthusiasm for this wonderful golf club matches that of myself and all of the team at Dundonald. Their ambitious plans to regenerate the facilities will ensure that Dundonald Links ranks alongside Scotland’s finest courses. I’m sure our members will all welcome the changes that are being planned and I look forward to working with our new owners to implement them.”

“Scotland is a hugely popular holiday destination and we have been exploring options in Scotland for some time now,” said Esse. “Dundonald Links provided the perfect opportunity to allow us to expand the Darwin Escapes portfolio into Scotland and we will continue to look for other opportunities in the region.”