Machrihanish is the real jewel, one of the best Scottish links. The famous 6228 yards course is about 12 miles across the sea from western Scotland on the Mull of Kintyre, and if it were more accessible it would be the good venue for a tour event, maybe even The Open Championship itself. In 1876, Queen Victoria was named Empress of India, golf writer Bernard Darwin was born, the Toronto Golf Club was incorporated and the Kintyre Golf Club was formed. By 1888, Kintyre was felt too dull a name for such a special course and it was changed "in consequence of some members preferring the sonorousness of the word Machrihanish." Suffice it to say that Machrihanish offers a series of fourteen holes the likes of which you will find nowhere else. These include a multitude of intriguing blind shots across the most appealing undulations, to immaculate greens kept by a crew of four and the nurturing temperate winds of the Gulf Stream. The first hole is a demanding 423 yard par-four, playing across the bay and beach to a wide expanse of fairway, and then on to a semi-plateau of a green. From then on, until the 15th hole, you will be just itching to play every hole. They are all gems, and although there are a few blind shots from both the tee and the fairway, the challenge does not lessen. In the clubhouse, you are quickly made to feel at home, and there are warm meals.