Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club Named IAGTO Sustainability Award Winner

village-at-mach-dunesMachrihanish Dunes Golf Club Named IAGTO Sustainability Award Winner
Scottish Course Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf
(ARGYLL, Scotland) – It was announced today that Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club in Machrihanish, Scotland has been named the recipient of the Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf Award by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), in partnership with GEO (Golf Environmental Organization). This IAGTO Sustainability Award was given to Machrihanish Dunes in recognition of its “outstanding and inspiring work as a minimal-impact golf course, in harmony with its natural environment.”

In announcing this discretionary award, GEO noted that it was given in recognition of Machrihanish Dunes’ “exemplary and ongoing commitment to sustainability, and highlights the exceptional contributions or actions which have been brought to GEO’s attention through certification, media coverage and other award entries.”

Machrihanish Dunes was the first 18-hole golf course in the United Kingdom to earn GEO certification, an honor that it achieved in 2010. The 18-hole links golf course located on the west coast of Scotland was designed by David McLay Kidd and is sited on an environmentally protected Site of Special Scientific Interest. Of the 259 acres upon which the course sits, only seven were modified during the creation of the course—just greens and tees—with no heavy equipment or inorganic materials used. Throughout the course-creation process and in all the years since, Machrihanish Dunes has worked hand-in-glove with Scottish Natural Heritage to ensure that the site’s fragile ecosystem (and in particular its protected species of rare orchids and moths) is managed and nurtured in the most sustainable way possible.

Among its many other on- and off-course efforts, the club’s rough-management program to protect the orchids, manual removal of invasive weeds, careful management of ragwort to safeguard the health of moths, and commitment to increasing the percentages of perennial grasses in fine turf areas are just a few examples of the programs that Machrihanish Dunes follows to safeguard its coastal environment—as is the distribution of nesting boxes around the course for the benefit of the visiting wheateater population. In addition, Machrihanish Dunes has demonstrated a strong and ongoing commitment to community. The club focuses at all times on the use of local suppliers and is a key contributor to area environmental and charitable efforts. It believes in holistic sustainability that touches upon every aspect of its place in the Kintyre community, and through its charitable arm, The Kintyre Club, has had a positive impact on dozens of worthy causes and thousands of area residents’ lives.

“Machrihanish Dunes have, from the course’s inception through to today, worked in harmony with the natural environment,” explained Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO. “In many ways the Machrihanish Dunes project represents golf’s turning point back towards stunning, highly naturalised courses. Their commitment and actions to use natural resources efficiently and provide positive community value also factored into our desire award them this significant recognition.”

IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton commented: “Machrihanish Dunes have been an IAGTO member for 10 years, were the UK’s first GEO-certified course and have been nominated every year since our inaugural Sustainability Awards back in 2012. It is courses like Machrihanish Dunes and their management that are driving sustainability forward in new and innovative ways and they are enormously deserving of the special accolade bestowed upon them this year.”

“We are thrilled to have received this special award from GEO and IAGTO,” said David Southworth, Founder and CEO of Southworth Development, the parent company of The Village at Machrihanish Dunes. “Our company places great importance on being good stewards of the environment, and Machrihanish Dunes has shown that it’s possible to provide an even more elevated experience to visitors by putting ecological responsibilities at the forefront. We consider ourselves privileged to have the opportunity to stand watch over this precious shore land, and to make it possible for so many people to come to Machrihanish and enjoy it. It’s a responsibility that we welcome—and one that we also take very seriously.”

Each year, IAGTO, in partnership with GEO, celebrates the outstanding sustainability efforts and accomplishments of golf facilities, resorts and destinations around the world. Currently in its fifth year, the IAGTO Sustainability Awards are presented at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) annual gala dinner. In addition to the Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf Award given to Machrihanish Dunes, awards are also given to a Sustainable Destination of the year and individual facilities in three key areas: Nature, Resources, and Community. The 2017 IGTM gala dinner was held at Son Amar in Palma, Mallorca, Spain. For more information about the 2017 IAGTO Sustainability Awards and to download high resolution photos and logos, please visit:

About The Village at Machrihanish Dunes

The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, voted “Scotland’s Best Experience” by readers of Bunkered Magazine in 2013, is a world-class seaside resort featuring a U.K. Top-100 links golf course, four-star accommodations, casual and fine dining options, a boutique spa, plus a host of other resort amenities, all located in one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions.  The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages in Machrihanish offer 22 rooms and suites plus 8 luxurious two-bedroom cottages which are also offered for sale on a freehold fractional basis. The Royal Hotel, with 23 rooms all overlooking Campbeltown Harbour, is located in downtown Campbeltown, a mere 5 miles away.  The resort is ideally suited for golfers, non-golf visitors, golf group visits, family reunions, corporate meetings, events and retreats, weddings and other social functions, and more.  The course, the first 18-hole course in the U.K. to earn certification from the Golf Environmental Organization, is consistently ranked as one of the most ecologically-friendly courses in the world.  Designed by David McLay-Kidd, it opened in 2009 on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the first course ever to be built on such a site and also the first to be built on the west coast of Scotland in over 100 years.   For more information on The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, visit

About Southworth Development 
Founded by David Southworth, Southworth Development LLC is a privately held company specializing in the development of residential resort and hospitality-branded real estate communities. Southworth’s expertise includes master-planned community development, real estate asset management, golf course construction management, and resort and golf operations management. Southworth’s award-winning communities include:

The Village at Machrihanish Dunes
– a celebrated historic project on the west coast of Scotland consisting of a U.K. Top-100, 18-hole, David McLay Kidd-designed seaside links course, two historic Scottish hotels, single-family residential home sites and fractional ownership golf cottage units.

Creighton Farms – an exclusive residential golf community located in Virginia’s prestigious Loudoun County and featuring a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, 964 acres of beautiful Virginia horse-country home sites for the community’s elegant Legacy Homes and Villas, a majestic 34,000-square-foot clubhouse and a host of other wonderful amenities.

Meredith Bay
– a luxury residential gated community with single-family home sites, townhomes, condominiums and a wide range of other community activities and amenities located on New Hampshire’s famed Lake Winnipesaukee.

Renaissance – a private golf club whose course was named the U.S. national “Course of the Year” in 2012 by the New England Golf Course Owners Association, Renaissance consists of an 18-hole Brian Silva Signature championship golf course a spectacular American Shingle-Style clubhouse, and many other club amenities. It is located on Boston’s North Shore.

The Abaco Club on Winding Bay – A spectacular tropic club and community on Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas, The Abaco Club offers the No. 1-ranked golf course in The Bahamas, 2.5 miles of pristine beach, a wide variety of oceanfront and oceanview homes and home sites, and much more. Home to 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke, the club will play host to a Tour event in 2017: The Abaco Classic.

Willowbend – Created in 1992 by Paul Fireman and David Southworth, Willowbend has earned a reputation as New England’s premier private club community. Featuring 27 holes of award-winning championship golf, luxurious estate homes and villas, a world-class tennis facility, Olympic-sized pool, state-of-the-art fitness facility and spa, plus elegant gourmet dining, Willowbend has long been considered Cape Cod’s most prestigious and exclusive private enclave.

Southworth Development LLC, through its affiliated companies, is the primary owner, developer and manager of Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club and luxury accommodations in both Machrihanish and Campbeltown, Scotland.

Editor’s Note:
Grants to the restoration of the Ugadale Hotel in Machrihanish and The Royal Hotel in Campbeltown in cooperation with: Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding support; the Campbeltown Town Centre Regeneration Project (Argyll & Bute Council), a special grant to the Royal Hotel by the Scottish Ministers, through Historic Scotland under the Historic Environment Regeneration Fund.