MNN Galleries

5 of the greenest golf courses in the world

June 17, 2011, 12:57 p.m.
View from the 12th hole toward the green

Photo: Machrihanish Dunes

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Machrihanish Dunes, Cambeltown, Scotland

Machrihanish Dunes is well-named and is situated on a large system of dunes on the coast of Scotland. The dunes are planted with native grasses that stabilize them and provide habitat for birds, insects, rabbits, lizards, deer, fox and otter. Rough, untouched grassland accounts for 171 acres, and seasonal wetlands cover another five acres. Like Mirimichi, Machrihanish Dunes is GEO Certified by the Golf Environment Organization for its work down the greener path. In 2004, Machrihanish Dunes did a baseline survey of the plants, animals and habitats found within its borders and developed a detailed operations plan that places a premium on ecological protection and improvement. The list of plants and animals found in the survey is staggering — you'll find the small fruited yellow sedge, wild thyme, the lesser meadow-rue, the sand martin, the peregrine falcon, the raven, the buzzard and the otter — all within shouting distance of a fairway.