An Irvine golf course and host of the Scottish Open has been bought for £4.5 million.

Dundonald Links, considered to be among the 100 finest golf courses in the world, has been acquired by Welsh company Darwin Escapes from previous owners Loch Lomond Golf Club.

Darwin Escapes, already operates 22 award-winning lodge resorts, holiday parks and golf courses around the UK, says its anticipates creating a number of new jobs at the resort as a result of its investment.

The firm, which made a multi-million pound investment to upgrade the clubhouse facilities and course at The Springs in Oxfordshire says it has similarly ambitious plans to transform the clubhouse at Dundonald Links.

They plan to create a state-of-the-art facility with high quality leisure and dining options and a market-leading indoor golf performance centre.

Lindsey Esse, Managing Director of Darwin Escapes, said: “We are delighted to have acquired our first resort in Scotland and for it to be the prestigious Dundonald Links, which is much loved by golfers around the world.

“We plan to make a significant investment to ensure that the clubhouse facilities are worthy of this wonderful course.

“Darwin Escapes prides itself on outstanding levels of service and quality and I’m sure that this acquisition will only be positive for members and visitors to Dundonald Links.”

The 18-hole championship links, designed by Kyle Phillips, has hosted both the Men’s and Women’s Scottish Open in recent years.