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Our selected golf courses: Turnberry - Royal Troon - Prestwick

Turnberry Ailsa golf course Turnberry - Ailsa  Architect: Mackenzie Ross (1906)  18 holes: 6,279yds: par 70.

What can we say about such a fabled course?  Scenes from so many Opens have been played out along these shores - remember the Duel in the Sun in 1977 and Tom Watson coming oh so close to grasping the Claret Jug again in 2009?  The drama unfolds under the watchful eye of Ailsa Craig and the famous Turnberry lighthouse standing guard over the wonderful stretch of oceanside holes. Quite simply, a "must-play" course for all self-respecting golfers at some stage in their careers.

Turnberry Kintyre Golf Club Turnberry - Kintyre   Architect: Mackenzie Ross (1945)   18 holes: 6,268yds: par 72.

Originally known as the Arran course and created in 1909 it was resculpted after the war by Mackenzie Ross and completely overhauled in 1999 by Donald Steel, following which the course was renamed.
It is now a suitable complement to the Ailsa.  The bulk of the holes are carved out of dense gorse bushes: beautiful to look at, burning yellow in the Summer, but the final resting place of many a golf ball.  Around the turn the course breaks out onto the coast with fine views over the Ailsa course to the Lighhouse.  Make no mistake, Turnberry Kintyre is in no way the "soft option", you will need plenty of links playing skills to subdue the Kintyre golf course.


Other courses nearby in Ayrshire

Royal Troon Golf ClubRoyal Troon  Architect: W. Ferrie (1878)  18 holes: 6,435yds: par 71

Another of the "greats" in this rich golfing corner of Scotland.  Probably most renowned for its short but deadly par three 8th - the "Postage Stamp".  From where on in the course just keeps getting tougher.  Has hosted the Open on numerous occasions and as you stroll down the 18th, you'll be left in no doubt as to the reasons why.

Troon Portland Golf Club

Troon Portland
Architect: W. Ferrie (1895)
18 holes: 6,289yds: par 71.
The "second" course at Troon, which any where else would make a very good "first" course.  Inland from the sea and behind the Marine Hotel Portland is a very good traditional links that makes a great hors d'œuvre before tackling the main course.  The is more relief to the land and plenty of gorse and deep bunkering that as is common in these parts will make you think through your shots carefully.  Small Clubhouse with plenty of locals providing a genuine Ayrshire atmosphere.

Architect: Unknown (1851)
18 holes: 6,910yds: par 71
The first ever Open Championship was played at Prestwick and for that reason alone it retains a special place in our golfing folklore. The course itself is quite quirky: when you step onto the First Tee there is a diagram on the wall that indicates how to go about reaching the Green.  Further around you will play shots at invisible targets, so taking at least one caddie in your party is a very good idea!

Prestwick Golf Club
Kilmarnock Barrassie Golf Club Kilmarnock - Barassie  Architect: T. Moon (1887)   18 holes: 6,203yds: par 72

A little to the north of Troon lies an unrivalled treasure trove of links golf: Kilmarnock Barassie, Western Gailes and Dundonald Links stretch across the countryside seemingly from horizon to horizon.  Of the three, Kilmarnock Barassie enjoys the most sheltered inland setting and consequently has pines trees and swathes of gorse on its more substantial soil.  These, together with the hummocks and hollows of the dunes makes for a fascinating game of golf.  Staying out of the treacherous rough is key to building a good score at Kilmarnock.
Another outstanding test of golf that is frequently overlooked by many visiting the area; don't make that mistake too.

Prestwick St. Nicholas Golf Club Prestwick St. Nicholas   Architect: C. Hunter & J. Allan (1892)  18 holes: 5,416yds: par 69

The locals appear to keep this course a closely guarded secret and it's easy to see why.  Although shorter on paper it can seem a lot longer on grass, especially when you add up the length of putts you can leave yourself on these slick swirling Greens.  A Club where you will be playing alongside the locals and no doubt be treated to a few Scottish tales.

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Guest Comments

"A great trip, I will never forget our day at Royal Troon - a very special place."
Mr. M. Taylor - London



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