Turnberry Ailsa Course
Turnberry has long been described as a ‘jewel in the crown’ of Ayrshire and Scottish golf. Set alongside the glorious Ayrshire coastline, with Arran and Ailsa Craig as a stunning backdrop, it is indeed one of the finest golfing destinations in the world. Home to four Open Championships, Ailsa has shaped some of the most remarkable moments in the tournament’s history. In 1977, the Ailsa played host to the famous Duel in the Sun, where Tom Watson triumphed against Jack Nicklaus in an epic battle. Norman, Price and most recently Stewart Cink are the others to have won the famous Claret Jug on the coveted Turnberry course.
Dundonald Links opened for play in 2003 and has already been recognized as one of the best new courses in the world. This Kyle Phillips’ designed links will host the prestigious Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open in 2017, the first course to host both the gents and ladies’ tournaments back to back and is now recognized as one of Golf’s “must play” courses. The generous fairways and undulating greens partnered with a wide choice of teeing options offers a challenging and enjoyable test of golf to players of all abilities. Its coastal location and links conditions allows this golfing experience all year round.
Western Gailes Golf Club
Situated close to Royal Troon and Turnberry on the famed Ayrshire Coast, Western Gailes has played host to many major events, such as the Curtis Cup, Scottish PGA Championships and Scottish Amateur Championships. Also, a frequently used venue for British Open Final Qualifying, Western Gailes is generally accepted as a difficult course. Positioned between the railway lines and the sea, its narrow fairways demand accurate tee shots and with so many greens tucked away in little hollows or dells, the course presents an excellent test of skill, patience and concentration.
Royal Troon Golf Club
One of the great links courses in Scotland and a regular host to The Open Championship, the Old Course is a challenging test of golfing ability. The course, which took its current form in 1888, is designed in the traditional out and back manner of the Old Course at St Andrews. A gentle opening few holes and relatively straightforward closing stretch are the bookends for a series of holes which weave up, round and through some of the most striking links land to be found at any of the host venues. This character makes the strength and direction of the wind even more important than is usual on a links course: if the wind is against the players on the back nine, it’s as tough a finish as can be found anywhere.
Gailes Links Golf Course
The links of Glasgow Gailes is owned and run by Glasgow Golf Club. And though the current layout of this course is based on Willie Park’s design in 1912, the club’s origins date back to 1787, thus making it the ninth oldest golf club in the world. While the course generally plays approximately a half mile from the shore, rest assured that this does not protect the golfer from the usually strong, swirling and often Machiavellian, firth winds. The inherent challenge of Glasgow Gailes is stiffened by its heather lined fairways, which when in full bloom during summer months often results in heartbreak for the less than accurate strike.
Prestwick Golf Club
Founded in 1851, Prestwick Golf Club will forever be remembered as the birthplace of the Open Championship. In total, Prestwick has hosted the Open Championship on 24 occasions, the last time in 1926, after which the crowds were deemed too large for the venue. Protected by the meandering waters of “Pow Burn”, Prestwick boasts a unique array of holes with significant amounts of heather and gorse, which when combined with some typically hellish Scottish bunkers can often ruin an otherwise respectable score. Definitely worth a visit!