The Ailsa course at the Turnberry resort is probably the most scenic Open Championship golf course. The stretch of holes from the 4th to the 11th is thrilling and the scenery breathtaking; the last four holes are as demanding as you will find anywhere. The course underwent major changes during 2015/16 with a number of the holes now making full use of the shoreline’s potential, demanding shots played across rocks and waves. The famous lighthouse has also now been transformed into one of the most amazing halfway houses in golf. The former Kintyre course has now been significantly upgraded and opened in 2017 as The King Robert the Bruce course.
Royal Troon Golf Club
Troon Golf Club was awarded Royal status in 1978 to celebrate its centenary and has since been known as Royal Troon Golf Club. One of the great links courses in Scotland, the Old course is a challenging test of golfing ability. Although the course measures over 7,000 yds, line is more important than distance from the tee.Bunkers are everywhere with the majority not visible from the tees. There’s also plenty of deep rough and a good smattering of gorse and broom to punish any wayward shot.
Prestwick Golf Club
As the “Birthplace of The Open“ Prestwick is a traditional monument to the game, featuring an authentic layout of holes snaking through rugged dunes and rippled fairways. You will be faced with numerous blind shots; most notably on the 5th hole Himalayas requiring a tee shot over a huge sand dune. Assuming you can avoid the cavernous, sleepered bunkers, the greens are notoriously firm and fast.The majority of greens are relatively small and all have wicked borrows to negotiate.
Prestwick is quirky, testing and great fun. Every keen student of golf course architecture simply has to tick this one off their list.
Gailes Links Golf Course
The opening of Gailes made Glasgow Golf Club unique, with two courses a mere 30 miles apart. This is a tough, classic links layout and Gailes is well established as a final qualifying venue for the Open Championship. With wild heather and gorse defining the fairways, the beautifully presented greens are guarded by numerous, strategically placed bunkers.
Western Gailes Golf Club
Located on one of Ayrshire’s narrowest strips of links land, Western Gailes was founded by four Glaswegians in 1897. Without doubt it presents a very challenging test of anyone’s golf game.The westerly “breeze“ can be ferocious. The greens are fast, firm and subtly contoured. For many dedicated links enthusiasts this is as good as it gets.
Located alongside the classic layouts of Kilmarnock Barassie, Glasgow Gailes and Western Gailes, the Kyle Phillips designed Dundonald Links is clearly situated in prime Ayrshire golf country.
Opening in 2005 Dundonald endured a challenging early history.However after successfully hosting the 2017 Scottish Open, undergoing a change of ownership in 2019 and now benefitting from a multi million pounds investment in course upgrades, a new clubhouse and luxury lodging accommodation, Dundonald looks certain to re-establish itself as a modern first class facility for visiting golfers.
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club is located on the outskirts of Troon. Established at its present site since 1894, Barassie has hosted a number of both amateur and professional events including Open Championship final qualifying. This classic links has everything including undulating fairways, fine conditioning and lightning fast greens.