The Open Championship was last played in Ayrshire in 2016 when the 145th Open Championship was played at Royal Troon where Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson famously went toe-to-toe on the final day before the Swede eventually won..
It was the ninth time The Openp has been held over the famous links. Previously, it was played at Royal Troon in 2004 when American Todd Hamilton held off three-time major champion Ernie Els in a play-off.
Royal Troon is a wonderful test of links golf at its best. Should the wind blow over this famous links then every club in the bag will be tested. Royal Troon continues to stage many R&A amateur events.
This famous Open Championship venue needs little introduction and is one of the finest golf destinations anywhere in the world. Turnberry was the setting one of the finest sporting occasions of all time almost took place when Tom Watson came so close to landing the Claret Jug for a sixth time when just shy of his 60th birthday in 2009.
Turnberry is only 30 minutes by car from our two award winning SimpsInns hotels, which makes for the ideal base to stay at affordable prices before walking in the footsteps of legends around Turnberry.
World class facilities and two wonderful courses await at Turnberry with the championship Ailsa and Kintyre courses.
The inaugural Open Championship was contested among only these eight entrants, all of whom were professionals of sorts, either caddies or club or ball makers. The Prestwick Club recognised the gathering’s importance to professional golf and proposed that the tournament be held over 36 holes of medal play. It would be open to professional golfers from all clubs. Ironically, the idea was greeted with little enthusiasm by the other clubs concerned and, in the end; Prestwick decided to go it alone.
The first players teed off at 12 noon and the entire field had completed the 36 holes before dark. This is in marked contrast to the modern Championship, which now takes four days to complete. Willie Park won that first Open with a score of 174, which gave him a two stroke lead over Tom Morris, who had moved to Prestwick from St Andrews to be Keeper of the Green in 1851.
And the rest truly is, as they say, history. Prestwick went on to host the Open Championship a total of 24 times before being retired after the 1925 event.
In February 2003, Loch Lomond Golf Club acquired a new links course near Troon in Ayrshire. It was intended to not only enhance the club's prominence within international circles but also to provide its esteemed international membership with a challenging alternative links venue.
Designed by the highly respected golf course architect Kyle Phillips, best known in the UK for Kingsbarns and The Grove, the 7,100-yard, par 72 course is located about an hour"s drive south west of Loch Lomond and five minutes from Prestwick International Airport. It was inspired by the timeless architecture of the great Ayrshire links courses of Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes, all connected by the historic rail line.
In its short history, Dundonald Links has quickly become recognised as one of Europe’s "must play” new links courses. It has already hosted the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy event, as well as qualifying for the Senior British Open Championship.
Western Gailes Golf Club lies between Irvine Bay and the railway on Ayrshire's prodigious stretch of links coastline.
Formed in 1897, the Club has hosted a number of prestigious tournaments, including the Scottish Amateur Championship, the 1972 Curtis Cup, the 1964 PGA Championship, and in 2007 was host to the European Men's Amateur Team Championship. The course is used for final qualifying when the Open is played at Turnberry or Royal Troon, and also as a final qualifying venue for the Seniors Open.
This natural links course offers undulating fairways, occasionally interrupted by three meandering burns. Greens that are cleverly located in naturally folded ground, some protected by burns whilst others guarded by sand dunes.
Gailes Links course designer, former Open Championship winner, Willie Park always believed this links to be one of his best creations.
The classic layout is tough, fair and traditionally Scottish, wild heather and gorse define the fairways and the greens are guarded by strategically placed bunkers.
Sandy Lyle, former Open and Masters Champion describes the course as “one of the world’s truly great tests of links golf’ and it has been selected by the R&A as a final qualifying venue for The Open Championship every time it has been at Royal Troon and Turnberry.
At 6903 yards long from the back tees, Gailes is a great test of golf whilst the kinder forward tees provide a fine test for players of all abilities.
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club is to be found on the outskirts of Troon on Scotland's west coast and has been offering the golfer a magnificent links golf challenge for over one hundred years.
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club now offers the visitor twenty-seven holes. With the addition of nine new holes on land between Barassie and the Dundonald course, the club now has a lengthened eighteen hole Championship Links complemented by perhaps the best nine hole course in Scotland.
The course is challenging, but is typically what Scottish Links golf is about - large undulating greens, deep bunkers and doglegs.
Irvine Golf Club, known as Bogside, is a traditional links course owing much of its character to the famous James Braid, who designed many of Scotland's top courses.
The course can best be described as a mix of links and heathland. The fairways are built on sand and are divided by gorse and heather and every hole has its own identity whilst the quality of greens is traditionally amongst the courses strengths. The course is not long by present day standards, 6423 yards, but demands accurate shot making and missed fairways and greens can be well punished.
It is often likened to Prestwick for the blind shots required and like the venerable old links is a delight to play. A round at Bogside is perfect for the golfing puritans with a genuine feel of old course design all the way round.
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