GOLF CLUB (Ailsa Course)
worldwide recognition commanded by Turnberry is due mostly to the Ailsa
course, it should not be forgotten that the Arran course is also a fine
test of golf. With a par of 69 and a yardage of 6,276, it is definitely
worth a visit. There is however, little doubt that the jewel in the Turnberry
crown is Ailsa.
life as the property of a railway company almost one hundred years ago,
Turnberry, having been used as a wartime airfield, was on the verge of
extinction by 1946. Cue the timely intervention of course architect Mackenzie
Ross, who transformed the property into what has become one of the world's
finest golf courses.
manicured than most Scottish courses, this coastal stretch of holes, intermingling
turbulent dunes and rocky crags, represents links golf at its best. Named
after the landmark rock "Ailsa Craig", holes four through
eleven on the Ailsa Course, which play alongside the sea are among the
most beautiful and demanding as anywhere in the world.
framed by sand dunes and flanked by craggy rocks, the imposing Turnberry
lighthouse stands stoically bearing witness to the many seafarers who
have come to a watery grave off the rugged coastline. The closing 7 holes,
though slightly more inland, are none the easier for that, while holes
15 through 18 can make or break your score. That the weather often changes
by the hour only serves to augment the challenge of this superb course.
graduation to the envied ranks of host to the British Open came in 1977,
where Watson and Nicklaus went head to head in what became known as the
"Duel in the Sun". Though Turnberry has since hosted
the Open twice, with both Norman and Price laying claim to the Claret
Jug, little compares to the drama of that final day in 1977, when Watson
claimed a one stroke victory over his great adversary. As Hubert Green,
who finished 3rd some ten strokes behind Nicklaus, said "I
won the Open those guys were playing a different tournament".
to play either the Ailsa Course or Arran Course at Turnberry, one must
stay at Turnberry Hotel.