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DESIGNER: Unknown, James Braid
PAR: 71
SSS (Course Rating): 73
TYPE: Links

If not for its more famous neighbours, Western Gailes would be renowned across the globe as being one the finest links courses in Scotland. As it is, many seasoned golfers will tell you it is the best and with its reputation growing all the time, Western Gailes looks sure to finally get the recognition it deserves.

A frequently used venue for British Open 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.

As fine a true links as one could imagine, Western Gailes presents an abundance of undulating dune ridges, heather and gorse, which will test the most accomplished golfer. And when the wind blows, which is of course not uncommon, the test becomes tougher still with the long stretch between the 6th and 13th becoming somewhat of an endurance test.

Having just two par 5's and three par 3's has no negative impact on the enjoyment factor and every hole here is a real thrill to play. And though there are no weak holes, the long par five, 6th from an elevated dune ridge to a partially hidden green, does stand out on this classic links.

Your drive on this hole, named "Lappock" after Lappock Rock, which is located just offshore, should ideally be positioned on the right side of a left sloping fairway. This will leave a demanding second, which could with luck reach the green, given a well struck shot right of the target. You will however be grateful to achieve par here, a sentiment which will be echoed should you walk off the 18th green having broken 71.


Lochgreen House Hotel (15 minutes), Highgrove House Hotel (15 minutes), Marine Highland Hotel (20 minutes), Piersland House Hotel (20 minutes), Turnberry Hotel (40 minutes)

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