Ailsa Golf Course
South West Scotland, Scotland
Ailsa Course overview
The Ailsa at Trump Turnberry Resort is widely regarded as the most scenic on the Open Championship rota. Situated on the beautiful southwest coast of Scotland overlooking the small granite island of Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde, with superb views across the Mull of Kintyre and Isle of Arran, there are few more idyllic spots to play golf.
Turnberry Golf Club was established in 1902 and the hotel opened in 1906, both of which were then requisitioned during the two world wars and used as an airbase. Several holes were flattened and converted into concrete runways and it wasn’t until 1951 after two years of intensive work, that the links returned to its former glory and reopened.
In 1977 the Ailsa course hosted its first Open Championship, and what a classic that was with Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson playing the final two rounds together. Later referred to as the ‘Duel in the Sun’, both played ‘lights-out’ golf with Watson coming away as champion by one stroke.
Now a permanent fixture on the Open rota, the Ailsa went through a complete facelift in 2015 with every single hole upgraded to a degree, and the famous Lighthouse brought back to life as the new halfway house. Architect Martin Ebert’s work has been met with universal approval, raising the Ailsa’s already high profile to a new level. Some would argue that it is now the best golf course in Scotland.
The new par-3 9th hole is magnificent, not only for the hole itself which plays across the bay at Turnberry Point to a green beside the lighthouse, but also because this most photographed of all golf landmarks has been brought back to life and now serves as the halfway house.
Did You Know?
The 18th hole was renamed ‘Duel in the Sun’ after the epic 1977 Open Championship and Watson’s epic battle with Nicklaus. Incidentally, this was Watson’s second of five Claret Jugs and three months earlier he had also held off Nicklaus to win his first Green Jacket at Augusta.
Accommodation near Ailsa Golf Course
Trump Turnberry, Scotland
Trump Turnberry is a 5-star luxury resort situated on the stunning Ayrshire coastline, with two of Scotland’s best golf courses onsite including the world-famous Ailsa Open Championship course.