Royal Troon Golf Club (ranked #44 in the world), located on the West Coast in Ayrshire, is one of the most famous clubs in the world, and is part of the Open Championship "rota". Founded in 1878 by 23 former members of Prestwick, the club's first clubhouse was a rail car, expertly run by George Strath, who also served as greenskeeper, instructor and clubmaker, all for 1 pound per week! Troon first hosted the Open in 1923, and since then has hosted tournaments won by the likes of Bobby Locke, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Mark Calcavecchia, Justin Leonard and Todd Hamilton in 2004. The 2016 Open Championship will be staged at Troon. At 6664 yards long and a par of 73, Troon features the 6th (577 yards), and the 8th (126 yards "Postage Stamp") as the longest and shortest holes in Scottish Championship Golf. The Postage Stamp was the hole where an aging Gene Sarazen had a hole in one during the 1973 Open. World War II took its toll on the course, because several of the holes were used for grenade practice, and the beach was rehearsal ground for "Operation Overlord", the 1944 invasion of Normandy. So prominent were soldiers on the course, that special rules were derived for this troublesome period: 1) In competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play; and 2) a player whose stroke has been affected by simultaneous explosion of a bomb or by machine gun fire, may play another ball from the same place. Penalty: one stroke! The second course, the Portland Course, is a fine test at 6274 yards, and available to anyone who has paid the green fee for the championship course on the same day. Take time to visit the Men's Bar and Guest Dining Room, where a buffet, soup and sandwiches are available. There is a nice guest changing room, with showers on the left, as you go through the entrance. Ladies are restricted to the coed dining room at the east side of the clubhouse. Green fee includes a round on the Portland course, which you can play or discard. (Excellent practice facility on site) (7,067 yards – par 72)
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