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Lighthouse on the cliffs at Tump Turnberry
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Turnberry

Ayrshire, Scotland

Turnberry Golf Club was established in 1902 and in 1906 the magnificent iconic white hotel was opened as Britain’s first purpose-built golf resort. A flagship property for the railway line that commissioned it, there was once a covered walkway from the train station to the hotel – at least the wealthy patrons of the day didn’t arrive soggy. That careful attention to detail in client comfort still exists today, although patrons now arrive by car or helicopter.

It’s almost a miracle that Turnberry golf still exists after the courses were almost destroyed having served the UK valiantly in both World Wars as an RAF airbase. A monument to those men stands above the 12th hole on the Ailsa course. The hotel suffered damage from accommodating hundreds of servicemen and the courses were virtually flattened to use as airplane runways. Evidence of these asphalt runways can still be seen today off The King Robert the Bruce (KRTB) course.

The owners of the resort believed in the value and future of golf, so after WWII they enlisted Robert Mackenzie Ross to return the links to their former reputation, reopening in 1951. His brilliance was recognized by the R & A when they added the Ailsa Course to the Open Championship rota in 1977. One of the best Open finals in history, the historic battle between legends Tom Watson the eventual winner and Jack Nicklaus is known as the “Duel in the Sun.”

Course Details

Host of the Open Championship
Range of tees from 5,769 – 7,357 yards (Ailsa)
Designed by James Miller, Mackenzie Ross and Mackenzie & Ebert
Home of the 1977 ‘Duel in the Sun’
Ideal Location for an Ayrshire Tour

Turnberry Today

There are several layouts at now Trump Turnberry including The Ailsa Course and The KRTB Course. The Arran Course – a 9 hole course used mainly by The Golf Academy, and a fun pitch and putt at the base of the hotel stairs.

In 2016 Martin Ebert was commissioned to make changes to the Turnberry Ailsa course that had been on the radar for decades. Already highly ranked in most prestigious listings, his inspired changes have rocketed Ailsa to the No. 1 position in GB&I in most polls. Among his notable changes were transforming the 9th hole from a weak par 4 to a fabulous scenic and challenging par 3 and greatly improving the 10th into a worthy par 5 now christened “Dunna Faiter” – Don’t mess about.

Perhaps one of the golf world’s most iconic landmarks, along with the red & white candy cane-striped lighthouse at Harbour Town, is the yellow & white lighthouse at Turnberry. It has been totally transformed into a wonderful halfway house with luxurious private hotel suite accommodations above. The lighthouse was built by none other than Robert Louis Stevenson’s father and grandfather. It stands on the ruins of Turnberry Castle where King Robert the Bruce was born in 1274.

Turnberry Scotland is the perfect base from which to explore all the great Ayrshire golf courses, including Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes, and Dundonald, on a bucket list Scotland golf trip. As a world-class 5-star resort there are also a variety of activities both indoor and outdoor to experience post-round; The Spa at Turnberry, indoor pool, gourmet dining, clay shooting, quad biking, beach walking and horseback riding to name a few.

Location

16 Maidens Rd, Turnberry, Girvan KA26 9LS, UK

Take an Ayrshire Golf Tour

Experience a variety of Open Rota courses, including Prestwick, the birthplace of the Open Championship in 1960 and Royal Troon.

The newly refurbished Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry offers 14 particularly stunning holes along the coastline.

Combine an Ayrshire Golf Tour with St Andrews or Edinburgh & East Lothian for the ultimate Scottish golf tour.

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