Plan an Ayrshire Golf Holiday
Open Championship venues – to choose from, Ayrshire is the ideal place for a golf holiday. Whether you’re paying a pilgrimage to the birthplace of The Open, sampling some of the finest links in the world, or testing yourself against some of its James Braid-designed courses, Ayr is the setting for the golf holiday of a lifetime in Scotland – and the Salt Lodge Hotel in Troon is the perfect base for your adventure!ith over 50 courses – including three
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Put politics to one side and make your way to Trump Turnberry and you’ll find The Ailsa, one of the world’s most loved – and most spectacular – golf courses. This masterpiece has hosted the Open Championship four times, including the unforgettable 1977 Duel in the Sun, and boasts some of the most beautiful scenery of any course on the planet.
For those looking for a more modern challenge, Trump Turnberry also boasts the King Robert the Bruce course – fittingly built on the ruins of the medieval castle the King of Scots was born in in 1274. Boasting the same views as its older sibling The Ailsa, the introduction of the King Robert reinforced Turnberry’s reputation as a true golfer’s paradise.
The 9th – it simply doesn’t get more atmospheric than this. An epic par three set in the shade of Turnberry’s landmark lighthouse and the 13th century ruins of Robert the Bruce’s birthplace, teeing off from the Ailsa’s ninth will stay in your dreams forever.
Once you’ve had your fill of Ayr’s incredible Open courses, make your way to one of golf’s modern greats – the unforgettable Dundonald Links. Once the setting for rehearsals for the D-Day landings, the current course opened in 2005 and has quickly established a reputation as one of Scotland’s ‘must-play’ links. The second you set foot on this wave-washed coastal cracker, you’ll see why. Epic scenery, immaculate greens, and a personal touch that’s all-too-often missing these days combine to make this one of Ayr – and Scotland’s – finest courses. If your next golf holiday doesn’t include this beauty, you’re missing out!
The 6th – a 170-yard par three with deep bunkers, an elevated green, and a fiendish ditch running its length.
If you’re the type of golfer who likes to use every club in the bag, Western Gailes is the course for you. First created in 1897 by four Glaswegians who hungered for a course a few steps above the muddy parkland they had been playing on, Western Gailes is a challenge for even the best golfers. Boasting gorgeous greens guarded by half-hidden burns, undulating fairways, and a ferocious and often-cunning coastal wind, it’s no surprise the course is used as the final qualifying when The Open is played at Troon or Turnberry. Are you up to the task?
The 14th – a par five that often plays downwind and offers a tempting challenge for big hitters – who often come undone by its numerous bunkers.
St Andrews might be known as the home of golf, but it’s Prestwick that’s the home of The Open. 160 years ago, a group of enthusiastic members made the momentous decision to purchase two unassuming cottages – wisely positioned opposite the town’s tavern – and Prestwick Golf Club was formed. Nine years later, the fledgling course hosted the first-ever Open Championship.
Today, a simple stone cairn marks the spot where the first tee shot was struck in 1860 – the place where modern golfing history began. For any lover of golf, a trip to Prestwick is a pilgrimage; a place to play the sport in its truest form. While other courses in Scotland have evolved, Prestwick has been preserved. Gauging the lie and run of its centuries-old greens; treading through the rugged strips of its rough; feeling the salt-specked air of the sea as you tee off – playing at Prestwick is something that should be on every golfer’s bucket list.
The 17th – known as ‘Alps’ for its blind approach, the current 17th is the original 2nd hole from 1851 and the oldest hole in championship golf. Playing it – even if you do sink into its famous ‘sahara’ bunker – is an incredible experience.
Set foot on the greens of Royal Troon, founded back in 1878 and considered one of the most challenging links courses in the world, and you can feel the history in every blade of grass. From the epic challenge of The Old Course to the meandering wonders of The Portland Course, Royal Troon has something to offer golfers of every ability.
The 8th – William Park, writing in Golf Illustrated once described its green as “a pitching surface skimmed down to the size of a postage stamp.” The name stuck. One of golf’s most iconic par threes.
Looking for more adventures to undertake on your next trip to Ayrshire? Check out our guides to the incredible walking and cycling routes, fantastic food and drink and beautiful beaches on the doorstep of the Salt Lodge Hotel in Troon!