This review was written in 2011. The course has since been purchased by Donald Trump and a massive course redesign is underway. I hope to return and see the new course sooner than later!
My round at Turnberry was early during my time in Scotland and this review needs more detail and photos. I will hopefully visit Turnberry again soon for another round.
My good golfing buddy Matt and I travelled to the west coast of Scotland by train the night before our round at Turnberry. Due to ignorance and a strong will, we had decided to avoid taxis, and walked four miles the night before our round from the train station to our accommodation at the Ayr Travelodge. We got to the Travelodge about midnight very tired and ready for a good night’s sleep. The next morning we were eager to get arrive at Turnberry Golf Resort to play the Ailsa Course.
Upon arriving at Turnberry Golf Resort, a visitor’s eyes are drawn to the impressive hotel on the hill overlooking the course and ocean. The locker room is massive and can accommodate the large number of visitors and members alike that play the course. The place exudes a resort feeling, which, while nice, stands in contrast to the small Scottish clubs in the area. Despite the well-equipped locker room, the PowerShower rating is a disappointing 3. We had a few very good bacon rolls overlooking the golf courses at Turnberry and settled into our great day.
The golf course begins with a fairly straightforward par four, easing the golfer into the impressive and difficult golf course. The second is another well-bunkered fairway that moves to the player’s left with views of the famous Ailsa Craig and the ocean to framing the hole.
Good drives are required throughout the front nine in order to set up angles into the greens. It was difficult to score well at Turnberry having never seen the course. We were constantly referring to our Strokesaver, and I would recommend hiring a caddie. The famous 9th hole lived up to its legendary beauty with the recognizable lighthouse to the player’s left off the tee.
The 10th was one of my favorite holes. A downhill tee shot provides a great view down the dogleg left hole. The view looking back from the green is one of the best on the course.
The final stretch of holes is very enjoyable and the par 5 17th allows for a birdie chance before the round comes to a close. The 18th hole is named “Duel in the Sun” referring to the famous finish during 1977 Open Championship between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. I channeled my inner Tom Watson and hit a pitching wedge tight for a final birdie on the 18th hole. sealed victory for myself and left a good taste in my mouth for the entire Turnberry experience.