Wednesday, 1 July 2020

72 Hours in Ayrshire (on a budget)

72 hours in Ayrshire (on a budget)
Golf in Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland is synonymous with some of the finest collection of golf courses in the world, including three internationally recognised Open Championship courses.  It is of course the ‘The Birthplace of The Open’ where championship golf began at Prestwick Golf Club.
There are over 45 courses throughout Ayrshire but it’s Links golf the region is best known for. You could almost play golf all the way along the coastline with just a short drive between courses, including Open Championship venues such as Royal Troon or next door at some of Scotland’s finest public links like Darley and Lochgreen.  Explore a hidden gem such as Western Gailes or Irvine Bogside all along a stretch of coastline steeped in golfing history.
Barassie Links

If you had just 72 hours and are on a budget, what courses should you play? Where should you stay? And where is the best pubs to make a 19th hole visit? With such variety of golfing and levels of difficulty, there are great options available to the budget conscious golfer. 
The Troon Links are the envy of most councils, these public links courses can be found in the heart of the golfing town of Troon and consist of the Darley, Lochgreen and Fullarton courses all offering a different style of golf. The Darley is the toughest and a true links golf test. It’s here that a certain Jack Nicklaus shot 82 in Open qualifying one year.  The Lochgreen is a blend of links and parkland and probably the most suited to the average golfer. The Fullarton is a short 18 holes course that beginners and high handicaps enjoy due to its short length. You can play these courses on the Troon Links experience which lets you play all three course for just £65! Perfect if you are in a budget but still want that Scottish Links Experience.


Troon Lochgreen

Fancy taking on some Championship courses? Well, three fantastic links courses joined forces to create the Ayrshire Golf Experience.  Dundonald Links (host of the 2017 Scottish Open) Barassie links and Bogside (both former Open Qualifying venues) offer the visiting golfer a pass that is affordable and extremely good value considering the courses you play.   
Dundonald Links is the newest course in the Ayrshire area, designed by Kyle Phillips who also designed Kingsbarns in St Andrews.  A Tournament style links course with big sloping greens and each shot played is tested from tee shot to your approach. Feel up for the challenge? Play their back tees at over 7500 yards!
Barassie Links is Dundonald’s next door neighbour and is a more inland links where the holes are divided by gorse with smaller greens defended by deep links pot bunkers. 
Irvine Bogside is the quirkiest of the three. It only has 2 par 3s and many shots where driver is not the club of choice from the tee. The signature hole is probably the par 4 5th hole that requires a mid-iron to play short of a large bunker before the fairway climbs to a blind green. The bigger hitters have the opportunity to go for the green with driver but any shot missed left or right will find gorse.


Dundonald Links

If links golf is not your thing, the area offers some great inland golf and probably the finest of them all is Largs golf club towards the north of the region.  Largs is affectionately known in the area as Ayrshire’s Augusta as the greens are like silk with azalea bushes dotted around the course. The views down the Forth of Clyde can be rather distracting! Largs Golf Club greenfees are £49 in the summer making it a great choice for budget conscious golfers.
Rowallan Castle in the east of the region was designed by Colin Montgomery. Set in a stunning estate the course weaves its way around old castles, highland cows and the moorlands is situated on. Greenfees at the club are just £20 and they will even throw in an extra hole! That’s right they have a par 3 19th hole.
Ok, so your golf is sorted but now you need a great golf friendly place to stay that won’t break the bank. Troon is always a popular spot for golfers and there a few good options here. The Old Loans Inn has won Scotland’s best small golf hotel three years in a row at the Scottish Golf Tourism awards. You could stay in a room named after Tom Watson or one of the local courses. Their breakfasts are fantastic!


Irvine bogside

In the centre of town you have the South Beach hotel which is owned and operated by Stewart Watt. Stewart is a keen golfer and a member at Royal Troon (he may even take you for a game). South Beach is a lovely traditional Scottish seaside hotel with a great bar with some fantastic local beers and ales. There has been known to be a lock in or two!
A little further up the coast you have the Gailes Hotel which is neighbours with Dundonald Links. Reasons to stay here: 1. There’s a driving range on site 2. There’s a sports bar with indoor golf simulator 3. They’re experts with hosting golf groups and will also book your golf for you just like South Beach.


We all know a golf trip doesn’t finish after the course and Ayrshire has some great 19th holes. The town of Prestwick is unofficially Scotland’s 19th hole for sure. The Red Lion is a must, it’s were championship golf was born and was a hangout for Old Tom Morris in his time in Prestwick.
The Golf Inn is another popular spot in Prestwick with a great old school style cosy pub with live entertainment at the weekends. It’s a great spot to catch up with other golfers on a trip. 

Swing by Vics and The Vine on Prestwick's main street, great food, great beers and one of the best spots in town!
Golf can be as expensive as you make it, but Ayrshire offers experiences no matter what your budget might be, so come play golf in the home of golf and don’t worry about breaking the bank to do it!

For more info visit www.ayrshiregolfscotland.com

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Barassie Links to host major Women's events in 2020

Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club, one of the finest championship links courses in Scotland, is looking forward to hosting two leading female events at amateur and professional level in 2020.
The prestigious Ayrshire club on the outskirts of Troon has been selected by The R&A as Final Qualifying venue for this year’s AIG Women’s British Open, which is staged at nearby Royal Troon in August.
Final Qualifying will take place at Barassie on Monday 17 August, before a stellar field assembles at Troon three days’ later for the four-round event – won by Englishwoman Georgia Hall in 2018 and Japan’s Hinako Shibuno last summer.
Continuing their support of female golf, Barassie looks forward to welcoming world-class players for The R&A Women’s Amateur from 23-27 June. Won last year by England’s Emily Toy, the event has been staged since 1893 and past winners also include Leona Maguire and Major champions Hall and Anna Nordqvist. The selections continue Barassie’s impressive history of hosting leading amateur and professional events, having acted as a Final Qualifying venue for The Open in 2009.




Barassie, which staged the Boys Amateur in 2010 and the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play in 2012, also held Final Qualifying for the 2012 Senior Open Championship and the 2017 Scottish Open. The club are delighted to now be achieving further recognition, announcements that reflect positively on the membership and to help attract further visitors to the west coast layout.
David Addison, General Manager, said: “We very much look forward to hosting these prestigious events in 2020, adding to the rich history of Kilmarnock (Barassie). Being associated with the AIG Women’s British Open is fantastic for the club, while The Women’s Amateur is another leading event on the global golf circuit. We are delighted with our selections which reflect the quality of our product at the club – both on and off the course.”
Barassie, which impressively saw Euan Walker become the fourth member from the club to represent Great Britain and Ireland in last September’s Walker Cup, has worked hard to maintain and improve the standard of its renowned links.


Last year, course changes – notably the addition of a new short 12th hole – saw Barassie achieve a new look to help boost enjoyment and playability. Working with designer Paul Kimber, an area of the club’s property was identified to create the exciting new par-3 hole with good drainage, as well as removing two long walks between holes. After gorse was taken away and sand imported from other parts of the site, the new 12th, known as ‘Hillhouse,’ replaced the former par-3 6th hole.
To create a better link between the 5th green and the former 7th fairway, Kimber also built new teeing grounds near the 5th green to enable play towards the new 6th fairway from a completely different angle and achieve a right-to-left dogleg hugging the railway line. The total yardage for the par-72 course has reduced by eight yards to 6,814, while the standard scratch for all levels has remained the same.
Coupled with other initiatives, such as rough reduction, the course changes have been welcomed by members and visitors alike.


Tuesday, 12 November 2019

A summer of golf content in Ayrshire

A summer of golf content in Ayrshire.

Late August this year saw the first ever Scotland, Home of Golf Vloggers Challenge. 9 social media content creators where invited to take part in an all over Scotland event, filming as they went.

Brodie Smith a YouTuber and former world disc throwing champion with over 1 million followers, Gm Golf a YouTuber Golf trick shot artist and content creator and Ollie Neglerio, who is the man responsible for all the cool amazing content to come out of Taylormade Golf where the lucky ones to visit Ayrshire.

As part of the Challenge they played Turnberry Ailsa where stableford points were up for grabs

Go check out their videos below of their round at Turnberry.





They also took an incredible castle challenge at Rowallan Castle, Playing from the Castle balcony to the 18th green as well as some unbelievable shots from the Turrett 50 yards up!


Friday, 21 June 2019

Scotland, The Home of Golf Vloggers Challenge 2K19

We are delighted to have teamed up with Scotland, The Home of Golf to bring you to Vloggers Challenge 2K19.



9 of your favourite social media content creators will be invited to take part in the first challenge of it's kind in Scotland and quite possibly any where in the world!

The creators will play some of Scotland's best courses as well as some of the lesser known. They will take part in very Scottish challenges like Castle Golf, Whisky Golf and Hickory Golf to name but a few.

The event takes place from 10-14 August and will be happening all across Scotland.
Make sure and tune in and follow your favourite creator as they travel across the Home of Golf in an epic adventure.

Stay Tuned for where they will visit on their Ayrshire leg.....

For more information visit Scotland, Home of golf social media pages.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

The Marine Hotel reveal exciting new plans

The Marine Hotel announce a major refurbishment to commence in June at the Iconic golf hotel in Ayrshire.

Cannock Troon LLP, the ownership group of The Marine Hotel in Troon, have today, announced their plans to embark on a phased plan of major works to refurbish and bring a luxurious new look and feel to the iconic Ayrshire property that dates back to 1894.

Having obtained all the necessary planning and listed building consents, work is scheduled to begin at the end of June 2019 on external areas including windows, roofs and stonework. Internal works to all 89 bedrooms, reception area, restaurant and bar are scheduled to follow on later in the year.

It is anticipated that the first phase of works will take between 11 – 15 months to complete, enabling the refurbished hotel to be fully operational to welcome the AIG Women’s British Open to be held at The Royal Troon Golf Club in August 2020. The hotel will remain open and operate throughout the renovation works.



Commenting on behalf of The Marine Hotel’s ownership group, Jonathan Gain, CEO of Stellar Asset Management said, “We are incredibly excited that we have reached a stage where we can now announce our plans and commitment to sympathetically restoring this iconic Ayrshire hotel back to its former glory.

From the moment we acquired the property back in 2015, we were immediately taken by its impressive location overlooking the 18th hole of The Royal Troon Golf Club, not to mention its reputation, importance to Ayrshire and its residents and the wider international golf community.

Thus, we recognised the need to invest and elevate the hotel to the status it rightly deserves having been the only hotel in Scotland to have retained an AA 4-star status throughout its history.

Further showcasing our commitment to this project, we are proud to announce that we have appointed award-winning Scottish interior design company, ICA, to deliver a design that exudes best-in-class elegance, comfort and taste whilst retaining a subtle Scottish theme throughout the hotel.”

Announcements on 2nd and 3rd phase plans to upgrade the hotel’s leisure and conference facilities will follow in due course, with the main aim being to create a premium experience across all areas of the hotel.

“Speaking on behalf of the entire team here at The Marine Hotel we are looking forward to starting this exciting project and are committed to working in partnership with all parties to put the hotel firmly back on the map, both locally and on an international level,” commented Colin Richards, The Marine Hotel General Manager.

For further information on The Marine Hotel visit www.themarinetroon.co.uk

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Golf events at Turnberry in 2019

We all know of the Duel in the Sun when Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus had that epic battle on a sun drenched Sunday at Turnberry. Well Turnberry are giving you some amazing events this year where you can try and take on the same challenge as the Pros have done at past Opens.

Check out the below for full details:

TURNBERRY FROM THE TIPS - AILSA
Friday 19 April
PACKAGE: £199.00 PER PERSON
TEA, COFFEE, BACON ROLLS, LUNCH AND 1 ROUND OF GOLF ON THE AILSA
CHAMPIONSHIP TEES
TEE TIMES FORMAT
1:00pm Individual Stableford
PRIZES
- 1 night stay at Trump Turnberry for two people with breakfast and a round of golf
- A 4 ball on the King Robert the Bruce, Trump Turnberry
- A 4 ball on the Open Championship Ailsa



EASTER MONDAY STABLEFORD
Monday 22 April
PACKAGE: £50.00 PER PERSON
TEA, COFFEE, BACON ROLLS AND 1 ROUND OF GOLF ON KING ROBERT THE BRUCE
TEE TIMES FORMAT
10:00am Individual Stableford
PRIZES
- 1 night stay at Trump Turnberry for two people with breakfast and a round of golf
- 4 ball on King Robert the Bruce, Trump Turnberry
- Easter Eggs

KING ROBERT THE BRUCE OPEN
Friday 31 May
PACKAGE: £50.00 PER PERSON
TEA, COFFEE, BACON ROLLS AND 1 ROUND OF GOLF ON KING ROBERT THE BRUCE
TEE TIMES FORMAT
10:00am Individual Scratch & Handicap Medal
PRIZES
- 1 night stay at Trump Turnberry for two people with breakfast and a round of golf
- A 4 ball on King Robert the Bruce, Trump Turnberry
- A 4 ball at Trump International Aberdeen



SENIORS OPEN
Thursday 25 July
PACKAGE: £199.00 PER TEAM (OF FOUR)
TEA, COFFEE, BACON ROLLS AND 1 ROUND OF GOLF ON KING ROBERT THE BRUCE
TEE TIMES FORMAT
10:00am Team Stableford
PRIZES
- 1 night stay at Trump Turnberry for two people with breakfast and a round of golf
- A 4 ball on King Robert the Bruce, Trump Turnberry
- A 4 ball at Trump International Aberdeen
LADIES OPEN
Tuesday 22 August
PACKAGE: £199.00 PER TEAM
TEAM 4 - LUNCH AND 1 ROUND OF GOLF ON KING ROBERT THE BRUCE
TEE TIMES FORMAT
11:00am Team Stableford
PRIZES:
- 1 night stay at Trump Turnberry for two people with breakfast and a round of golf
- A 4 ball on King Robert the Bruce, Trump Turnberry
- A 4 ball at Trump International Aberdeen

FROM THE TIPS TEAM EVENT
Friday 27 September
PACKAGE: £65.00 PER PERSON
TEA, COFFEE, BACON ROLLS, 1 ROUND OF GOLF ON KING ROBERT THE BRUCE WITH BALLS
TEE TIMES FORMAT
9:00am Individual Stableford
PRIZES
- 1 night stay at Trump Turnberry for two people with breakfast and a round of golf
- A 4 ball on King Robert the Bruce, Trump Turnberry



AUTUMN FESTIVAL
Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 October
PACKAGE: £199 PER PERSON
1 NIGHT DINNER, BED & BREAKFAST, 2 ROUNDS ON KING ROBERT THE BRUCE
TEE TIMES FORMAT
10:00am Two Man Team Event
Saturday Individual Stableford
Sunday Better Ball

PRIZES
- 2 night stay for two people and golf at Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve
- 1 night stay at Trump International, Scotland for two people with breakfast and 2 rounds of golf
- 1 night stay at Trump Turnberry, Scotland for two people with breakfast and 2 rounds of golf
- A 4 ball on the Open Championship Ailsa course

TO BOOK CALL: +44 (0) 1655 334 032
OR EMAIL: TEETIMES@TRUMPTURNBERRY.COM
Events are prepaid, CDH number required at time of booking.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ayrshire, by Top Photographer and Documentary maker Christian Hafer.

Scotland is full of golf is like saying the sun is hot but still I said it. By my count nearly 600 courses dot the landscape from small nine holers in Edinburgh to 18 holes perched on the northern most outcropping of land  in Shetland. Few places in Scotland can boast the quality of golf in such a small space as that of Ayrshire. With nearly 50, yes 50, courses to pick from and with the longest drive from the two courses furthest away only being an hour you’d be hard pressed to fit in more golf than Ayrshire. Then you have the option of taking a ferry to the Island of Arran to play golf and stay within an easy day trip of your hotel.


Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes, Turnberry are all the power players in the region. Prestwick the home of the Open Championship and one of the most quirky, fun filled and challenging courses you’ll ever play. It boggles the mind that in the mid 1800’s 8 men could play 36 with lunch in the amount of time it takes most Americans to play 18. And shoot near par with hickories. Blind shots, walls, wind, BUNKERS and some of the most incredible ground movement I’ve ever seen on a course. Did I also mention the bunkers? They are a sight to be seen like on 17 the famous Alps hole. Unchanged since it was “made” (found?) by Old Tom Morris where you tee off over the Cardinal bunker to a narrow fairway. Let the record show that Cardinal bunker is the most expansive I’ve ever seen. Your second at the Alps shot must cover a massive hill to a blind punchbowl green protected by the massively deep and angry Sahara bunker.  This is the oldest hole in Open Championship history and largely unchanged since the first playing.


While Prestwick has the quirk Royal Troon has the pedigree. It’s a stout Open Rota links course with a classic seaside links routing and immaculate conditioning. However, places like Western Gailes fly way under the radar. I was the only one in my group that knew anything about it when we turned up. As the recommendations proved it to be it would end up one of our favorite courses of the entire trip.  The out and back routing and mix of quirk and refined links set the stage for a memorable round. The 6th hole at Western may be one of my all time favorite holes. A Par five that narrows as you approach a “neck” in the fairway that obscures the view of the green. The position off the tee and on your approach is critical to attack the large sloping green. Partially blind I decided the prudent play was a 100 yard putter with the AutoCorrect  which ended up rather favorable. Or at least better than my wedge would have.  The staff and members at Gailes are extremely welcoming and accommodating. We played as five with some friends joining us for the walk on the back. 10/10 would play again.


Right next door is Dundonald Links which hosted the 2017 Scottish Open. This Kyle Phillips designed course opened in 2004 but you’d think it was found way back when golf was just starting to grow. Just across the railroad tracks from Western Gailes this links course weaves across the rather inauspicious land to create a really well routed and challenging course. The wind can dominate this courses and your aspirations quickly and with such a clever routing you’ll rarely experience the same wind for more than two holes. Jump the fence on the other side of the course and you’re  at Kilmarnock (Barassie) with it’s 27 holes of golf that boasts three different 18 hole routing and a stellar nine hole course. One of the prettiest and most challenging par threes on our trip and is the definition of a hidden gem.  Just play fast the locals don’t mess about…


GOLFING ON THE WEST COAST
The east gets the acclaim most times in reference to golfing around Scotland. The highlands are discussed in a sort of magical lore but the Western Coast is the perfect way to start or end a trip. We all know you’re going to journey to Fife - as well you should. But don’t overlook the rich history, value and amazing golf in such a small area as Ayrshire. The weather can be amazing in fact we only saw rain for about 9 holes. The sort of rain that was more a mist than anything for most of it. And golf is largely played year round in this part of Scotland making it extremely affordable during the off season.

If you’d like to learn more about the area, golf courses and where to stay I’d recommend visiting Ayrshire Golf Scotland website to get a lay of the land. As always you can shoot me a note and I’d be happy to answer any questions as best I can.


PLANNING AYRSHIRE
When planning a trip to Ayrshire I’d recommend the following. And keeping in mind that flights to Glasgow from the eastern seaboard make it accessible and way more affordable than one would think. I landed at 7am after a direct flight and was off to golf within a few short hours. If I had three days of golf in Ayrshire here’s how I’d plan my trip:

Fly into Glasgow International Airport

Stay:

Old Loans Inn

Piersland House Hotel 

Golf:

Day 1 (Knock off the Jet Lag)

Dundonald Links

OR

Kilmarnock Barassie Links

Day 2

Prestwick AM

Western Gailes PM

Day 3

Kilmarnock Barassie Links AM

Or

Dundonald AM

Royal Troon PM

Eat:

Red Lion Inn

The location where the Open Championship was born. Right across the street is now a Pharmacy that used to be Old Tom’s home. For fun ask anyone if they know that fact….

Lido

Wie Hurrie

WHATEVER YOU DO JUST GO. GET TO SCOTLAND. AS SOON AS YOU CAN.