Trump Turnberry – A New Chapter
Teeofftimes’ Will Stillwell, Market Sales Manager, reviews Trump Turnberry.
Turnberry has long been considered one of the world’s very finest golf resorts, offering 45 holes of golf, unrivalled off-course amenities and top class practice facilities.
Trump Turnberry began a new chapter in its already illustrious history after renowned golf architect Martin Ebert was commissioned to redesign the golf courses.
The Ailsa Course’s grand reopening came in June 2016 with the new King Robert the Bruce course, formally known as the Kintrye, opening a year later. The redevelopment across the two courses and the hotel has been a huge success and now that some time has passed we look back on their achievements.
The Ailsa has always been one of my favourite courses and if I am completely honest, I was slightly apprehensive when I heard that this iconic course was to be resigned; how wrong I was. They have achieved the mammoth task of improving a great golf course which had previously hosted four Open Championships without losing touch of the venues proud history. Since the redevelopment, the Ailsa has been ranked as the UK and Ireland’s number 1 course by Golf Monthly magazine.
Despite being a fantastic golf course, the old Ailsa had a number of holes that arguably weren’t up to the standard of the rest. The new Ailsa reopened with no weak points and major landscaping has brought a number of holes closer to the ocean, making the most of the course’s prime position on the Firth of Clyde. The Ailsa now offers the most incredible eight-hole run of costal golf.
Perhaps the most dramatic changes come at holes 9 to 11, which could rival the very best three-hole stretch in the world of golf. The signature 9th hole is an awe-inspiring par three that commands respect. The hole requires a 200 yard carry across the bay from the Championship Tees; Turnberry’s lighthouse is in full view as you consider your club selection. As you approach the 9th green the remains of King Robert the Bruce’s castle can be seen. The 10th hole has been extended at both the tee and green to craft a challenging par 5, from the tee box golfers are faced with the question of whether or not to brave the direct line over the bay. The famous donut bunker has been restored acting as further protection to the heavily guarded green. The costal theme continues at the dramatic par three 11th, with a short tee shot across the bay to the newly positioned green with rocky outcrops awaiting anything that goes left.
The changes to the Ailsa weren’t limited to the golf course, with Turnberry’s famous lighthouse undergoing a major refurbishment. This iconic landmark now boasts one of the finest halfway houses anywhere in the world. With Arran and the Ailsa Craig acting as a stunning backdrop from the surrounding terrace you would be hard pushed to find a better view whilst you stop at the 9th hole to refresh. For those lucky enough, there is actually a luxurious two-bedroom suite upstairs.
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King Robert the Bruce
Often seen as the little brother to the Ailsa course, The King Robert the Bruce course is a magnificent course in its own right. The new layout is named after the Scottish king who was born in the medieval Turnberry Castle in July 1274. The stretch from holes 8th to 11th on The King Robert the Bruce course offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Ayrshire coastline, Ailsa Craig and the lighthouse. Martin Ebert has designed another masterpiece, beautifully providing enjoyment and challenge in equal measure. With some tight tee shots, numerous fairway bunkers and risk/reward shots throughout your round, this really is a ‘thinking man’s course’.
Having played the old Kintrye course, I can understand why the decision to remove the old 8th hole was one that raised a few eyebrows. However, in my opinion, it was the right decision as it has allowed for three great holes to be added to the new layout, with the highlight coming at the par four 9th. This hole’s green is perched high above Kintrye’s cove and there is huge importance on your position off the tee, as this will decide whether or not you can make the carry on your second shot. From the green, the stunning vistas continue as you enjoy a spectacular view of the Mull of Kintrye.
With Turnberry now offering not one but two bucket list courses, it certainly cements the venue’s position as a golfer’s paradise.
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