Prestwick: Troon & Turnberry
Where The Open was born in 1860
Prestwick is located on the west coast of the island of Scotland, between the cities of Ayr and Troon and only 40 minutes south of Glasgow. This is the place where The Open and the famous Johnnie Walker whisky were born (1860 and 1805). Although today Prestwick GC is not part of “The Open Rota”, its two neighbouring courses Turnberry Ailsa Course and the Royal Troon, were hosts of the most resonant final duels in the last 50 years of the Open: Watson vs. Nicklaus in 1977, and Stenson vs. Mickelson in 2016.
Iconic links to the history of The Open
The Ailsa (Turnberry)
- Once a haven for Roman Catholics during the 15th century the island was quarried for its rare stones. Home to four Open editions, Ailsa has shaped some of the most remarkable moments like the “Duel in the Sun” between Watson and Nicklaus in 1977; this typical links course has the most impressive 9 consecutive holes set alongside the Ayrshire coastline,
- Redesigned by Martin Ebert in 2014, the course has been completely restored and revamped and is now part of Trump Turnberry. It is considered the best Golf Resort in Scotland, featuring beautiful views of Ailsa Crail (the huge rock that rises from the sea) and on the 9th the picture perfect remains of Robert the Bruce’s lighthouse and castle.
Royal Troon (Old Course)
- The Royal Troon Old course has hosted multiple editions of the Open and witnessed golfing moments like the famous duel of 2016 where Stenson prevailed over Mickleson. It is a classic Scottish links layout and tough design with championship greens. The course features the shortest hole in Open history: "The Postage Stamp” with a pitching and putting surface skimmed down to minimal size (hole 8), and only 126 yards long.
- Royal Troon is the ultimate golfing experience from its Club House where you can have a delicious lunch under the image of the queen, the excellent service and not to forget the experienced caddie staff.
Prestwick Golf Club
- Prestwick is the birthplace of the Open Championship, where an old cottage would become the clubhouse being the legendary Old Tom Morris its the greenkeeper. The original layout had only 12 holes. It has hosted 24 Open Championships and it runs one short compared to the Old Course that hosted 25.
- The course embodies Scottish golf tradition, with holes that wind around hills, fairways with unnoticeable bunkers, several blind shots and very small and difficult greens.
- Home of the Final Qualy of the Open at Royal Troon, Western Gailes offers an unusual layout situated between the railways and the sea, and with a clubhouse in a central position leaving seven holes to the north and eleven to the south.
- This Scottish links course has an unconventional hole layout, strong winds and undulating terrain. A true test for the errant golfer.
Other recommended golf courses
Dundonald, King Robert The Bruce, Portland Course, Glasgow Gailes.
Other things to do
Glasgow is one of the most important cities in Scotland after Edinburgh, among the most sought attractions you can visit: the Loch Lomond Maritime Aquarium, the Science Center, the Clydeside and Glengoyne distilleries.
Thinking about playing more golf: consider combining your trip with Machrihanish or head over to Northern Ireland and experience great courses like Royal County Down, Royal Portrush or Lough Erne.
Where to stay
Getting here and staying at the luxurious Trump Turnberry Hotel is a MUST: its imposing building, luxury service, the lounges, the quality of its meals, the equipment and comfort of its rooms are unbeatable. Although there are other cheaper alternatives, it is an unforgettable experience.
Time to book
We recommend planning the trip at least 7 months in advance, especially since Royal Troon only receives non-member players only 3 days a week.
When to travel
The best time to travel is from May to early October, outside of these dates the weather is very bad. Keep an eye on the local championship calendar block out dates.
How to get there
Prestwick has a local airport that receives flights from several major UK cities. It is also easy to get to Prestwick by car or train from Glasgow.