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South West Scotland

Less than an hour’s drive south of Glasgow lie some of the oldest and greatest links golf courses in the world, three of which have hosted the Open Championship. The original 12 holes at Prestwick, established in 1851, was the first course to be used, since then it has been played at Royal Troon, 8 times, the fist in 1923 and The Ailsa Course at Turnberry 3 times.

It is also where golf’s other great British tradition, a good lunch between rounds is still enjoyed particularly at Prestwick where lunching in the members room is one of golf’s great culinary experiences, matched only to the writers knowledge, by Muirfield and Royal St Georges. Such a great meal, followed by a glass or two of Kummel will set anyone one up for that second round of the day, whatever the weather albeit, in the case of Prestwick, your first drive could well arrive on Platform 1 of the nearby railway station.

Just a few miles north is Western Gailes, barely two fairways wide, lodged between the railway line and the sea, a wonderful challenge in any the wind.

Besides these fine historic courses the new boy on the block is Dundonald, an outpost of the very private Loch Lomand course, north of Glasgow. Designed by Kyle Philips, who was also responsible for Kingsbarn, near St Andrews, this is a spectacular layout and should be taken advantage of while it remains opened to the public.

There are some fine hotels to stay at in the area, be it at the Turnberry Westin Resort or one of Troon’s fine hotels. For a party of up to twelve, the Eisenhower Apartment at Calzean Castle is an interesting option.

This is Robbie Burns country. Born in Alloway, on the outskirts of Ayr, toasted annually at Burns Suppers throughout the world, he is commemorated at numerous heritage sites and a number of fine hostelries. Check if your visit coincides with Ayr Races host to the Scottish National and Ayr Gold Cup, an excellent break from golf.

 


Complete map of area with courses, hotels, etc.