Wednesday 17 June 2009

Glasgow Gailes to co host 2012 British Amateur

The Royal & Ancient has confirmed that Royal Troon and Glasgow
Gailes will host the 2012 Amateur Championship. The two rounds
of stokeplay qualifying will be held at both venues with Royal
Troon hosting the matchplay stages of the event.

Monday 8 June 2009

Celebrations Planned for Open Anniversary

The Scotsman reported that for only the second time since Young Tom Morris won three consecutive Opens between 1868 and 1870 Prestwick golf club will present the winner of the Open in St Andrews in 2010 with a replica of the prized red morocco leather belt ornamented with silver.Sandy Lyle was the fortunate recipient of a replica belt in 1985 at Royal St George's to mark the championship's 125th anniversary.
By way of noting next summer's 150th anniversary of the oldest major, Prestwick again intend to mark the occasion by gifting the champion golfer of 2010 with a replica. The Ayrshire club's captain will make the presentation after the Royal and Ancient has handed over the Claret Jug.
Ian Bunch, secretary of Prestwick, confirmed: "We're having a replica belt made, which will be presented to the winner of the 2010 Open by our captain at the prize-giving on Sunday evening. Bunch also revealed how Prestwick intend to celebrate their special place in Open history by hosting a dinner next summer in a marquee outside their clubhouse.
Invitations are being sent to all the other clubs which have staged the championship over the past 150 years as well as the living champions.The Royal and Ancient has lent its full backing to the Prestwick function and letters of invitation from the Ayrshire club include a note of support from Peter Dawson, the chief executive.
Bunch added: "Representatives of the clubs and the past champions have all been asked to a black tie dinner on the Saturday night before the 2010 Open. We've already had quite a few positives and others have said they'll make it if their diaries allow. There seems to be a fair amount of enthusiasm for it. The course will also be available to them on Sunday."
There surely could be few more appropriate occasions for a golf party than the Open's 150th birthday. Interestingly enough Prestwick had a visit from Mark O'Meara last year," recalled Bunch. "We told him about our plans and he said: 'That's great, I'll try to bring my pal Tiger along and he'll be delighted to know you're having a belt made…'"

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Updated Availability at Dundonald Links

Dundonald Links are continuing with their last minute offers through the summer.
If you're looking for a game this week you can play at various times for only £50 per golfer.
All tee times subject to availability and all requests should Quote 'Last Minute Offer' and email or call + 44 (0)1294 314000.
In addition they have a host of new packages available including:
Early Bird

  • 7 days from 7.30am to 9.30am
  • 9 holes with coffee & bacon roll
  • £30 per personAdd lunch for £5.50 per person

Mix Business & Pleasure

  • Monday to Friday (PM tee-times)18 holes from £50 per person
  • Add breakfast & lunch from £10.50 per person

Weekend Worker

  • All day Saturday and Sunday 18 holes from £75 per person
  • Add breakfast & lunch from £10.50 per person

Friday 29 May 2009

Gordon Sherry Comeback

Good to see that Gordon Sherry, the wonder kid of Ayrshire, indeed Scottish, golf in the early 1990s, is hitting the comeback trail at the age of 35.
The big man has made the cut after a second round, one-over-par 73 in the Northern Open at Spey Valley, Aviemore.
Although he was 11 shots off the pace set by Craig Lee on four-under-par 140, and said: "I need to keep working hard but at the moment I'm just glad to be back."
Sherry was four under after five holes of his second round but fell back with two bogeys and then a triple bogey at the ninth where he incurred a two-shot penalty for playing a wrong ball.

Friday 22 May 2009

Nickalus Returns to Turnberry

According to The Ayr Advertiser, luckyyoung golfers enjoyed the experience of a lifetime when they had a coaching clinic with Jack Nicklaus.

The golfing legend was at the Colin Montgomerie Academy at Turnberry. The Royal Bank of Scotland event saw 30 youngsters from the Maybole and Prestwick areas being given some tips from The Golden Bear. All the young golfers have been involved in the Clubgolf initiative in South Ayrshire.

During the coaching sessions, Nicklaus learned of a new golf exhibition tracing the development and history of golf in South Ayrshire, opening at Rozelle House on June 1.

Called Whole in One, the exhibition boasts a range of rare and valuable artefacts, including a replica of the famous Open Championship Claret jug and the original Open Championship belt dating from the last century.

Running until August 31, the exhibition is free and is open to the public.

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Tennant Cup at Glasgow Gailes

The Tennant Cup will take place on Saturday 20 June and Sunday 21 June 2009. This is the oldest Open Amateur Stroke Competition in the world.

The Competition will be played over 72 holes of stroke play, with the first 36 holes being played over Glasgow Golf Club’s links course at Glasgow Gailes on the Saturday, and the leading 40 players and those who have tied for fortieth place playing the final 36 holes over Glasgow Golf Club’s parkland course at Killermont in Glasgow on the Sunday.

The Tennant Cup Competition is open to Amateur Golfers who have handicaps of not more than 1. The winner will have his name inscribed upon the Cup, and will receive a suitably engraved silver medal plus a First Prize voucher of £500.

Entry Forms can be downloaded from the website under Open Competitions.

Monday 4 May 2009

Ayrshire golf is Open for business

West Coast Links Golf courses launch marketing initiative at tourism expo.

Ten of Scotland’s finest links golf courses today launched a new marketing initiative aimed at attracting more golfers from around the world to the Ayrshire Coast.

The group which embraces three Open Championship courses, including this year’s venue Turnberry, was launched officially by Jim Mather, the Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism who unveiled both the printed materials and the new website

Mr. Mather is pictured at VisitScotland’s showcase tourism industry event in Glasgow with the famous Claret Jug and the replica of the original Open Championship Belt first played for in 1860 at Prestwick. He said, “This is a great example of the golf industry working together in the current difficult economic times to attract visitors from across the world to our great country. Golf is a key theme of our Homecoming celebrations this year and the Open golf championship at Turnberry in July will bring thousands of golf fans to Scotland.

“Our Drive it Home initiative alone, which seeks to attract international golfers to Scotland for free rounds of golf at hundreds of courses across the country, has the potential to attract more than 8,000 golfers to Scotland, creating an additional £14.3 million in income for the Scottish economy. The Drive It Home campaign has already seen 3,200 potential tee times snapped up with golfers from across the world registering for a four-ball every five minutes.”

The golf course group have come together to promote the strength in depth of courses on the stretch of Ayrshire coastline between Irvine and Turnberry.

Ian Bunch, secretary of Prestwick Golf Club was delighted to see the group being launched, “The level of co-operation between the courses since the idea was first discussed has been excellent and simply by working together we are certain that we can improve the golf product on offer and the profile of Ayrshire as a golfing destination par excellence. It is already well known for hosting The Open at both Turnberry and Troon but by bringing together ten links courses of almost unmatchable quality in depth we hope to increase not only rounds played but see a clear increase in bed nights and secondary spends.”

To achieve this, the group has created a marketing plan that involves not only the courses but the accommodation and transport providers and food and drink providers across the area.
Hotelier Stuart Watt from Troon’s South Beach Hotel was equally delighted with the initiative, “The area needs this really badly and it’s such a positive move in an Open Championship year. Ayrshire needs to promote its quality golf offering and this collection of courses allows us as a hotel to really lift the golf product we offer quite dramatically.”

Whilst the group is focusing on marketing the quantity and quality of golf on offer within the 22 mile radius it is also looking forward to developing new collaborative product and using the internet to create a strong relationship with both the golf visitor and the travel trade. The message is not just being left to sit passively on its website, but is being supplemented by a host of add ons, with the group already having launched its own blog, newsfeeds and dynamic content.

Representatives of Scotland’s West Coast Golf Links were pictured not only with the Championship Trophy but also a replica of the original Belt which was first played for at Prestwick in 1860. 2010 sees the 150th anniversary of the first Open Championship played over the Ayrshire links and it is expected that the anniversary will act as the catalyst for a pilgrimage to the links golf courses of the West Coast of Scotland.

Monday 20 April 2009

Junior Winner From Barassie

Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club, Ayrshire, who reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 Scottish Boys Golf Championship at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, won the latest SGU Junior Tour event at North Berwick earlier today with scores of 74 and 68.

Thursday 9 April 2009

Farewell Ayrshire Golf Classic

Organisers of The Ayrshire Golf Classic this week announced that this year's event - taking place the first week of May - is to be the last for the foreseeable future. The event which has attracted golfers from all over the world since its inception in 2000 is going into hibernation following the 72 hole stableford event being played over Prestwick, Western Gailes, Barassie and Dundonald.
There are still about a dozen spaces available for the event which can be packaged with accommodation or bought as a golf only price.
Find out more about the Ayrshire Golf Classic.

Dundonald Links Special Offers

Dundonald Links have just published their latest Late Offers which includes tee times from as little as £40 per golfer. There is limited availability throughout April and special rates are also available throughout the year at selected times. Dundonald offers full access to the visitor at weekends making Ayrshire even more accessible for the short break golfer.
Check out Dundonald's Offers

Barassie Launch On Line Tee Times

Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club have become the latest course within Scotland's West Coast Golf Links to offer the visitor to their website the chance to reserve their tee times online.
The club are using BRS to offer the golfer the ability to book directly trhough their website
The tee time reservations system now means that the club's website allows golfers to check availability and make confirmed reservations for both their golf and also their accommodation as the club offers a hotel reservations system through Bookassist.
Check tee time availability at Barassie now

Friday 27 March 2009

New Website Imminent

The launch of Scotland's West Coast Golf Links website is immiment. The website which will feature all of the information anyone planning a golf visit to Ayrshire could ever wish for will have its soft launch at the annual Prestwick Travel Trade Golf Day on Monday 30th of March.

The website and indeed the full project will be formally launched at VisitScotland Expo where the group are sharing stand space with other operators from Ayrshire.
The new site it is hoped will become an invaluable source of information, offers and news for anyone - trade and consumer - visiting the West Coast.
Prior to launch visitors can go to the site and register their details

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Troon 82 - My Bag Carrying Open

In pulling together the copy for the website and brochure Scotland's West Coast Golf Links you get immersed in a whole host of facts and figures, thoughts and opinions on the Open Championships that have graced Ayrshire's coastline. Prestwick's first in 1860; it's last in 1925. Turnberry and the famous Nicklaus and Watson Duel in '77 or Norman's victory in '86. For Troon there are obvious memories of Gene Saracen holing in one at The Postage Stamp, Norman's drive into sand at the last in the play off in '89 or Palmer's victory in 1962.

But the thing about an Open's memories are they are all so personal, they're about where you were at particular times not about what you saw via the BBC.

I remember following Norman at Turnberry in the third round in quite possibly the worst rain I've ever been on a course in; I watched Sandy Lyle at Troon in '89 (he was out of the running and out early) until the 17th tee then heard a roar for Norman's first birdie of his final round and changed allegiances and followed one of the most spectacular closing rounds of golf ever.

I had just sat down with my kids at the 5th at Troon's last Open when Tiger holed for birdie from the front right bunker. Kids just thought it was magic!

My own personal highlight though has to be Troon 1982 - just about to head off to college in Edinburgh and still a junior member at Barassie. The practice rounds were taking place at the course before Final Qualifying and I'd just missed getting a bag for Ed Snead which I thought might have produced a big tip! Anyway, I was introduced to this guy and off we headed to the practice ground - the guy was an amateur from Birmingham, Chris Poxon who I soon found out was brother of the Ryder Cup player Martin. I think if I'm being honest I was a little disappointed that I hadn't got a big American to caddy for but that was soon to change.

The Qualifying those days was 36 holes over the weekend before the Open finishing on the Sunday afternoon with a fair number of places up for grabs at each of Barassie, Western Gailes, Glasgow Gailes and I think Irvine Bogside. So first round was early morning Saturday as I recall and this guy just went like a rocket from the beginning. Bag weighed a ton - quite possibly weighed down by maybe 200 cigarettes!! - but Chris started superbly well and I think was three or four under after the first six holes, just burning it up. I'm pretty certain that he matched the course record that day - 64 or 65 something like that - but was certainly leader overnight.

Sunday's start is a bit hazy but it was clear that the pressure of being in the front was taking its toll. Par - Bogey - Par - Bogey replaced the par-birdie pattern of day one and lead to it becoming quite clear that by the time we walked off fourteen that things were looking grim.

Now this is the part that sounds apochyryphal but isn't, I clearly remember Chris, cigarettte in mouth, turning to me and asking what we needed to qualify! It was a little more in jest than perhaps Tiger may do but the question was asked and deserved an answer.

"Level three's" said I.

So Par Three Fifteenth ensued; "One down!" we agreed. Short iron, short putt, birdie three at sixteen. Iron off the tee, short iron, short putt - birdie seventeen.

Level threes...

Now eighteen's just about the same length as its predecessor so clubbing was okay and position off the tee as I recall was the problem. Can't truly remember where Chris was coming in from for his second but remember clearly where it ended and that was in the gentle hollow to the front right of the green which really wasn't ideal for a pin placed towards the middle right.

Anyway, you know by now where that ball was going to go. Yes pin out, ball starts rolling, up and in. All the way, never a doubt. Never a single question that he was going to finish 3-3-3-3 and qualify by a single stroke for The Open Championship at Royal Troon...

What was much more unexpected given that he was now surrounded by family and members from his club in the Midlands was when he came out having signed his card that he shook my hand, smiled and said, "We're going to The Open!".

So my memory of the 1982 Open Championship was as a caddy! As a teenager, the uniqueness of the experience did not dawn on me fully until later years but it was an experience never to be forgotten. Practice rounds with his brother and Woosy, par fives with fairways measuring less than five yards wide, new golf bag, clothing, gloves, balls by the box load, practicing beside Seve. Okay I was experiencing all this vicariously but I had a yellow bib and a pass for being a caddy and I was inside the ropes - and I could help myself to as many cans of Schweppes from the coolers on the tee as I could possibly carry!

In the end we were restricted to 36 holes, didn't make the weekend -don't think we broke eighty - but he did sink a sixty foot putt on sixteen I think it was. May have been for a double bogey but that didn't really matter - it got an enormous cheer and I was holding the pin!!

So thank you Chris Poxon, wherever you may be. It may have been Tom Watson who lifted the Claret Jug once more but 1982 was my Open!

Tuesday 10 February 2009

Royal Troon Extend Availability

The Committee of Royal Troon Golf Club has become aware of the need to extend the availability of golf over the Old Course, and provide a wider choice of options for visitors.

Accordingly, single rounds over the Old Course will be offered during the 2009 season from April to October 2009. In addition, visitors will be able to play golf on Sunday afternoons with four tee-times being made available.A day ticket will continue to be available, with or without lunch, for one round over the Old Course and one round over the Portland Course. Naturally, catering will be available for those visitors who do not wish to book lunch.

2009 Rates

  • Day ticket (with lunch) £220.00
  • Day ticket (without lunch) £200.00
  • Single round (Old Course) £160.00
  • Sunday round (Old Course) £175.00
  • Day ticket (Portland Course with lunch) £120.00
  • Single round (Portland Course) £ 60.00
The Committee hope that this additional availability will enable more golfers to enjoy the “Royal Troon Experience”. If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact our Caddiemaster, Peter Mackie, at

Monday 9 February 2009

Welcome to Scotland's West Coast Golf Links Blog

Welcome to the blog of Scotland's West Coast Golf Links!
When we list the golf clubs involved in this new business development initiative it can fair take the breathe away....
Three Open Championship venues - Prestwick, Royal Troon and Turnberrry's Ailsa Course.
Seven Open Chmapionship Final Qualifying Courses - Irvine Bogside, Western Gailes, Glasgow Gailes, Dundonald Links, Barassie, Prestwick St Nicholas and Turnberry's Kintyre.
All links courses and practically joined together, easily accessible and open for play.
Together we believe they make Ayrshire one of the world's great golfing destinations and in coming together with accommodation providers, travel operators, restaurants and some of Scotland's finest heritage attractions, you will find a whole host of new reasons for bringing the golf bag to Ayrshire.
This introduction is written beneath an economic shadow which casts a level of darkness across the whole of the economy. It is however co-incidental. It is neither the reason for this blog nor the rationale behind this new initiative.
Scotland's West Coast Golf Links is neither borne out of economic fear nor a need to be radically different. Instead it is a postive statement about all that is good about Scotland - The Home of Golf, all that is great about the history of links golf in Ayrshire and an understanding, an acceptance that the ten golf courses have a combined impact on the economy of Ayrshire that has not always been recognised.
Scotland's West Coast Golf Links have set themselves up as an assocaition with the common aims of improving the golf experience for the visitor and promoting the holistic nature of the west coast golf product - it's transport links, it's wonderful range of accommodation, its attractions, its 19th Hole!