In the modern era The Open is still played over Royal Troon and Turnberry's Ailsa Course and as a result there are a number of golf courses in the area that host Final Open Qualifying and as a result visitors can be assured of the quality of the golf available to the visitor to Gailes Hotel.
Irvine Golf Club, known as Bogside, is a traditional links course owing much of its character to the famous James Braid, who designed many of Scotland's top courses.
The course can best be described as a mix of links and heathland. The fairways are built on sand and are divided by gorse and heather and every hole has its own identity whilst the quality of greens is traditionally amongst the courses strengths. The course is not long by present day standards, 6423 yards, but demands accurate shot making and missed fairways and greens can be well punished.
It is often likened to Prestwick for the blind shots required and like the venerable old links is a delight to play. A round at Bogside is perfect for the golfing puritans with a genuine feel of old course design all the way round.
Gailes Links course designer, former Open Championship winner, Willie Park always believed this links to be one of his best creations.
The classic layout is tough, fair and traditionally Scottish, wild heather and gorse define the fairways and the greens are guarded by strategically placed bunkers.
Sandy Lyle, former Open and Masters Champion describes the course as “one of the world’s truly great tests of links golf’ and it has been selected by the R&A as a final qualifying venue for The Open Championship every time it has been at Royal Troon and Turnberry.
At 6903 yards long from the back tees, Gailes is a great test of golf whilst the kinder forward tees provide a fine test for players of all abilities.
Western Gailes Golf Club lies between Irvine Bay and the railway on Ayrshire's prodigious stretch of links coastline.
Formed in 1897, the Club has hosted a number of prestigious tournaments, including the Scottish Amateur Championship, the 1972 Curtis Cup, the 1964 PGA Championship, and in 2007 was host to the European Men's Amateur Team Championship. The course is used for final qualifying when the Open is played at Turnberry or Royal Troon, and also as a final qualifying venue for the Seniors Open.
This natural links course offers undulating fairways, occasionally interrupted by three meandering burns. Greens that are cleverly located in naturally folded ground, some protected by burns whilst others guarded by sand dunes.
In February 2003, Loch Lomond Golf Club acquired a new links course near Troon in Ayrshire. It was intended to not only enhance the club's prominence within international circles but also to provide its esteemed international membership with a challenging alternative links venue.
Designed by the highly respected golf course architect Kyle Phillips, best known in the UK for Kingsbarns and The Grove, the 7,100-yard, par 72 course is located about an hour"s drive south west of Loch Lomond and five minutes from Prestwick International Airport. It was inspired by the timeless architecture of the great Ayrshire links courses of Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes, all connected by the historic rail line.
In its short history, Dundonald Links has quickly become recognised as one of Europe’s "must play” new links courses. It has already hosted the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy event, as well as qualifying for the Senior British Open Championship.
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club is to be found on the outskirts of Troon on Scotland's west coast and has been offering the golfer a magnificent links golf challenge for over one hundred years.
Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club now offers the visitor twenty-seven holes. With the addition of nine new holes on land between Barassie and the Dundonald course, the club now has a lengthened eighteen hole Championship Links complemented by perhaps the best nine hole course in Scotland.
The course is challenging, but is typically what Scottish Links golf is about - large undulating greens, deep bunkers and doglegs.
A warm welcome awaits you at Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club, a traditional Scottish links golf course established in 1851 and now occupying a prime position on the shores of the Firth of Clyde on Scotland’s west coast.
The course and Club are steeped in history – indeed one of its founder members was Old Tom Morris who was based in Prestwick prior to returning to St Andrews and his place in golfing legend.
The splendid clubhouse sits yards from the shoreline which is lapped by waters warmed by the Gulf Stream and the manicured course offers year round golf on a firm and generally frost free footing.
Testing your golfing skills on these fine links and enjoying our dining and bar facilities as the sun sets over Arran with Ailsa Craig in the distance are experiences not to be miss