Royal Troon Golf Club

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Royal Troon Golf Club
Royal Troon Old Course Clubhouse - geograph.org.uk - 1112739.jpg
The Old Course clubhouse in 2009
Club information
Royal Troon Golf Club is located in Scotland
Royal Troon Golf Club
Location in Scotland
Coordinates 55°31′55″N 4°39′00″W / 55.532°N 4.65°W / 55.532; -4.65Coordinates: 55°31′55″N 4°39′00″W / 55.532°N 4.65°W / 55.532; -4.65
Location Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland, U.K.
Established 1878, 137 years ago
Type Private
Total holes 45
Tournaments hosted The Open Championship,
The Amateur,
Senior British Open
Website royaltroon.co.uk
Old Course
Designed by George Strath and Willie Fernie, 1888; James Braid, 1923
Par 71
Length 7,175 yards (6,561 m)
Course rating 75
Portland Course
Designed by Willie Fernie, 1895; Alister MacKenzie, 1921
Par 71
Length 6,289 yards (5,751 m)
Course rating 71
Craigend Course
Par 27
Length 1,191 yards (1,089 m)
The Firth of Clyde beach and Royal Troonare separated by raised sand dunes
The Firth of Clyde beach and Royal Troon
are separated by raised sand dunes
Troon is located in South Ayrshire
Troon
Troon
Location in South Ayrshire, Scotland

Royal Troon Golf Club is a links golf course in Scotland, located in Troon, South Ayrshire, southwest of Glasgow.

Founding and early years[edit]

The club, which now has a total of 45 holes, was founded 137 years ago in 1878, initially with five holes. It lies adjacent to the Firth of Clyde. George Strath was appointed in 1881 as the club's first golf professional,[1] and together with 1882 Open champion Willie Fernie (golfer), designed the original course, expanding it to 18 holes by 1888.[2] The two were assisted by Charlie Hunter, greenskeeper of the neighbouring Prestwick Golf Club, in Troon's formative years.[3]

When Strath left the Club's employ in 1887, Fernie became head professional, and served in that role until his death in 1924. He laid out the club's original Portland Course as well; this course was named in honour of the 6th Duke of Portland, an essential early Troon Golf Club patron and facilitator, who was one of the region's largest landowners.[3]

The Club's property lies between the Firth of Clyde on the west, a caravan park on the south (slightly further south lies Prestwick Golf Club), the railway line and main road on the east, and the town of Troon on the north. Glasgow Prestwick Airport is located slightly to the south and east of the club, and low-flying aircraft are nearest its southern section.

Redesigned for first Open Championship[edit]

Just prior to Royal Troon hosting its first Open Championship in 1923, the Old Course was redesigned, lengthened, and strengthened by James Braid, a five-time Open champion, one of the era's top architects, and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Other than having new back tees on several holes, the current Old Course is essentially very similar to Braid's finished work.[2]

Awarded 'Royal' designation[edit]

Troon was granted its "Royal" designation in 1978, during its centennial.[4] Its clubhouse is richly decorated with historical golf artifacts. James Montgomerie, father of champion golfer Colin Montgomerie, served as Secretary in the 1980s.

Nine-time host of The Open Championship[edit]

Its Old Course is one of the host courses for The Open Championship, one of the major championships on the PGA Tour and European Tour. The Club has hosted the Open nine times, the most recent in 2016.

Past Open champions[edit]

Past Open champions at Royal Troon include Justin Leonard, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Watson, Tom Weiskopf, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Locke, and Arthur Havers. Six consecutive Opens at Troon were won by Americans, from 1962 through 2004, ended by Henrik Stenson of Sweden in 2016.

Noteworthy characteristics[edit]

Seaside opening[edit]

The Old Course begins alongside the sea, running southwards in a line for the first six holes. This opening section offers full visibility and plenty of space, but does still require accuracy to avoid deep bunkers. Many good rounds have been fashioned through low scores here, often aided by prevailing downwind conditions.

Rise in complexity[edit]

Beginning with the seventh, the Old Course turns further inland, while simultaneously changing direction, on each of its next six holes, among hillier dunes and thicker vegetation, including gorse and whins, to severely punish offline shots. This sector, with two blind tee shots on the tenth and 11th, marks a sharp rise in difficulty from the opening holes.

Long finish[edit]

With the 13th hole, the player turns northwards for a long, very stern finish, running parallel to the opening stretch. This comprises three long par 4s, two tough par 3s, and a challenging par 5 (the 16th) with its fairway bisected at the halfway point by a ditch, which can only very rarely be carried from the tee. The player very often has to face a strong prevailing wind.

Famous holes[edit]

Royal Troon is home to both the longest and shortest holes in Open Championship golf. Regarded as one of the top holes in the world, the par-3 8th hole ("Postage Stamp") measures a scant 123 yards (112 m), but its diminutive green measures a mere 2,635 square feet (293 sq yd; 245 m2).[5][6][7] Two holes earlier, the par-5 6th ("Turnberry") extends to a lengthy 601 yards (550 m).

The 11th hole ("The Railway") is one of the most difficult holes in major championship golf.[8] Now a long par-4, a blind tee shot has a long carry over gorse with out of bounds all along the railway on the right. The lengthy approach shot is to a small green that falls away, with nearby out of bounds.[9][10]

Votes to admit women as members[edit]

On 1 July 2016, Royal Troon members voted overwhelmingly to admit women into the club as members, avoiding a potential controversy that could have overshadowed the 2016 Open Championship, and potentially to the club being removed from the Open rota in the future.[11]

The Portland and Craigend Courses[edit]

The Old Course is the championship layout at Royal Troon. Its second course, the Portland, also an 18-hole layout from 1895, but significantly shorter than the Old Course, was redesigned in 1921 by world-renowned architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Portland is also of very high standard. It is located slightly further inland and mostly further north than the Old Course, with no holes bordering the Firth of Clyde; it has its own clubhouse.

The Craigend Course is a nine-hole par-3 course.

The Club is private; guests are allowed at certain times, under advance booking, with a handicap certificate establishing proficiency.

The Old Course has four tees – "Ladies", "Short", "Medal" and "Championship".

Layout[edit]

For 2016 Open Championship:

Hole Name Yards Par Hole Name Yards Par
1 Seal 367 4 10 Sandhills 451 4
2 Black Rock 390 4 11 The Railway 482 4
3 Gyaws 377 4 12 The Fox 430 4
4 Dunure 555 5 13 Burmah 473 4
5 Greenan 209 3 14 Alton 178 3
6 Turnberry 601 5 15 Crosbie 499 4
7 Tel-el-Kebir 401 4 16 Well 554 5
8 Postage Stamp 123 3 17 Rabbit 220 3
9 The Monk 422 4 18 Craigend 458 4
Out 3,445 36 In 3,745 35
Source:[12] Total 7,190 71

Lengths of the course for previous Opens (since 1950):[13]

Opens from 1962 through 1989 played the 11th hole as a par-5.

The Open Championship[edit]

The Open Championship has been held at Troon on nine occasions:

Year Winner Score Winner's
share (£)
R1 R2 R3 R4 Total
1923 England Arthur Havers 73 73 73 76 295 75
1950 South Africa Bobby Locke 2nd 69 72 70 68 279 (−1) 300
1962 United States Arnold Palmer 2nd 71 69 67 69 276 (−12) 1,400
1973 United States Tom Weiskopf 68 67 71 70 276 (−12) 5,500
1982 United States Tom Watson 4th 69 71 74 70 284 (−4) 32,000
1989 United States Mark Calcavecchia 71 68 68 68 275 (−13)PO 80,000
1997 United States Justin Leonard 69 66 72 65 272 (−12) 250,000
2004 United States Todd Hamilton 71 67 67 69 274 (−10)PO 720,000
2016 Sweden Henrik Stenson 68 65 68 63 264 (−20) 1,175,000
  • Note: For multiple winners of The Open Championship, superscript ordinal identifies which in their respective careers.

Hosts further significant events[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Royal Troon – Club Professional History". royaltroon.co.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d World Atlas of Golf, 2012 edition, Octopus Publishing Group Ltd., London, ISBN 978-0-600-62518-6, pp. 58–59
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Club History – Early Years". royaltroon.co.uk. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Now it's Royal Troon". Glasgow Herald. Scotland. 5 June 1978. p. 16. 
  5. ^ Klein, Bradley S. (11 July 2016). "Royal Troon's tiny 'Postage Stamp' offers plenty of heartache to write home about". Golfweek. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  6. ^ Martin, Sean (13 July 2016). "Troon's short but daunting task". PGA Tour. 
  7. ^ Sherman, Ed (15 July 2004). "No mailing it in here". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Shackelford, Geoff (14 July 2016). "Troon's 11th could become the hardest hole (statistically) in a major, ever". Golf Digest. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Bath, Richard (14 July 2016). "The Open 2016: Railway hole leaves leading players off the beaten track". Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Train wreck: 'Railway' hole derails top golfers at Troon". USA Today. Associated Press. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  11. ^ Inglis, Martin (1 July 2016). "Royal Troon says 'yes' to women members". bunkered. 
  12. ^ "The Course". The Open Championship. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  13. ^ "Media guide". The Open Championship. 2011. p. 203. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 

External links[edit]