Named after the third Marquess of Ailsa, who owned the land on which it was built, this par-70, 7,211-yard championship course is one of golf's storied places. Home to four Open Championships, Ailsa has shaped some of the most remarkable moments in the tournament's history.
Its first three holes pose a fairly tough opening, particularly when the wind blows from the direction of its namesake, the brooding isle of Ailsa Craig, 11 miles out to sea. From the 4th to the 11th, the coastal scenery is magnificent and the course is demanding. Commanding a passage of stout hitting throughout, the 5th to the 8th holes are framed by sandy hillocks, while the 9th, 10th and 11th are flanked by craggy rocks.
On its stony ridge on the edge of the sea, the new par 3 9th hole is Turnberry's trademark. The landmark lighthouse casts shadows over the 13th century ruins of Bruce's Castle, the reputed birthplace of Scotland's hero king Robert the Bruce, and the narrow path to the tee and the drive across the corner of the bay fills players with trepidation.
On the 18th, with the red-roofed hotel in sight to distract, gorse running down the right side and small dunes peeking up just enough to block your view of the landing zone, finding the fairway is even more difficult.