Royal Troon Golf Club

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  • Architects:
    • Hunter, Charles
    • Strath, George
    • Fernie, Willie
    • James Braid
    • Ebert, Martin
  • Holes of Merit:
    6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17
  • NCG Rank:
    22/100 in GB&I
  • Rank:
    51/100 in the World


Tom Doak recommends golf architecture students pay special attention to the bunkering.

Royal Troon is home to the world-famous, par 3, 123-yard, 8th hole known as the Postage Stamp. Surrounded by deep bunkers, this innocuous hole is one of the most treacherous on the Ayrshire coast, Scotland and perhaps the rest of the world.

RTGC has hosted The Open 9 times. Arthur Havers, Bobby Locke, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson, Mark Calcavecchia, Justin Leonard, Todd Hamilton and Henrik Stenson have all walked away from Troon with the Claret Jug.

Royal Troon was the last UK club to receive the Royal Title, in 1978.

The second course at the club is The Portland. It was constructed for locals who wanted to play but were not members of the club. Originally, it was called the Relief Course before the name was changed in 1924.

The modern age of The Open is said to have started with Arnold Palmer's Open victory in 1962.

Royal Troon Golf Club Reviews

Jaeger Kovich contributed an analysis of the 8th hole to The Fried Egg

Royal Troon Golf Club Videos

See Hidden Links video here

Erik Anders Lang visit can be seen here

See a short drone video of the links here

Golf Course Review

Royal Troon Golf Club lies just north of the 1st Open Host, Prestwick Golf Club. South of the seaside town of Troon and north of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, the Old Course lies directly on the seaside with views of the Firth of Clyde and The Irish Sea. Royal Troon completes the triumvirate of Ayrshire links. The eldest is Prestwick; the youngest is Turnberry, with the middle child being Royal Troon, established in 1878.

Royal Troon Golf Club History

The original course was only five holes and laid out by Charles Hunter in 1878. A year later he would add the sixth. David Strath would later double the number of holes to 12 and finally 18 by 1883. Willie Fernie would tinker with the course between 1888 and 1923. It is him we can thank for the famous Postage Stamp and Railway holes. With the addition of two new holes, he needed to lose two others. This was done by combining 4 holes into the current 6th and 16th holes.

James Braid would add back tees, add 67 new bunkers, and change the par 4 5th into the par 3 we know today in preparation for the 1923 Open. 13 of the 67 bunkers added were on the 18th green alone! Of interest, Alister Mackenzie advised on the Portland Course next door. While on-site, he advised on the 10th hole bunkering of the Old Course. It is thought this is the only input he provided on an Open venue. WW2 meant the greens shrunk, bunkers were filled in or grassed, tees abandoned and fairway width tightened. Following the Open in 1950, it was decided the course needed to be toughened. By the time the Open would return in 1962, the course would measure over 7000 yards.

While the length has remained virtually unchanged since 1962, bunkers have increased. In 1973, there were 79. In 2004, they numbered 89. For The Open in 2016, there were 98. Many of the changes made by Martin Ebert were a restoration of features that existed prior to WW2 based on extensive historical research.

Royal Troon GC Hole by Architect

Hole 5 - James Braid
Hole 6 - Wille Fernie
Hole 8 (Postage Stamp) - Willie Fernie & James Braid (Bunkers)
Hole 9 - Willie Fernie
Hole 10 - Alister MacKeznie (Bunker)
Hole 11 (Railway) - Wille Fernie (Lengthened for 1962 Open.)
Hole 16 - Willie Ferne

Royal Troon Golf Club & The Open

The 145th Open in 2016 was won by Henrik Stenson.
The 133rd Open in 2004 was won by Todd Hamilton.
The 126th Open in 1997 was won by Justin Leonard.
The 118th Open in 1989 was won by Mark Calcavecchia.
The 111th Open in 1982 was won by Tom Watson.
The 102nd Open in 1973 was won by Tom Weiskopf.
The 91st Open in 1962 was won by Arnold Palmer.
The 79th Open in 1950 was won by Bobby Locke.
The 58th Open in 1923 was won by Arthur Havers.

Royal Troon Photography

Purchase Royal Troon Golf Club photography of this course here.


This course features in these collections. Click an icon to view the entire set.

Visitor Information

Everything you need to know before you go!