Trump Turnberry Ailsa

Trump's version is held unanimously as the best yet. A true bucket list experience.

Trump Turnberry Ailsa

Ayrshire, Scotland


The Ailsa is most famous for the 1977 'Duel in the Sun' between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson.

Turnberry was the world's first purpose-built golf resort!

The Open isn't coming back anytime soon but it is the only course in the rota with a coastline and beachscape in play.

The 106th Open was won by Tom Watson in 1977. Greg Norman won the 115th Open in 1986. 8 years later, Nick Price won the 123rd Open in 1994. Stewart Cink came way victorious in 2009 at the 138th Open.

Trump Turnberry Ailsa Videos

Watch an overview of the resort and its' recent changes here

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Golf Course Review

Trump Turnberry Ailsa is found on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland between Maidenhead Bay and Turnberry Bay. Turnberry Bay Beach flanks The Ailsa which is punctuated by Turnberry Castle, Turnberry Lighthouse and Ailsa Craig. Trump Turnberry, a luxury collection resort, hosted the 1977 Open Championship and is a leading resort, golf academy, and perfect destination for golfers and non-golfers alike.

Turnberry History

In 1896, Turnberry landowner and South-Western Railway board member, Lord Ailsa dreamt up building a railway from Ayr to Maidens, Turnberry and Girvan. Tickets would be sold to willing golfers keen to play over the newly laid out links. Willie Fernie was called upon to layout the course which opened for play on July 6, 1901.

By 1906, further adjustments were made and 9 hole ladies course was laid out under the direction of A.N Weir. Just three years later, the Ladies Course was displaced by four new holes of an updated No. 1 course. A.N Weir was the Turnberry professional from 1906 to 1910 after being at Cruden Bay.

During the First World War, the dunes were levelled for airstrips, hangers and huts. Those injured on the front were put up in the hotel which became a military hospital. In 1919, the remnants of the No.1 Course reopened for play.

In 1938, Major Cecil Hutchison redesigned the Ailsa which lasted only 4 years... it is significant as the bones of his layout provide the foundation for the course we know today.

In 1942, the links were again turned over to the Ministry of War and the resort again became a military hospital. The Royal Air Force established a flying school causing more extensive damage than what was sustained during The Great War.

At the conclusion of WW2 in 1949, Philip MacKenzie Ross and Suttons were called upon to return the links to their former glory which reopened for play in 1951. Minor refinements were made by Jimmy Alexander in 1954.

The Modern Trump Turnberry Ailsa

In advance of the 2009 Open Championship, there were a number of enhancements made with the bulk of the changes were made to the 10th, 16th and 17th holes. Bunkers were added on Holes 1, 3, 5, 8, 14 & 18. Tees were added on holes 3, 5, 7, 8 and 18 to add 247 yards.

Following the acquisition by The Trump Organization, MacKenzie & Ebert were again called in to rethink the design. The design didn't affect the general routing but significant changes were made. For example, additional waterfront acreage was acquired which allowed the Par 3 9th, Par 5 10th and Par 3 11th holes to be routed on the seafront.

A completely new 18th hole playing straight as opposed to the previous dogleg with internal OOB forced the short 6th hole to be rethought. Additionally, the changes to the 9th and 18th meant a new 14th Par 5 and the 17th a Par 4. Additional length was added on Holes 1-5, 7, 8, 12, 15 and 16. All 18 greens were completely rebuilt along with a complete bunker renovation which incorporated Philip MacKenzie Ross' post-WW2 aesthetic.

The finished product meant the course is Open ready and tips the scales at 7453 yards! The modern Ailsa opened for play in June of 2016.

Trump Turnberry Ailsa Changes by Hole

Hole 1 - New Tees & Green Location (Ross & Ebert)
Hole 2 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 3 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 4 - New Tees & Green Location (Ross & Ebert)
Hole 5 - New Tees & Green Location (Ross & Ebert)
Hole 6 - New Hole (Martin Ebert)
Hole 7 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 8 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 9 - New Hole (Martin Ebert)
Hole 10 - New Tees & Green Location (Ross & Ebert)
Hole 11 - New Hole (Martin Ebert)
Hole 12 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 13 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 14 - New Hole (Martin Ebert)
Hole 15 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 16 - New Tees (P MacKenzie Ross)
Hole 17 - New Tees and Green Location (Ross & Ebert)
Hole 18 - New Tees (Martin Ebert)

All greens and bunkers were rebuilt. 5 new holes were built, namely: 6, 9, 11, 14, and 18. In a stroke of genius, there was also the reinstatement of the classic MacKenzie Ross' doughnut bunker on 10!

There are genuinely 5 holes that can be attributed to M Ebert. While every hole has received new tees and bunkers, 8 can be said to be MacKenzie Ross' based on Hutchison's pre-WW2 layout. The remaining five can be called hybrids.

Turnberry Hotel & Resort

With a train line built, what lay at the end of the line needed to attract holidaymakers willing to spend their cash. On May 17, 1906, The Station Hotel opened with previously unseen luxuries as electric lighting and hot and cold running water.

The hotel changed hands throughout the 20th century. In the early 2000s, a new proprietor made it the resort it is today. The hotel was completely refurbished in 2008 in preparation for The Open Championship in 2009.

In 2014, The Trump Organization bought the resort and invested heavily in the golf courses. The 1906 restaurant, deluxe ocean view rooms, and Turnberry Adventures make the destination a complete experience for those golfing or not.

Ailsa Craig

The name of the Championship Links is taken from the famous monolith of volcanic rock in the Firth of Clyde offshore from Girvan, South Ayrshire. Of interest, the Craig lies halfway between Glasgow and Belfast and is known as "Paddy's Mile Stone." The Craig also has its own lighthouse - construction was completed in 1886 and is still in use today. In times past, the lighthouse burnt oil as illumination before switching to incandescent lighting. In 2001, it was converted to solar power.

Turnberry Lighthouse

The iconic lighthouse is not found on Aisla Craig but rather on the mainland - and has been since 1873. The lighthouse is the oldest manmade structure on Turnberry Point and lies atop the former castle of Robert the Bruce. It is thought he was born in the site in 1274.

The lighthouse is now one of golf's most outstanding halfway houses. Incredible views of the Irish Sea and the Isle of Arran are provided to those who stay in the two-bedroom suite - a Dormy house of sorts with all the hallmarks of the Trump brand!

Trump Turnberry & The Open

The Open Championship has been played four times at Turnberry. Firstly, in 1977 with Tom Watson beating Jack Nicklaus in 'The Duel in the Sun.' In 1986, Greg Norman won his first major with his second round 63 considered to be one of the greatest rounds of all time. In 1994, Nick Price holed an unlikely 50-foot putt to prevent Jesper Parnevik his Open victory. Lastly, in 2009 it was Stewart Cink who broke the heart of the golfing world by beating Tom Watson in a playoff and denying him from becoming the oldest-ever Open Champion.

The R&A recently all but suggested it would not return in the foreseeable future or as long as Trump's name was associated with the club. If it was Donald's dream to host an Open Championship, Trump Turnberry Ailsa would have been his best bet. Unfortunately for him, the possibility of his Ayrshire or Aberdeenshire courses of ever hosting an Open appear to be bleak.

Ranked17/100in the world
Ranked4/100in GB&I

Featured Architect: Philip MacKenzie Ross

Philip MacKenzie Ross stated the following as his principles of design: Natural beauty should be preserved. The ground should dictate play. Man-made features should blend seamlessly into natural features. No bunker should be placed to catch a bad shot. Variety is the spice of the game. No two holes or...

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The Putter Tailor - Made to Measure Putters and Wedges

At a glance


  • Fernie, Willie
  • Weir, Alexander Neish
  • Hutchison, Major Cecil Key (CK)
  • Philip MacKenzie Ross
  • Alexander, Jimmy
  • Ebert, Martin



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Contact Details

Ayrshire, KA26 9LT, Scotland

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Featured Architect: Philip MacKenzie Ross

Philip MacKenzie Ross stated the following as his principles of design: Natural beauty should be preserved. The ground should dictate play. Man-made features should blend seamlessly into natural features. No bunker should be placed to catch a bad shot. Variety is the spice of the game. No two holes or...

View Profile
The Putter Tailor - Made to Measure Putters and Wedges

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