Glasgow (Gailes Links) - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

Glasgow Gailes Golf Club,
Gailes,
Irvine,
Ayrshire,
KA11 5AE,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 141 942 2011


“As one approaches Prestwick,” wrote Bernard Darwin, in his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, “the train seems to be voyaging through one endless and continuous golf course – Gailes, Barassie, Bogside – I write them down pell-mell as they come into my head – Prestwick, St Nicholas, St. Cuthbert, Troon, and several more beside.” Add Turnberry, to Darwin’s list, and you can see why this prodigious stretch of Ayrshire coastline is so special. Glasgow Gailes, and Western Gailes, its next-door neighbour, are the northernmost of these exceptional links.

Glasgow Gailes Links is home to the Glasgow Golf Club, founded in 1787 and the 9th oldest golf club in the world. In those days, golf was played some 30 miles away, in Glasgow City. It was surely an absolute joy for the members when the Gailes course opened for play in 1892 – at last, no more muddy, parkland golf. The opening of Gailes made Glasgow Golf Club unique, with two courses, 30 miles apart. Willie Fernie originally designed the course, but Willie Park Junior revised the layout in 1912.

Glasgow Gailes is a classic links. “The turf is something softer – at least in my imagination – than that of the East Coast courses,” wrote Darwin, “and the greens are wonderfully green and velvety.” There is no doubt that the turf ensures tireless play, and it’s just as well, because there are plenty of courses to play on the West Coast.

Notorious for its whin (gorse) and heather-lined fairways, Glasgow Gailes is a tough cookie. It’s a final qualifying course when the Open is at either Turnberry, or Troon. Needless to say, it tests the very best professionals.

Many of the holes are fraught with danger, with out-of-bounds lurking beyond the railway line and the perimeter of the course. Straight and solid driving is required to card a good score. Beware of the wind – it can be a serious hazard.

Glasgow Gailes is kept out of the limelight by the other legendary links courses situated along this stretch of coastline. But you will be hard-pressed to find a better unsung layout than Glasgow Gailes Links. It really should be included on any must-play list – it’s a genuine test and host to Open Championship Final Qualifying from 2014 to 2017.

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Reviews for Glasgow (Gailes Links)

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Description: Glasgow Gailes Links is a classic golf course. “The turf is something softer – at least in my imagination – than that of the East Coast courses,” wrote Darwin, “and the greens are wonderfully green and velvety.” Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Reviews: 31
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steve grainger
nice course, which has more of a heathland feel than any of the nearby couses. Condition was the best of our mini tour on the Ayrshire coast. Par 3's were tough for the high handicappers with carries over bracken and gorse, but all the better for this. If there was one complaint it would be that all the holes were virtually straight and perhaps didnt have the variety of Western Gailes, but taking nothing away from G Gailes, it is still a great course.
September 07, 2010
8 / 10
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allan mcmillan
I came to this course with great anticipation, having watched the 2009 open qualifiers tackle it's subtle features. The course, designed by Willie Park, is not ostentatious or dramatic, but it gives a true test of your game, especially if you are in the higher handicap category.There are few hilly inclines or blind shots, which appeals to me. The fairways are gently undulating, and the greens run subtle and true. I particularly enjoyed the long dog-legging par 5 5th hole, as I hit the green in three and rejoiced in my birdie four. The short 6th and 15th holes are both delightful par 3 holes, which need perfect judgement if you are to avoid the seas of swaying gorse. The closing holes, which I made in gente evening sunshine, wind you gracefully home in a satisfying climax to a truly great Ayrshire links course. Round completed, the friendliness of the staff and quality of the meal that awaits you is well worth a full day visit.Be assured, I will be back!
February 08, 2010
8 / 10
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Martin Jordan
Glasgow Gailes 15th - photo by MPPJOver the winter months I seem to have been criss crossing the old Glasgow to Ayr railway line. Late last year I started by playing the magnificent Western Gailes followed shortly afterwards by Dundonald. I completed my Ayrshire odyssey by playing Glasgow Gailes. I had an inkling that Glasgow Gailes would be similar in style to Western Gailes and Irvine and, I am so glad to say, this pre conception turned out to be accurate. On a gloriously sunny and windless Ayrshire morning this understated gentleman’s club was just idyllic. I had heard that Gailes could be a little bit stuffy but I have to say I did not find this to be the case infact, the members and the pro-shop staff couldn’t have been more friendly or courteous.

I would take slight issue that there are no outstanding holes on the course as the three par 3’s are as good as I have played. Not one over 180 yards (take note course designers par 3’s don’t have to be over 200 yards to be difficult) with their defence coming from the ubiquitous calluna heather and gorse. This is a theme throughout the course. The rule is simple stay out of the gorse or be prepared to say adios muchachos to your score and many golf balls. I also thought holes 3,5,7 (but ignore the marker post as the true line is 20 – 30 yards right of the post), 10, 14 and 17 were well above average. It is difficult to find fault with Glasgow Gailes. The golfing authorities would seem to agree as this distinguished track will again act as a final qualifying course for this year’s Open it will also host next years Scottish Amateur Strokeplay and 2012 Home Internationals. It is a very fair test of golf on a course which simply oozes style and class and one I would be honoured to play again. MPPJ
March 27, 2009
8 / 10
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allan mcmillan
I played this course for the second time on a warm, sunny September evening this year. It was a delight! The fairways were running firmly and the greens were in excellent condition, and the course was quiet. I think it’s a very good test of a golfer’s game, and I scored quite consistently, with the help of the useful sprinkler yardage markers. The welcome and care of the resident professional couldn’t have been better, and I will definitely return to this impressive course in the future.
September 10, 2008
8 / 10
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allan mcmillan
I played a round in October,2007.The course was in excellent condition and I found each hole to be an interesting challenge.Greens were fast and smooth.I particularly enjoyed the closing 6 holes, and would rate Glasgow Gailes as one of my top courses played so far. The hospitality and food were both of good quality, and I hope to play here next year.
November 25, 2007
8 / 10
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colin
Most of the comments below sum it up. Only comment I would disagree with is that Western Gailes offers a sterner test, I find Glasgow a far better technical test of golf than Western. Western will always be the better course due to the setting, but Glasgow is a solid if unspectacular course. Always in good condition.
October 13, 2007
6 / 10
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stewart
I played Gailes Links in late March. The earlier comments below regarding the layout, conditioning and welcome reflect my experience as well. They had ended winter rules about a week before so we could play the ball through the entire fairway. I expected the gorse but was surprised by how much heather lined some of the fairways. From a visual perspective Glasgow Gailes and Dundonald suffer in comparison to their neighbor Western Gailes by being located on the eastern side of the railway line and therefore having no direct border with or views of the sea. Nowhere was I made more welcome than at Glasgow Gailes, both on the course and in the clubhouse after the round.
April 06, 2007
8 / 10
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jon dougherty
We really enjoyed our day here.Friendly staff/pro shop /members.The course is just a really good honest test.No real stand out holes although the par 3's deserve a mention.The course was in good nick and I would really recommend included it as part of an 'ayrshire tour'
July 27, 2006
8 / 10
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Course in great condition particulary the greens. Good layout and very rewarding to play. Late summer heather protects the course and wind during the winter. Maybe not the views of seaside links but I am sure you will enjoy a round here.
September 23, 2005
8 / 10
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Hugh
Glasgow Gailes is a worthy Open Qualifier and straight driving is paramount in order to find these tight fairwayst, otherwise thick, tangy heather and gorse awaits. The greens are some of the best around and they are like lighnining in the summer. Not only that, this place has a solid reputation as being the best conditioned course on the Ayrshire coast and it’s true. It doesn’t offer up quite as stern a test as Western Gailes but it’s still pretty tough nonetheless. Make sure you play this one – you won’t be disappointed.
April 26, 2005
8 / 10
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