Irvine - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

Irvine Golf Club,
Sandy Road,
Bogside,
Irvine,
Ayrshire,
KA12 8SN,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1294 275979

  • William McMahon

  • Willie Fernie, James Braid

  • James Smallwood


When Robert Adam, a young man from Leven in Fife, moved to Irvine, just north of Troon on the West Coast of Scotland in 1884, he found no golf course within comfortable travelling distance. His desire to rectify that situation, and the drive and leadership of one, James Stewart, led to a meeting of thirteen men at the King's Arms in 1887 to form a Club on land in Bogside, a tract of land belonging to the 14th Earl of Egilton.

Irvine Golf Club's current design owes much to the work of James Braid in 1926, and its status is confirmed by its regular hosting of national events including the Open Qualifying events held there prior to the Open Championship at Royal Troon and Turnberry.

Of medium length, it begins with one of five par fours over 400 yards, while successive shortish par fours, 4th and 5th call for accuracy on a course where gorse and heather define the fairways. A further long par four is again followed by a short par four, the 7th.

“Braid”, a 373-yard par four, opens the back nine, before we reach the longest hole on the course, 465-yard “Grandstand”, named because the remains of the old grandstand on the Bogside Racecourse lies to the west of this dogleg.

Views of Arran dominate the 12th tee, one of eight par fours on the back nine, which continue to test the golfer’s, resolve. The lone par three on the home nine is the 16th where a cross-bunker demands a solid carry to the green. The challenge on the 17th is more the green itself, while the 18th once again introduces sand as the main hazard.

Irvine Golf Club has produced three former Scottish Amateur Champions, a testimony to its quality and it provides yet another reason to travel to this wonderful golf country, the South West Coast of Scotland.

The club hosted the Women’s Home Internationals in 2009, when the amateur ladies’ team from Wales retained the trophy they’d won at Wrexham the previous year.

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Reviews for Irvine

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Description: Irvine Golf Club represents a tough test of golf. It's a classic traditional links course and plays host to Open Championship Final Qualifying... Rating: 7 out of 10 Reviews: 23
TaylorMade
Jim McCann

Irvine is the last of the great courses on the west flank of Scotland that I have played, on a stretch of coast from West Kilbride down to Turnberry. Irvine - Photo by Jim McCannIt's not quite up there at the heady heights of Turnberry, Troon or Western Gailes but it can more than hold its own against the likes of Gailes, Barassie and Dundonald.

And yet, compared to those half dozen links courses mentioned, Irvine has more the feel of a heathland course, with gorse and heather keeping fairways tight in many places.

Holes 4 and 5 are charming back-to-back short par fours, each measuring less than 290 yards then hole 6 drops in elevation down to the Garnock River (to the level that a “proper” links would be played).

The first of only two par threes is not played until the 8th and the hardest hole (by far) when I played today was number 12 – two huge bunkers on the left at the kink in the fairway pressure the drive before a long approach can be played to a still distant green.

The second par three on the card allows a wee breather before the biggest surprise of the round – two excellent par four holes to finish.

The 17th has the railway running all the way down the left to a wickedly sloping green before a blind tee shot is played over two enormous, sleepered bunkers up to the final fairway – a thrilling end to a round.

Greens, aprons and bunkers were maintained to the highest standard (which made the use of wee metal bins as tee markers seem quite out of place) but overall, Irvine is a very under rated course in my humble opinion.

Add the fact that the enormous clubhouse is run on a seemingly informal basis – with a very reasonable menu for hungry golfers – and you will understand why it is deserving of a five ball mark.

Jim McCann

October 03, 2007
8 / 10
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alex sherratt
October 05, 2007
Agree with you on the above Jim, we played this course a few years back and twinned it up with a visit to Prestwick St Nicholas, both good, testing courses and quite rightly deserve to be Open qualifiers !
Phil MacBeth
January 02, 2014
I played Irvine Bogside today and really don't have many positives to speak of. Tee boxes were very poor, greens were poor (despite the time of year) and the course was very wet underfoot. The greenkeepers need to do more to present the course better, at all times of year. I find it almost insulting that this course is played so high up this 'top 100' list as it certainly doesn't merit it's spot. I can't recall one hole that wasn't bland or simply better than a bit "meh". The course is on a par with the municipal courses at Troon, at a push. It's really not worth a visit if you're in the area, nor is it good value for money.
Hugh
January 03, 2014
Just as Shakespeare's tragic play is an anomaly, I suggest Mr Macbeth that your comments are also. In parts of the west of Scotland, December 2013 was the wettest since records began. No mortal greenkeeper can do anything about torrential rain and hurricane force winds. Even the world’s best links courses get soggy and occasionally flooded under these extreme weather conditions.
Phil MacBeth
January 06, 2014
Hugh, I played at Gailes Links, Turnberry (Ailsa) and Gullane (admittedly not West Coast) in December and have nothing but positives to speak of regarding their condition, and overall enjoyment. Irvine Bogside is as described, a bit of a bog. Perhaps the level of finance simply isn't available in comparison to the courses I've listed above and perhaps that's why the drainage is pretty poor. However, that aside, it's got to be the most bland links course I've played in many years. I simply cannot recall one hole that is worthy of a mention. It is no surprise that it won't be used as Open Qualifier when The Open returns to Troon, Gailes Links holds that honour, and quite rightly so. It's a course befitting The Open, with time and money clearly being invested into it's presentation. I'm glad I got the chance to play at Irvine though, it's allowed me the chance to experience it and decide that I won't return for an open competition.
Journeyman pro
March 13, 2014
Phil I would suggest that you contact the club if you feel you have had such a wildly disappointing visit. All other reviews on the site are constructive and complimentary I feel that some of your comments are ill advised and totally out of context when put against the rest. I''m sure the green keeper at irvine knows his job well as the condition of the greens and course are complimented in most posts here. I doubt he would be so disrespectful as to come to your work and knock the bins of your shoulder.
Brian Coutts
October 12, 2014
Phil, thought you would like to know Irvine Bogside has been selected to host the final qualifying for The British Ladies Open held at Turnberry 2015. Not to bad for a bland links.
jon dougherty
This is a really great links.It is tough with several tough par4's especially on the back 9.We were really looked after by the pro who managed to get us out before the members started and this really helped ous to enjoyour round.The holes are each quite different and require good solid iron approaches to get any birdie opportunities.The back 9 in particluar is tough ,but the 17th and 18th (next to the railway) are both fine holes and a great finish.This course may not be as illustrious as some of its neighbours especially Turnberry but is well worth a visit .
July 27, 2006
8 / 10
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Hugh
Irvine is a fine classic links set a little way away from the shoreline. Some great holes oozing character and charm, including the tricky 4th and 5th, which provide a great test of golf despite their modest length. One of the best of numerous Open Qualifying courses in this area. The greens are quite magnificent and the club is one of the friendliest I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. Well worth playing when in the area and great value too.
August 29, 2005
6 / 10
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