Royal Troon (Old) - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

Royal Troon Golf Club,
Craigend Road,
Troon,
Ayrshire,
KA10 6EP,
Scotland


  • +44 (0)1292 311555


Eight times an Open Championship venue, Royal Troon was the fifth Scottish course after Prestwick, St Andrews, Musselburgh and Muirfield to host the Open.

Date Winner Country
1923 Arthur Havers England
1950 Bobby Locke S Africa
1962 Arnold Palmer USA
1973 Tom Weiskopf USA
1982 Tom Watson USA
1989 M Calcavecchia USA
1997 Justin Leonard USA
2004 Todd Hamilton USA
2016 Henrik Stenson Sweden
2023 TBC TBC


Troon was founded in 1878 as a five-hole golf course following a meeting in the local pub by a group of golf enthusiasts. It was Charlie Hunter, Keeper of the Green at Prestwick, who laid out the original course and a few of his greens are still in play today. George Strath, Troon's first professional, later extended the course to twelve holes and then to eighteen by 1884. Willie Fernie and James Braid later modified and lengthened the layout. In 1923, Royal Troon Golf Club hosted its first Open and finally moved out of the shadow of its famous neighbour, Prestwick. (By 1923, Prestwick had already hosted 23 Open Championships).

"The course at Troon is perhaps a little overshadowed by its more famous neighbour," wrote Bernard Darwin in his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, "but it is a very fine course nevertheless, especially since it has been lengthened of late years. It has, moreover, one of the finest short holes to be found anywhere."

In 1978, Troon’s centenary year, royal patronage was bestowed. Royal Troon Golf Club remains the first (and last) club in Great Britain to have been granted Royal status under the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Royal Troon is a traditional out and back links course. The opening few holes are relatively gentle, with a series of short par fours running along the Firth of Clyde. It’s from these early holes that you get the chance to soak up the views. On a clear day, you can see the distant Ailsa Craig in the south, and to the west, the majestic mountains on the Isle of Arran.

The course measures 7,208 yards from the championship tips but line is more important than distance from the tee. Bunkers are everywhere, the majority of which are not visible from the tees. There’s plenty of deep rough and a smattering of gorse and broom to punish the wayward shot. Make your score on the outward nine holes; the inward holes are severe, often playing into the prevailing northwesterly wind. The stretch of holes from the 7th to the 13th provides an interesting and varied challenge.

The 6th is the longest par five in Open Championship golf and the 8th the “Postage Stamp” is the shortest par three on the Open circuit (123 yards). The name stuck after Willie Park referred to the hole in an article for Golf Illustrated: “a pitching surface skimmed down to the size of a postage stamp”. It was here, in the 1973 Open, at the age of 71, Gene Sarazen holed out in one. The following day, he holed his bunker shot for a two at the same hole. It was an amazing return for Sarazen, who had played in Troon’s inaugural Open in 1923.

The 11th is a brutal 490-yard par four for the pros and was rated the most difficult hole of the 1997 Open Championship – out-of-bounds and the railway line runs along the right hand side.

Mackenzie & Ebert made minor adjustments to every hole for The 145th Open in 2016, along with more major changes to the 9th, 10th and 15th holes. A backdrop of trees behind the 9th green was replaced with dunes, the former bunker in the carry of the 10th was restored, and both tees and early portion of the 15th fairway were moved to the left of the 14th hole, reinstating the old line of the hole.

The Open Championship returns to Royal Troon in 2023, 100 years since Arthur Havers lifted the Claret Jug at Troon for the first time.

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Reviews for Royal Troon (Old)

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Description: Royal Troon is a traditional out and back links course. On a clear day, you can see the distant Ailsa Craig in the south, and to the west, the majestic mountains on the Isle of Arran. Rating: 7.9 out of 10 Reviews: 40
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Gauthier
With 3 friends we played Troon after having played Turnberry, Prestwick and Western Gailes. What a disappointment! I understand better now why the only picture that you see on many web sites is the "Postage Stamp", it is probably the most scenic one of the 18 holes. For 210 GBP or 315 € you could without any problem find a much better course. All of us agreed to say that it is the worst value for money course that we have ever played. Moreover and due to some reconstruction of the Club House the meal (a cold buffet) included in the green fee is served on a plastic board and the beer in a plastic glass.
May 15, 2006
2 / 10
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Sam Hendrix
I really have enjoyed my rounds at Troon, and I love the litle village of Troon. A must play, but I fear its' length may endanger the chances of itstaying on the rotation. It is certainly challenging enough for us amateurs, but a little short for the big boys.
May 10, 2006
8 / 10
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Lee Abbey
Played the course on a windy day this April and rightly got beaten up by it. Found it to be in generally good condition for early in the season and a damn sight more interesting than some of the reviews here. Not as good as Carnoustie or Kingsbarns for example but not miles behind either. A pleasure to play the postage stamp - though the green didn't seem that small (still missed it of course). Not sure if it's just a fraction too early but the course was empty when we played on a weekday afternoon just us in a fourball and one two ball - maybe they are charging too much? The facilities as mentioned elsewhere are portakabins whilst the extensive refurb takes place but you can still get a sandwich and a pint in the clubhouse.
April 10, 2006
8 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
Earlier reviews had me worried before playing here – whilst I agree that it is flat and duneless, I found this a really enjoyable quality links. Started the day in the clubhouse and ate haggis in front of an open fire – how Scottish! Played the first 6 holes with the wind behind and this helped score well – change of atmosphere around holes 7-9 (slight move in from the coast), three top quality holes though including the Postage Stamp. Back 9 starts with a tricky blind drive (aim further left than it looks) and the bulk of this 9 was played into the wind with the affect being little chance of par scoring and a fair few double bogeys. Always a pleasure to add an Open championship course to my played course list and Troon for me was a great experience.
April 09, 2006
8 / 10
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Jim McCann

Royal Troon is, overall, a pretty uninspiring course to play. The best holes are reserved in the middle of your round when there are some nice changes in elevation between the 6th and 12th holes (with a blind tee shot at the 10th for good measure)but the opening and closing stretches are pretty bland. Throw in the fact that the Postage Stamp 8th was out of play when we played during the winter and you can guess that our party were not overly enamoured with being unable to play one of the most famous golf holes in the world.

One very big plus point is that the staff in the clubhouse were absolutely fabulous, operating a very sensible, down to earth, winter menu. They treated our visiting party of four as if we were members which is as high an accolade as I can give any golf club employee.

The clubhouse is undergoing extensive renovations so changing was confined to outside portakabins which detracted a little from the overall experience. I can hardly imagine what anyone paying top notch prices in the summer would think of this – our group were on a discounted SGU winter green fee (similar to that offered at other Open venues in Scotland) so we didn’t mind the inconvenience too much.

Jim McCann

February 14, 2006
6 / 10
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September 28, 2007
writing a review on Royal Troon having played from the winter tees is like going to Wimbledon, watching a fortnights tennis on the outside courts, and then saying it was a poor experience because none of the best players go there
Leighton Maurice
Somewhat disappointing when compared to the other courses on the Open rota, over priced and lacks the contrast of Sandwich or Birkdale and the brutal nature of Carnoustie. Opening couple of holes are pleasant but when you turn inland after the 8th it's bland.
January 23, 2006
2 / 10
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Hugh
I received a warm welcome from the staff and the caddies are something else with a wicked sense of humour. This is a fine and true test of links golf and is well worth playing when visiting the Ayrshire coast. They have a tricky little par three course and the Portland course too, so you can really make a day of it here. Don’t come expecting to play to handicap, the back nine is as tough as old boots. The course really comes alive at the Postage Stamp and then the run through to the 13th is especially memorable. I think this is a quality links course, a bit expensive, but an absolute must for traditional links lovers.
April 07, 2005
6 / 10
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Bart Boudreaux
My #2 in Scotland behind Dornoch. Not very scenic but a nice layout and not tricked up. Stay at the Loch Green House Hotel for an awesome experience.
December 31, 2004
10 / 10
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Hugh
Troon is worth playing for the "Postage Stamp" alone. I first played this hole at the outrageous Royal Links in Las Vegas, but there's nothing like the real thing. Apart from that, playing in the desert is a bit different to the Ayshire coast! The back nine was too tough for me into the wind and I almost lost the will to live. All in all a great experience but not quite living up to my expectations.
November 26, 2004
6 / 10
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Steve Smith
Frankly a bit of a slog, and probably my least favourite of the Open Courses.The opening holes, and the equivalent number of closing ones are fairly featureless. We played on a day when it was impossible to stop the ball downwind, and very difficult to reach the later holes into the elements.Most interesting stretch is around the turn, Postage Stamp etc. However, for the price, the poorest value in UK Links Golf.
May 26, 2004
4 / 10
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