Improved. Updated. Refurbished. Restored. All words could match but there is no better word than "Reborn" to describe what has happened with this course, they used the exact word to tell us what has been going between Septembre 2015 and June 1st 2016.
When Trump bought the Resort many were afraid that he could do something not accepted by golfers but his commitment was to improve the Resort, better the course and keep the spot in the Open Rota which I feel he will.
First step was to refurbish and give a face change to the Hotel which he did satisfactory, the experience has improved and it looks even better than it used to.
Then they changed that very nice 12 holes par 3 course they had in front of the hotel to a 18 holes pitch and putt course. I have to be honest, I found the previous one more entertaining and nicer, but the job was done very good and the function of this course is a nice place to gamble with friends in the afternoons after golf.
And finally I get to Ailsa Course, which in my previous trips to Scotland I had played but was not my favourite as I liked better Old Course, Dornoch, Aberdeen and Carnoustie but know with the changes the course has gone up to fight for the 1st place with all the above. If you have played the course before the restoration you need to watch and read the document the Design Company prepared before they did the job to understand what has happened. In previous reviews you have read about them, I just will give my opinion on the Major changes.
Holes 1-2-3 have not been changed too much being 4 the first big one having been lenghtened and now you can see the green, it is for sure a better hole now. Then 5 turned to a nice par 5, where you can get home in 2. 6th hole is in my opinion the best minor change, having been shortened to a short iron par 3 with a tougher green from where the view has improved.
Now 7th can be played as a par 5 as it has new tees, previously only during the Open they used the par 5 tees. 8th hasn't had changes and it is maybe the only mistake as fairway is still too tough even for the pros.
Now we face the 3 big changes in 9-10-11 being 9th maybe the best par 3 in Scotland now with a tee shot of 247yds from the Open tees across the ocean, a hole that can compete against 16th at Cypress Point as the best par 3 in the world. The DeBruce Castle has been transformed into a Luxury Suite and the best Half Way House in the world, you can be sure of that. Although 10th has changed from a par 4 to a par 5, tee shot is similar to what it used to be but the second facing the water on the back of the green is really great. 11th used to have the tee by the ocean and still has it but now the shot goes over water to a very challenging green making it a great golf hole. 12-13 remain more or less the same while 14th has become a great par 5 usually into the wind. 15-16 played similar in my memory as they used to be while 17th was transformed into a very tough par 4 and it is my only regret as now we lost the chance of having an eagle hole near the end of the Championship. 18th tees have been changed now put facing the Hotel which is great.
I had a great round of golf despite some strong rain on 14-15 and fell in love with the course, it for sure has reborn and improved to make a spot in the World Top 15 very soon. If you have played it before, go and see the changes. If you have not, it is now a double must. And after the round go to the Half Way House, buy a beer and enjoy the breathtaking views!
Date: August 11, 2016