Western Gailes - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

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


  • +44 (0) 1294 311649

  • Golf Club Website

  • 3 miles N of Troon, off A78

  • Welcome Mon, Wed & Fri – contact in advance

Western Gailes Golf Club is wedged between Irvine Bay and the railway tracks on one of Ayrshire’s narrowest strips of links land. Western and its next-door neighbour, Glasgow Gailes, are the northernmost of the exceptional links courses located on this prodigious stretch of Ayrshire coastline.

Four Glaswegians who were fed up with playing on muddy parkland founded the club in 1897. They recruited the first keeper of the greens, Mr. F. Morris, to lay out the course on land leased from the Duke of Portland. Western Gailes is listed in the catalogue of Simpson & Company Golf Architects, but we don't know what work Tom Simpson may have carried out prior to Fred W. Hawtree developing four new holes in the mid 1970s to accomodate a new road.

Western is an unusual layout in that the clubhouse is more or less centrally located. The first four holes head north, parallel to the railway tracks. The next nine holes head straight back along the coastline in a southerly direction, passing the clubhouse along the way, and then the closing five holes head northwards, back towards the clubhouse and once more along the railway line.

Whilst the layout, as we have already mentioned, is unusual but ostensibly nine out and nine back, the holes are wonderfully varied. The fairways undulate gently, interrupted occasionally by three meandering burns that dissect this thin strip of land. The greens sites are cleverly located in naturally folded ground; some are protected by burns whilst others, like the 6th, are in hollows guarded by sand dunes. All the greens are fast, firm and subtly contoured. The 14th hole, a wonderful par five which often plays downwind, provides a huge temptation for big hitters, but numerous bunkers lie in wait.

Be prepared for a westerly wind that can be undeniably ferocious and cunning as it switches direction from south-westerly to north-westerly. On occasions it can be soul-destroying. Western Gailes is a suitably fitting name for this golf course.

Western is a very stiff golfing test – expect to use every club in the bag. The layout measures 6,714 yards from the back tees and Western has hosted a number of important events, including the 1972 Curtis Cup, narrowly won by the USA and the 1964 PGA Championship, won by AG Grubb. Additionally, the course is used for final qualifying when the Open is played at Troon or Turnberry.

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Reviews for Western Gailes

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Description: The holes at Western Gailes Golf Club are wonderfully varied. The fairways undulate gently, interrupted occasionally by three meandering burns... Rating: 8.7 out of 10 Reviews: 47
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Keith Baxter
Western Gailes is the understated gem of the Ayrshire coast. It doesn't have the pedigree of Turnberry, Troon or Prestwick, but in many ways Western is the best all round course of the bunch. A sense of quiet and unassuming confidence is all around the place and there's nothing showy just a good honest links course with a fine collection of holes and an especially strong set of par threes. Make sure it's up at the top of your list of courses to play when you're visiting this neck of the woods, you won't be disappointed.
April 24, 2006
8 / 10
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Lee Abbey
A great test of golf with 18 honest and fair holes. There are no unfair or obvious designer hallmarks here. The course was in fine condition in April 06 and it proved one of the more enjoyable rounds on this tour ranked in my eyes just below Turnberry's Ailsa. Well worth a visit and a must play if you're planning a tour of the region. The clubhouse was being refurbed on our visit but you could still get lunch though it's a jacket and tie affair. We only found four people eating and no staff members anywhere so left without so much as a pint.
April 11, 2006
8 / 10
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Jim Robertson
Ranks in the echelon just behind the great links courses of Scotland, i.e. a fine test with some excellent holes and lovely views. Try to play here if you can.
February 04, 2006
8 / 10
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Richard Smith
A course you should absolutely not miss if you are on the western coast of Scotland. We played this course in a fierce wind, and when it started raining we thought it was hail because it was hitting us so hard. Our first four holes were downwind. To give you some idea of the severity, I drove it into a greenshide bunker at the first (325 yards or so). After turning into the wind I hit a driver and a 4 iron to the 320 yard 9th. The course is wedged between the ocean and runs straight out, back for nine wholes, and then straight back in. Most of the time the wind is either dead with or against you. Hole #5 is a stern par 4, and at 460 into the wind we were hitting 5 irons on our third shots! 7 is a great par three, hard against the coast line with the green nestled between high banks of rough.The holes are all interesting and challenging.The club is exceedingly friendly and playing this course is one of my foundest memories. This course deserves it high ranking and is one I would seek out and play any time I was close by.
November 20, 2005
10 / 10
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Hugh
You need to know how to handle a links course to play well here. Western is a demanding course with tricky subtle greens that are well protected. A couple of excellent little par threes provides great entertainment. A course that will appeal to the connoisseurs because it has everything going for it but always in an understated way. The run from the 6th is especially good. A true links course and one of the best on the Ayrshire coast. Clubhouse is an imposing but welcoming building and the staff and members are really friendly.
April 19, 2005
8 / 10
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John Diekmann
I was fortunate enough to play Prestwick, Turnberry (Ailsa), and Western Gailes on one of my golfing trips to Scotland. Out of the 3 I liked Western Gailes the best. I thought it was fabulous. We played 36 and would have played more if we had the time!
November 08, 2004
10 / 10
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gary cousineau
My son and I played 10 of the great courses in Scotland including Turnberry, Troon, Prestwick, St Andrews, North Berwick...etc. Out of all the courses we played Western Gailes was our favorite. We truely loved this links the best.
October 19, 2004
10 / 10
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