As we become immersed in the culture of each place we visit, we start to take on some of the local expressions. “Haste ye back” is seen as you pass through each town encouraging you to visit again.
We really feel this way about Turnberry. Prior to arriving we had concerns about the golf course being more resort style than other links courses (with the quality of the course suffering). Fortunately this was not the case and it was better than we expected.
Surrounded by farmland and sea with the majestic and imposing Westin Turnberry sitting atop the hill overlooking the course, Turnberry is a championship golf test in every sense of the word. In addition to hosting multiple Open Championships, Turnberry is hosting the Senior Open in little over a months time.
This course is tough! With only one par 5 and a string of 430 yard plus par 4s (many uphill and into the wind) we found ourselves using 3 woods and rescue clubs for many of our approach shots. Thankfully our driving off the tee was solid (can’t imagine how painful the round would have been with errant driving) but the course still proved challenging. Regrettably no birdies were had on the day as our putters could not get working (Gary – 39 putts, David – 39 putts).
The lighthouse is “the” recognizable feature of Turnberry. Standing alongside the 9th hole it has a dramatic and iconic presence. As we were playing this hole we noticed a wedding was being conducted outside the lighthouse with the bride almost taking off into the sky due to the heavy winds.
The routing of the course made excellent use of the land and holes moved in all different directions ensuring different types of wind (into wind, downwind, cross winds) was a factor on every shot.
Playing surfaces continue to be excellent and the revetted bunkers were prevalent but fair. We did not see the need to take a caddy as the course was laid out before us (maybe a caddy would have helped with the putts…)
The polish of Turnberry is evident with the friendliness, initiative and knowledge of the staff from the time of check in right down to the small touches of the small gift bag we received on the first tee (with yardage book, tees, pencil, scorecard in a keepsake bag).
Shot of the day
The 7th hole is tough 410 metre par 4 that swings left, uphill and into the wind. From a hanging lie in the right hand rough Gary hit a 3 wood onto the green to 15 feet.
Overall birdie tally
David (no birdies, cumulative 10)
Gary (no birdies, cumulative 20)
Tomorrow is a big day. A 6am departure time for the 1.5 hour drive to Loch Lomond where we are being hosted by good friend and business colleague Ron. As Gary’s local “on the ground” partner for all trips to the UK and Ireland, Ron is a member of Loch Lomond and has kindly invited us to play this very private golf club.
A quick dash to the airport for the 45 minute flight to Belfast and then another 1 hour drive to Portrush. All in all a tiring day. Stay tuned….