Turnberry, Scotland, United Kingdom
Colin Montgomery grew up and learned his trade at Troon, yet he calls Ailsa “the best links golf in the world”. Ailsa has a special place in history; Scotland’s hero king, Robert the Bruce was born at the nearby Bruce Castle and the fairways of this course were used as runways for military aircraft during both World Wars. Today, modern warriors flock to the place armed with clubs, eager to duel again the following day.
With towering dunes and the beauty of the west coast of Scotland, the course makes the most of its natural setting and the hazards provided by the coastline. The 4th to the 11th holes hug the sea providing each with magnificent scenery and demanding layouts. 4, 9 and 10 are so close to the beach that you can feel the pull of the tides, particularly on the ball that you would rather have on the dry bits. The 9th is one of the great holes of golf; with a rocky ridge for a tee well into the water, it demands a drive over as much of the ocean that you would want to attempt. The brave will want to take the shortest route, leaving just a chip into the green and a chance at an unforgettable birdie. Make sure your caddie has your camera ready.
(Image by easylocum on Flickr)