Designer: George Strath / Willie Fernie
Length: 7,175 yards
Founded in 1878, Royal Troon has a long and illustrious championship history having hosted The Open Championship 8 times. Testament to the test of golf the course presents, winners at Royal Troon include such legends as Arnold Palmer (1962), Tom Weiskopf (1973) and Tom Watson (1982). More recently, Mark Calcavechia, Justin Leonard and Todd Hamilton in a playoff with Ernie Els have claimed the Claret Jug on the links of Royal Troon.
With its classic out-and-in routing, the prudent golfer banks some pars and birdies on the outward 9 where the prevailing wind blows in a helping direction. The exception is the infamous par 3 eighth, nicknamed The Postage Stamp due to its tiny green benched into a dune on the left and falling off sharply to the right. Finding the putting surface on a calm day is achievement enough, let alone when the wind is playing its usual tricks.
The inward 9 features a set of par 4’s as difficult to be found anywhere, beginning with the granddaddy of them all, the 11th hole. Playing 490 yards from the championship deck, the tee shot must be threaded between the railway to the right and a massive stretch of shoulder-height gorse on the left. The long second shot is played to a green that sits ominously close to the aforementioned railway line. Arnold Palmer called the 11th at Royal Troon “the most dangerous hole I’ve ever seen”.