Director of golf at Trump Turnberry says people will be ‘more than pleasantly surprised’ by resort’s new 18-hole layout
By Michael McEwan
THE director of golf at Trump Turnberry has told Scottish Club Golfer that people are going to be ‘more than pleasantly surprised’ by the resort’s new King Robert The Bruce Course.
Ricky Hall believes that the new layout, built on the site of the Ayrshire venue’s former Kintyre Course and unveiled just a year on from the ‘reborn’ Ailsa Course, will take the quality of golf on offer at the resort to ‘another level’ and has expressed his hope that it become a viable option for staging top tournaments in its own right.
“We are massively excited to open the King Robert The Bruce Course,” said Hall. “We always felt that the Kintyre has the guts of a strong course but we didn’t have the strategy, ability of budget to really realise its potential.
“However, the sale of the resort to the Trump Organisation in 2014 has allowed that to happen and, just as with the changes elsewhere at the resort, the results are truly spectacular.
“I truly believe that it’s going to be an instant classic and people will to be more than pleasantly surprised by what has been done. It’s by no means a tweak here and there of the existing layout. It is a wholesale redesign, with several holes built completely from new. We cannot wait for people to come and play it.”
Hall also expressed his belief that the new course will narrow the gap in quality with the Ailsa Course as compared to its predecessor.
“So-called ‘sister’ courses tend to sit in the shadows of their more high-profile neighbours, and understandably so, but I don’t believe it will be quite so stark a distinction here,” he said. “We truly believe that it will stand on its own two feet and, whilst the Ailsa Course will always be the No.1 course here, the King Robert The Bruce will be no poor relation.
“In an ideal world, we’d love for it to stage tournaments. You look at championships like The Amateur Championship and the requirement it has for two courses: one for strokeplay qualifying and one for the matchplay knock-out stages. We believe that, with this new course and the Ailsa Course, as well as our excellent practice and accommodation facilities, we could certainly host something of that stature.”
Hall is particularly excited about the four brand new holes from the eighth to the eleventh, which offer spectacular views of the castle ruins and lighthouse, as well as the stunning coastline.
The par-5 eighth sits high above the ocean and ‘quickens the blood’ ahead of the ninth. It has already been tipped to become the most exciting hole across either of the two courses at Turnberry, with the shot across the valley leading to the ocean described as ‘not for the faint hearted’.
The par-3 tenth requires a shot across its own valley to a well-protected green, whilst the 11th, another par-5, has the lighthouse as its focus from the tee.
“You could take any of those holes, put them on any other course, and they would instantly be the signature hole,” said Hall. “They really are that good.
“One of the criticisms people had of the Kintyre Course - and the same, to an extent, was true of the Ailsa prior to the changes we made last year - was that it didn’t make the best possible use of its property. Full credit to Martin Ebert and the team at SOL Golf, they have absolutely put that right with the changes they’ve made. They have maximised the potential of the land with stunning results.
“In addition to the new holes that they’ve built, they’ve completely changed the look and feel of every other one with some subtle but significant changes.
“The removal of trees and gorse and the introduction of waste areas and wetlands, along with considerable bunker reshaping, new tees and so on, has created a golf course that it now completely worthy of its location.”
Hall added that the resort’s high-profile owners are also delighted with the end result. “As you might expect, the Trump Organisation has been heavily involved in the changes and Eric Trump in particular,” he said. “They have taken a keen interest in how things have been developing and I know that they share our excitement at the public getting to see how the new course looks. It’s a great time to be part of Trump Turnberry.”
For the months of July, August and September, Trump Turnberry is offering a ‘4 for the price of 3’ deal for those wishing to play the King Robert The Bruce Course, saving £120 per fourball. To find out more, call 01655 334032.