Ayrshire resort shares first official images of changes made to iconic Open Championship host venue as it prepares to re-open
The first official pictures have emerged showing some of the changes that have been made to the Ailsa Course at Trump Turnberry.
They show the remodelled fourth green and the stunning new par-3 11th ahead of the official re-opening of the Open Championship host venue this summer.
The Ayrshire links has been given a multi-million pound facelift by renowned golf course architect Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert. The most significant changes have been made to the stretch of holes near the iconic lighthouse, namely the ninth – which has been converted from a par-4 into a par-3 – the tenth and the 11th.
The changes to the 11th are particularly impressive. Previously considered one of the weaker holes on the course, it has been drastically altered to bring the coastline much more into play.
The par-3 fourth, meanwhile, has had its green moved back and further to the left towards the coast, providing golfers with uninterrupted views of the putting surface, as well as the increased challenge of being closer to the sea.
Changes to the Ailsa Course were first outlined 12 months ago, following US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s purchase of the resort in April 2014.
At the time, the US tycoon, right, spoke of his “honour and privilege to own one of golf’s greatest and most exciting properties”.
His son, Eric Trump, added: “Our plans are extensive and will offer a new playing experience which will be unrivalled anywhere in the world.
“Our main objectives have been to retain the routing of the course, but to emphasise the spectacular coastline views.”
Designer Ebert currently advises six of the ten venues on the Open rota and said that he believed the changes would make the Ailsa more spectacular than ever.
“The re-born Ailsa course will create a much enhanced golfing experience, making even more use of the spectacular landscape and the iconic historic scenes that make Turnberry so special,” he said. “That, in turn, will lead to even more enjoyable golf for everyone and further dramatic championships at Turnberry.”
Work has also been undertaken to transform the adjoining hotel at Turnberry , whilst the renovated clubhouse was re-opened last year following a £10m refurbishment ahead of the RICOH Women’s British Open Championship, the final big event to be contested over the ‘old’ Ailsa.
Turnberry has hosted the Open Championship on four occasions, most recently in 2009 when Stewart Cink denied the then 59-year-old Tom Watson what would have been a record-equalling sixth victory.
Rumours abound that the venue will be dropped from the Open rota by the R&A in light of Trump’s contentious US presidential campaign. However, to date, there has be no official confirmation of this.