Irvine, Ayrshire KA11 5AE
18 holes. Seaside links. Undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb
13 miles N of Ayr
From the A78 one mile south of Irvine, exit at the Newhouse Interchange (Irvine A737). At roundabout at top of exit ramp follow direction Town Centre / Harbourside. After 150 yards at next roundabout take second exit. After 400 yards turn left direction Western Gailes. After 400 yards go over railway crossing and follow road into Western Gailes Golf Club.
Western Gailes Golf Club is home to what is generally regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the west of Scotland. It is the most revered of three layouts in a villageless area known as Gailes, which lies between Irvine and Troon. The "Gailes Links" of Glasgow Golf Club and "Dundonald Links" (also known at different times as Dundonald Gailes and Southern Gailes) are the close neighbours of Western Gailes.
Enjoying the best of the area's natural coastal duneland and running directly alongside the seashore, Western Gailes stylishly threads its way between the sand hills. Along the way you'll enjoy many wonderful views onto the Firth of Clyde and across the sea to the Isle of Arran. The beach and local railway line provide the boundaries for this long narrow layout, generally no more than two holes wide throughout. Between the boundaries is a fabulous set of links golf holes, emblazoned with excellent bunkering, superb greens and threatening water ditches (Gailes Burn and Montgomerie Burn), which meander their way to the sea, passing in front of at least four of the putting surfaces.
The opening four holes take you away from the clubhouse in a northerly direction, after which you turn 180-degrees and play the next nine holes "in series" alongside the sea. Each hole follows the one before in a southerly direction. All the ingredients are here for an exhilarating game of golf, made tougher if the south-pointing middle-nine is played into the prevailing southwesterly wind.
This very natural and challenging layout includes several elevated tee-boxes that offer great viewing platforms for those sea views. Many of the greens are more sheltered, nestling down in grassy hollows, as at the short par-5 6th and par-3 7th holes. Few would argue that Western Gailes stands as one of Scotland's greatest and most enjoyable links golf courses.
Visitors welcome on weekdays; Sat (after 3:30pm) and Sun (after 2:30pm).
Must book in advance. Proof of handicap required
Credit cards accepted (not Amex or Diners). Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2018].
Players generally walk this course. Golf carts available for hire on medical grounds only (doctor's letter required). Caddies available (advisable to book in advance).
Western Gailes (like its neighbour Glasgow Gailes) was originally established by Glaswegian golfers wanting to complement their parkland courses around Glasgow with links golf by the sea. The first life memberships at Western Gailes cost £5, the revenue being used to fund a full-scale clubhouse costing £600. Western Gailes hosted the Curtis Cup in 1972 (USA 10; GB&I 8) and is often used as a final qualifying course when Open Championships are held at Royal Troon.
2019 Golf World rating: 48th best course in Britain & Ireland; 19th best in Scotland.
Crosbie Road, Troon, Ayrshire KA10 6HE
+44 (0)1292 314 444Visit website
Located alongside the opening and closing holes of Royal Troon, the refurbished Marine Hotel provides excellent quality accommodation, combined with superb sea and golf course views. An ideal base from which to explore the many wonderful and historic golf courses on the Ayrshire coast.
Royal Troon (Old and Portland courses)
Prestwick; Prestwick St Nicholas; Kilmarnock Barassie
Dundonald; Western Gailes; Glasgow Gailes; Irvine; West Kilbride; Belleisle
6 Castle Street, Irvine, North Ayshire KA12 8RJ
+44 (0)1294 278 903Visit website
Set on the Scottish coast on the banks of the River Irvine, Annfield House Hotel is an ideal location for a weekend break or golfing holiday. Near to the town of Irvine, yet with pleasing landscape views.
Irvine (Bogside); Western Gailes; Glasgow Gailes; Dundonald
Kilmarnock (Barassie); Royal Troon; Prestwick; Prestwick St Nicholas; Belleisle; West Kilbride
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