On a Coastline steeped in history and tradition it was a pleasure for Andy and myself to sample a couple of Ayrshire’s classic old links courses during a pre-open championship visit in late June.
Irvine’s Championship course is set a little away from the sea on reclaimed land, totally links in terms of playability and rugged looks. An unmistakable James Braid design, he crafted holes around an ever changing landscape which gives rise to a number of exciting challenges, with more than one way to play them too. Boredom isn’t a factor, neither is the quality, Irvine had the fastest running fairways we encountered in Scotland this year, not always a positive if we strayed just a little offline, what goes awry, stays that way!
The greens too were quite superb and equally as slick, these factors combined with a naturally gnarled sort of look in places gave us the biggest impression of the trip that we were playing golf exactly as it should be, and exactly as it was over a hundred years ago. A special place, and if you visit, beware of a majestically bumpy stretch from three to seven, where a lack of yardage is no indication of an easy ride. It is an indication though that The Irvine can bite and you maybe need a few rounds before you can truly master its complexities.
Views of the Isle of Arran are a pleasant distraction and reserve some time to enjoy the wonderfully traditional clubhouse fare and take a look at the history dotted around the walls. Tales of pride from Irvine, paying due tribute to their rich pedigree of quality golfers.
The Irvine – Bogside, Irvine, Scotland KA12 8SN
Telephone: 01294 275 979 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: www.theirvinegolfclub.co.uk
The Irvine Bogside
- Par 71 and 6415 yards
- Established in 1887
- The links fairways, built on sand, are divided by gorse and heather
- The Club has produced three Scottish Amateur Champions, a World Junior Champion, a Walker Cup player, and a British Seniors Champion.
- They staged numerous Open Championship Final Qualifying events with the R & A and recently co-hosted the British Amateur Championship with Royal Troon.
- In 2009 they hosted the Ladies Home Internationals
- In 2011 they hosted the prestigious Scottish Seniors Open Championship
- In 2015 they hosted the Scottish Youths Championship
- They also held the final qualifying for the Ricoh Ladies British Open at Turnberry.
Congu C.S.S.: Blue 73, White 72, Yellow 71, Red 74