Picture yourself on the ninth tee on the Ailsa Course, with the waters of the Firth of Clyde crashing into the rocks below and a lighthouse to your side. Golf at the famous Turnberry Resort is unlike golf anywhere else in the world.
High on a hill above its golf courses and the waters of the Firth of Clyde, this is the quintessential Scottish resort, with its white façade and russet red roof. Turnberry is known to many Americans as the site of the Duel in the Sun, the famous 1977 British Open battle between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. More history will be made this summer when the resort hosts the 2003 Senior British Open Championship July 23 to 27.
It's a resort steeped in history and tradition, with a distinctly British attitude. As Sam Baker, president of Haversham and Baker, a Cincinnati, Ohio — based travel and meeting company, put it, “Americans absolutely love the place.”
I'm certainly one American who couldn't get enough of it. From the polite and erudite staff, to afternoon tea with scones, to some of the world's most amazing seaside golf panoramas, Turnberry was an unparalleled experience.
A New Life
Thanks to a $20 million expansion and renovation completed last year by owner Star-wood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (the property is flagged as a Westin), Turnberry has evolved into an important meeting and incentive property. Developments include the addition of luxury cottages and lodge accommodations, the opening of a new 18-hole golf course called the Kintyre, the expansion of meeting facilities, and the addition of a new outdoor sporting facility. Activities include trout fishing, archery, and falconry.
With the addition of 89 rooms in the nine cottages and 12 lodges, Turnberry provides 221 accommodations. Guest rooms in the hotel have received extensive renovations, and all have Westin's signature Heavenly Bed. Three meeting rooms were added, bringing total meeting space to 7,000 square feet, and the magnificent Turnberry suite, the largest, was expanded to accommodate 300 theater-style and 220 for a banquet. Events can also be staged at the clubhouse and golf academy.
Ah, the Golf!
The golf experience at Turnberry is undoubtedly one of the best in the world. First, there are unparalleled panoramic views of Scotland's Ayshire coast. Unlike many links layouts, ocean sight lines at Turnberry are not blocked by dunes, and golfers have stunning views of Ailsa Craig, a domed rock island, and the Isle of Arran.
The Kintrye, a Donald Steel — designed layout opened in 2001, extends to the shores of the coastline. There's also the new nine-hole Arran Academy Course.