There are two other (three if you count the wee links pitch and putt) on the Turnberry Estate and it was a pleasure to return to play the new King Robert The Bruce course in July 2021. Since my last visit in 2017 when the second course here was called the Kintyre much has changed.
The majority of the course has been given a facelift with new fairway and greenside bunkers as well as a couple of water hazards removed. Some trees have also gone and a wetlands area created. And the middle section of the course (holes 8 to 11) have been completely redesigned. It now means the course plays to a 7,203 yardage from the rarely used black tees and is a par 72.
I'm pleased to report that the changes are for the better and elevates this fine links to well within the top 50 in Scotland.
Previously holes 8 to 10 were played in an anticlockwise direction and featured a notorious hole with a green set deep in a rocky cove. That has all changed as we now play this loop on the cliff tops in a clockwise direction and they start with a fine par five with an infinity green and a glorious backdrop of the famous lighthouse and Ailsa Craig.
The next is probably going to become a decisive hole and is a real risk-rewarder. The drive is straightforward but then you must decide if you've got enough ammunition to fire over rocky cliffs to a green perched perilously close to the edge. There is an alternative route around although it is likely you will need to play over the large hollow (where the old 8th green site used to sit) at some point.
This trio of holes on the high ground is completed with a more traditional short hole and is a fine looking par-three. The old 11th has now been extended to a par five before the round completes over familiar ground.
It's not easy for any course to shine when you have something like the Ailsa hogging the limelight but the King Robert The Bruce is a very good golf course in its own right. Some of the holes on the lower ground may feel a little repetitive with the gorse lined fairways but it still ranks highly in my book and the changes have no doubt improved what was already a very good golf course.
Read the review of Turnberry (Ailsa) here.
Read the review of Turnberry (Kintyre) here.
Read the review of Turnberry (Arran) here.
The game of golf has the ability to take you on amazing journeys to the most wondrous places where you meet such interesting people.
It was an impulsive, crazy… and some would say utterly ridiculous… decision that took me to The Machrie in the Spring of 2018.