2022 Mazda Fall Classic | SCOTLAND - Access to Private Area
"There’s something intrinsically therapeutic about choosing to spend your time in a wide, open park-like setting that non-golfers can never truly understand." —Charles Rosin

What you need to know about Links Golf

A links is the oldest style of golf course, first developed in Scotland. The word "links" refers to an area of coastal sand dunes and sometimes to open parkland.

The style of play is considerably different from the style of play on an American golf course. Firstly, the courses tend to be characterized by uneven fairways, thick rough and small deep bunkers known as “pot bunkers”.

Secondly, links courses are frequently windy due to their coastal location. This affects the style of play required, favoring players who are able to play low accurate shots. As many links courses consist literally of an “outward” nine in one direction along the coast, and an “inward” nine which returns in the opposite direction, players often have to cope with opposite wind patterns in each half of their round.

Are you up for the challenge?

Western Gailes Golf Club

Day 1 | September 11

Natural links course
Formed in 1897
An imposing setting between the railway and the sea

The course is never other than an excellent test of true links golf. Any change in the strength or direction of the wind, that usually varies between south-westerly and north-westerly off the adjacent Firth of Clyde, provides new challenges that are compounded by the undulating terrain and finely contoured greens cleverly located and set in the folds of the surrounding sand dunes.

Click on any image to view full size. | Used with permission of Western Gailes Golf Club

There are seven holes to the north and eleven to the south. Together with the line of dunes running down the coastal stretch from the 5th to the 13th holes, the out of bounds wall from the 14th onwards, the plentiful supply of pot bunkers plus the meandering burns, all combine to present variety and a memorable challenge.

Turnberry Golf Club

Day 2 | September 12

Turnberry... Home to the iconic Open Championship Course, Ailsa

A thrill available to all who love the great game. You can create the Open magic yourself!

Long regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the world, The Ailsa came to international prominence with the famous duel between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson over the four days of the 1977 Open. It was then, in brilliant sunny weather, that a capacity crowd was treated to an exhilarating display of golf from two of the best golfers the world has ever known.

Click on any image to view full size. | Used with permission of Turnberry Golf Club

Possibly the most picturesque Open Championship golf course, Turnberry's Ailsa is an unusual links course as there are no dunes protecting the holes that run close to the sea (4th to the 11th). The scenic glories are to be savored - the granite dome of Ailsa Craig, the form of the tip of Argyll and the peaks of Arran highlighting the changing patterns of light and shade.

The Signature Hole is Hole 9 - "Bruce's Castle" - Par 4 | 454 Yards

One of the most photographed holes in golf, with the tee looking over the Bay and the famous Turnberry lighthouse, is a test of nerve all on its own, with a narrow, winding path leading to it and waves crashing over rocks below. The remains of the castle of Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s king from 1306-1329, can be seen from the 9th green and 10th tees. There are no bunkers on this hole; however, it should not be underestimated.

Royal Troon Golf Club

Day 3 | September 13

Founded in 1878 by a few enthusiasts
One of the finest championship courses in the world
A challenging test of golfing ability

The Old Course today presents a stern golfing examination and in particular the inward half of Royal Troon is widely accepted as the most demanding of any course on the Championship rota.

With the wind to contend with, and deep rough interspersed with gorse and broom, accurate shot making is essential. Players should make their scores on the outward nine, as the prevailing north-westerly wind can make the back nine extremely difficult.

Click on any image to view full size. | Used with permission of Royal Troon Golf Club.

Kingsbarns Golf Links

Day 4 & 6 | September 14 and 16

EMBRACING THE SEA

Kingsbarns is a stunning golf course with sea views from every hole, with seven holes actually playing over or alongside the sea.

The Kingsbarns Golf Links site has long been known for its intimate connection with the sea. The fact that its golf origins date back to 1793 is testimony to the attributes of the site, which foster ideal conditions for links turf to flourish amid interesting natural terrain. This unique part of East Fife has sandy soils, undulating ridges and hollows, Cambo burn running into the sea...all set immediately against the rugged coastline of the North Sea.

The layout is superb with each hole offering a great sea view, and seven of them actually playing over or alongside the sea. The course design provides great variety and presents a stiff golfing challenge, balanced by generous greens and wide fairways. Kingsbarns blends together all the advantages of a modern course with the traditional features of an old links course.

Click on any image to view full size. | Used with permission of Kingsbarns Golf Links.

Dumbarnie Golf Links

Day 5 | September 15

Scotland's Newest Golf Course

Opened May 29, 2020 | Designed by Clive Clark

Hear from some "Undercover Golfers" who set out to write an honest review of Scotland's newest course, just 9 miles from St. Andrews:

"The biggest compliment I can pay Dumbarnie is that I used every club in my bag. It’s one of those courses that really makes you think on every hole, and it’s full of risk and reward opportunities, especially off the tee. A couple of the par 3s are on the short side, but they are well defended by bunkers, gorse and the prevailing wind so they still need to be treated with respect. It's a stunning course and impressive at how established it already looks." - Martin McLaughlan

"There are plenty of elevated tees, which created some spectacular moments when it felt like you were blasting drives out to sea – brilliant fun! The greens were flawless; firm and fast and demanding specific approach shots to avoid leaving a tough putt. Every hole is a challenge and the variety is accentuated by the wind. You can play a 180-yard par 3 with a pitching wedge or a driver, so it’s as difficult as the weather dictates." - Ross French

"Tees and greens are flawless and designed to make you think from start to finish. Strategy is vital on a course that constantly tempts you to take the Tiger lines off the tee. Almost every hole teases you with a wealth of options with risk-and-reward at the heart of the designer’s ethos. Nothing feels repetitive and the delightful par 3s all bring their own unique challenges – and thankfully length isn’t one of them." - Euan McLean

Click on any image to view full size. | Used with permission of Dumbarnie Golf Links.

A LITTLE GOLF TRIVIA

Did you know...?

The Birthplace of Golf

Golf (or“gouf ” as the Scots say) was being played in Scotland as early as the 14th century, and possibly even earlier. Both the French and the Dutch have tried to lay claim to its invention with their ball and stick games —unfortunately their sports didn’t include the one most necessary ingredient to a game of golf as we know it today: the hole. Driving a tiny ball through innumerable obstacles to eventually drop it into a tiny hole is a uniquely Scots invention.

A Visual History of the Golf Ball

It all started with the Feathery...
a leather covered ball stuffed with goose or chicken feathers. This fragile missile was used for almost four centuries!

It was gradually replaced by the Gutta-Percha in 1848, followed by the Hand-Hammered Gutta, the Scramble, the Rubber Ball and finally the modern ball in 1932. How's that for some golf trivia?

A visual history of the golf ball

Another Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience!

2019 Mazda Fall Classic

Glasgow & Edinburgh Scotland
September 10 - 17, 2022