Ayrshire & Southwest
The area where we are based, in Troon a mile from the Open championship venue, has arguably the greatest depth of quality golf courses anywhere in the British Isles. At the forefront of that is the unique ability to play three courses a stone throw from each other, which have hosted between them 37 Open championships. It is also uniquely the Home of Championship golf with Prestwick having begun the Open championship in 1860. Add in the 1964 PGA venue of Western Gailes, the 2017 Scottish Open venue, Dundonald and the Machrie on Islay along with the mystique of Machrihanish and you could go nowhere better to enjoy the great game! Add in some wonderful hotels at Turnberry and in Troon near Royal Troon, wonderful cuisine and home of our national bard, Rabbie Burns and there are very few better destinations anywhere in the world!
This stern test of links golf designed by Kingsbarns architect Kyle Phillips, is only divided from Western Gailes by the train line and provides as great a test. The host course for the European tour`s Scottish Open in 2017 where its test of driving and softly undulating greens provided a test for the world`s best.
This many times Open championship qualifier course and scene of Sandy Lyle`s 1979 Scottish Open win dates back to 1892. The Glasgow Golf Club, founded in 1787, began in the early 1890`s to find that their course in the city was becoming over played so built a second course here at Gailes, designed by Troon Pro Willie Fernie and later updated in 1912 by two times Open champion Willie park Jnr into the fabulous Links it is today.
One of the world`s most traditional links courses designed by Willie Campbell in 1891, the Machrie was always a great quirky links improved greatly by ex Ryder Cup Vice Captain, D.J. Russell who created the very best of a traditional, historic links course from a previous age, with a modern links. The need for thought, imagination and creative shot-making has not changed throughout the years and carries as much of a premium over sheer power now as it did in 1891.
A fabulous complement to the original Machrihanish course, the architect of Bandon Dunes, David McLay Kidd created a great, natural links here set hard against the Atlantic Ocean on Scotland’s west coast, the award-winning Machrihanish Dunes shares breathtaking views and a majestic dunescape with the neighboring Machrihanish Golf Club.This “new” course, situated on pristine linksland protected by the Scottish government, offers you a rare opportunity to create and craft golf shots just as the men of Scotland did centuries ago, when they conceived the game, brought it to birth and gave it to the world. Machrihanish Dunes encourages thought, creativity, and imagination. For the golfer who accepts the invitation and the challenge, the reward is a truly unforgettable experience.
As Jack Nicklaus said “Machrihanish has the best first hole in world golf.” A wonderful links course which is a little remote but so worth the trip! Many clients will combine a trip from Troon or Turnberry through Arran, picking up Shiskine on the way, to Machrihanish. In 1879 Old Tom Morris redesigned the existing Kintyre Golf Club course largely creating this course ranked no 57 in Golf Digest`s 2015 World list. The course was tweaked a little in 1914 by 5 times Open champion J.H. Taylor.
Old Tom Morris became the “keeper of the green” at Prestwick in 1851 when he set about laying out a golf course and was still at the club in 1860 when it was decided that they should establish who the “Champion Golfer for the year” was. Thus championship golf was born with 8 professionals playing 36 holes to find out the Open champion. Willie Park became the first champion thus making Prestwick the “Home of the Open championship”. A magical club with friendly staff who will make the Prestwick experience a truly memorable one for you.
Prestwick St Nicholas
In the same year as Old Tom started laying out Prestwick he became aware of there being enough interest in golf in Ayrshire to justify a second course so in the same year 1851 The Prestwick Mechanics Club was formed and evolved to become Prestwick St Nicholas. A lovely little links course good enough to have staged Open championship qualifying which you will love with great views and conditioning.
Host course for the Open championship 9 times with the most recent being the epic duel between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson in 2016. A great test of golf with strategy required in the front 9 where you must navigate great bunkering and then show your very best hand to successfully overcome one of the toughest back 9`s anywhere.
“Scotland in miniature” as The Isle of Arran is known has 7 golf courses and the outstanding layout in one of the most beautiful places on earth is Shiskine, a great little links which opened in 1897 when Willie Fernie, the Troon professional, laid out the original 9 holes which Willie Park tweaked to make it 12 holes, just like Prestwick was for so many years when the early Opens were played there. The course did extend to 18 between the wars but after WW2 reverted to its great 12 holes.
The “Golf Monthly” no 1 course in the world. This course which saw the “duel in the sun” battle for the Open championship between Nicklaus and Watson with Tom winning his second Open in 1977. It was always a great golf course, continually amongst the top 20 in the world and as scenic as any in the world, and was improved even more after Donald Trump purchased it in 2014.
In conjunction with the R&A and their architects MacKenzie & Ebert, the redesigned Ailsa Course now spectacularly utilizes the shoreline and land to make MacKenzie Ross` 1906 design even better. Rated the best courses they have ever played by many of our clients, don`t miss it on any visit to the Home of Golf!
Turnberry King Robert The Bruce
After Donald Trump purchased Turnberry, he also went about further improving the course, renaming it King Robert the Bruce (the Scottish king from 1306 – 29) who is said to have lived on the site of Turnberry, residing on the beach immediately below the famous lighthouse at the 10th tee on the Ailsa course. The old Kintyre course was substantially improved by Martin Ebert whilst working on the Ailsa and Trump Turnberry can now boast 36 great holes.
The Ayrshire coast has one of the best concentrations of golf courses anywhere in the world and Western Gailes is typical of the sort of great Links that clients are bowled over by and is a true “hidden gem.” Good enough to have hosted the PGA championship in 1964 this natural links course was originally laid out by the club`s first greenskeeper and shows how great a course can be produced on natural links land. Don`t miss this one when visiting Turnberry, Royal Troon or Prestwick!
Part of the Buzzworks chain of bars and restaurants, we would always suggest that you will love the ambience and service in any of their venues. Lido is no exception : When it comes to cooking, their simple, delicious dishes with a subtle Mediterranean influence, from homemade pizzas and proper burgers, to sizzling steak fresh from the Portugese-inspired Churrasco grill will not disappoint.
The other Troon property in the Buzzworks chain Scott’s has an outstanding location over looking the Troon marina. Open from 9am, Scotts serves food all day, from speciality coffees and breakfasts in the morning to laid-back lunch and light bites in the evening. Served 9am – 10pm (11pm Friday & Saturdays) so a great spot for a huge range of contemporary and more traditional dishes day and night!
Ayrshire is incredibly lucky to have so many great food options probably the result of the outstanding produce in the county. That is true of all Costley and Costley`s properties whose accommodation and restaurant are fantastic right in the heart of Burns country immediately next door to the historic Alloway church and Burns museum
A fabulous location for a seafood restaurant right in Troon harbour where the fish is brought ashore and served up a matter of minutes later in some cases!
Fabulous, fresh seafood in a glorious location.
Ayrshire, Michelin* restaurant. The restaurant is the only one in Ayrshire to hold that prestigious accolade and has held it for 21 of the 25 years they have been in business, the longest held star in Scotland.The owners Nicola and Keith. The Braidwood’s’ philosophy is a devotion to the finest ingredients, mostly sourced locally, and a fantastic respect for the traditions of haute-cuisine: painstaking preparation, freshly made stocks and sauces and terrific attention to detail, as shown in their homemade pastas, breads and chocolates.
The Vic and The Vine
Another cornerstone of the Buzzworks chain with a lively bar, excellent brand new re vamp making it a lovely take on modern dining with delicious, world flavours, perfect drinks and an outstanding, friendly welcome.
One of Ayrshire`s most sought after venues with two excellent restaurants and one consistently very high quality of cuisine.
The more traditional Walker restaurant (named after the famous whisky family whose home the Piersland was) or the more contemporary Red Bowl.
Located in the lovely little seaside village of Maidens, Wildings is perfect for anyone staying at Turnberry as an alternative to their excellent dining options, or if coming off Turnberry in the evening as it is 10 mins away. One of the most popular Ayrshire Restaurants with clients, its varied and changing menus take full advantage of the wealth of local vegetables, meat and fish from the lush countryside and beautiful coastline right outside the door, ideal to take in the legendary West coast sunsets.
Located very close to Souter Johnnie’s cottage looked after by the National Trust and the home of John Davidson who is Souter Johnnie, the friend of Tam O`Shanter in the poem whose character was based on Burns` old crony John Davidson. Again close to Turnberry and another excellent property for gin or whisky tasting, A.D. Rattray also in the village of Kirkoswald, Souter`s is part of the Costley & Costley chain where their 30 plus years of culinary excellence in Ayrshire is maintained in this lovely, traditional restaurant.
Originally owned by Aldo Cecchini and now run by his son Anthony the restaurants (one in Ayr in historic Wellington Square and one right at the Ferry terminal where you will return from Arran or from a trip through Arran to Machrihanish) you can dine on traditional Tuscan cuisine or more traditional Scottish fare from the extensive menu.
The Cellar, Anstruther
Our clients are split 50/50 on which is the best Michelin* restaurant in the Kingdom of Fife evenly split between the Cellar and the Peat Inn. Both rightly wear that Michelin badge of honor. Chef patron Billy Boyter continually creates one of the best menus available anywhere – why not try both and you choose!
Amongst the fishing village of Anstruther`s great venues is the generally accepted best fish and chip shop in Scotland! If you like that British favorite you`ll love the Anstruther version!
A very close second to Anstruther – a fabulous value experience
A wonderful addition to the tourism offering of Fife and one of our clients` favorite add on activities
There are very few better days than golf at Kingsbarns and then a “wee dram” at the distillery next door with its 5* distillery and visitor centre in the East neuk with its 4 great whisky tours and lovely café
The Ship Inn, Elie
One of our clients’ favorite venues the fabulous Ship Inn in the beautiful harbor of Elie. The 2016 AA pub of the year and its sister the 19th hole both owned by Graham and Richard Brucknall, are a great addition to golf at Elie or Dumbarnie with its menu featuring many local producers and changes with the seasons.
A lovely, peaceful retreat just south of Turnberry with stunning views over the Ayrshire coast. Some of our most discerning clients have been blown away by the property which is beautifully appointed and service that rivals any property. The winner of the CIS Excellence Awards “Independent Hotel of the Year” in 2019 where the fine dining is as exceptional as the rest of the property offering with major investment in the castle gardens and even more produce grown here at Glenapp with plans for even greater sustainability and sometimes quite rare produce grown here in the Castle’s gardens.
The original railway hotel where guests would alight at the station within the hotel was created in the grand style in the early years of the 20th century, Trump Turnberry is one of Scotland’s national treasures and winner of Scottish Hotel of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Hotel Awards’. Along with a plethora of fabulous dining options, its world class golf course/s, A 12 room Espa Spa and stunning views over the coast to Ailsa Craig and Arran there is nowhere like it in the world.
Piersland Hotel, Troon
A fabulous country house hotel in Troon family owned for decades by the same immaculate operators, the house is loved by golfers visiting the Troon area as it is 200 yards from the car park at Royal Troon and was the former home of the owners of Johnnie Walker whisky. A very popular dining location with a cozy bar which is everything guests expect of a quality Scottish experience.
Marine Hotel, Troon
The Marine has been the host hotel for the Opens being played at Royal Troon since 1923 having opened immediately adjacent to Royal Troon`s 18th fairway in 1894. Uniquely it is the only hotel in Scotland to have retained the same AA rating since day 1. It has been a 4* AA hotel since its first rating in 1909! Presently undergoing a major refurbishment the excellent rooms, dining and Spa will be an excellent choice in the years ahead.
South Beach Hotel, Troon
The South Beach has been run by the same family since the early 80`s with Stewart and son Johnny who both work in the business, being members of Royal Troon. You are assured a hearty friendly Scottish welcome and a keen knowledge of how to make a golf break special with excellent food and a lovely, local bar.
Old Loans Inn
Built by owners Simpsinns on the site of an old coaching Inn some 18 years ago the owners Karen and Malcom Simpson are frequent winners of Awards for this hotel the latest – for the third year in a row – being the 2019 “Best Small Golf Hotel of the Year” at the Scottish Golf Tourism Awards. A great welcome and service can be expected here in lovely, well appointed rooms with fabulous traditional Scottish cuisine, all sourced locally.
Another of the Simpsinns properties and their first venture, launched in 2000. A slightly larger property that Old Loans, with just as good service and cuisine. The hotel which has a full leisure club and 2 small 9 hole golf courses is ideally located 200 yds from the entrance to Gailes Links, immediately adjoins the 3rd tee at Dundonald and is less than a mile from Western Gailes.
This magnificent exclusive use property on the outskirts of Troon is one of most requested repeat visit venues by our clients. Hillhouse was in the ownership of the MacKerrells from the early 1500`s until 1895 when the Bentincks, Duke of Portland, took it over then selling it to the Vernon family where Major Vernon and his family lived for many years. It is still run expertly by Alice Vernon. We would recommend that Alice`s and her chef Gordon`s expertise is not to be missed during your stay at Hillhouse.