Making Tracks: Turnberry to get major rebuild
By Torleif Sorenson on 4/21/15
Beginning in September, the famous Ailsa course at Turnberry will close for a major renovation and partial restoration of the original features of Scottish architect Willie Fernie's original 1901 design. And if the artist impressions of the renovated course are accurate, real estate developer Donald Trump and English architect Martin Ebert have a delicious redesign in store.
Turnberry, of course, is well-known the site of four Open Championships — the first was the 1977 "Duel in the Sun" between Jack Nicklaus and eventual winner Tom Watson. The Ailsa course also hosted in 1986 (Greg Norman), 1994 (Nick Price), and most recently in 2009, when Stewart Cink upset crowd-favorite Tom Watson in a playoff.
The important thing to remember here is that the current courses are not the originals; twice they were partially plowed under for use as a military hospital and flight training airfield — both in World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945).
Trump and his organization purchased the resort in April of 2014. At the time, he said that any changes to the course would be done in consultation with the R&A — and that is precisely what has happened. In fact, English course architect Martin Ebert of the Mackenzie & Ebert firm advises the R&A on six of the ten courses that are part of the Open Championship rota.
Earlier today at the announcement with Eric Trump, Ebert had this to say about the rebuild:
"We have been very careful to make an in-depth study of the evolution of golf at Turnberry before making these proposals. The re-born Ailsa course will create a much enhanced golfing experience, making even more use of the spectacular landscape and the iconic historic scenes that make Turnberry so special.While retaining much of the routing, the overall course length will stretch an additional 150 yards to 7,350. Par will remain at 70.
Among the changes:
The final tournament to be played over the existing Ailsa Course will be the 2015 Ricoh Women's British Open from July 30 to August 2nd. The course will then close on September 27, 2015; the rebuilt course is expected to open in June of 2016.
One rather nice element of Trump's plans involves repairing and updating the lighthouse for use a halfway house, while providing archaeological investigators the chance to explore and work around the old Turnberry Castle:
From all appearances, Ebert will bring in some missing strategy and make better use of the dramatic landscape, while allowing average players a more pleasant experience. And yet, the R&A will still be able to keep things tough in competition. This writer feels that Dr. Alister Mackenzie himself would be pleased with this approach.
While the final proof will be in the playing, at this point in time Trump and Ebert's plans appear to be the result of careful and diligent planning, in close consultation with the R&A.
Realistically, we cannot expect anything less.
Ailsa Course Changes booklet
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Images via Trump Turnberry Resort
[ comments ]
sounds great but it will be priced out of most peoples range I expect except for special occasions or corporate do's
But then maybe thats the idea
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