Design firm Mackenzie & Ebert has begun some significant alterations to Royal Troon’s Old course in advance of the club hosting the 2016 Open Championship.
Architect Martin Ebert spoke to GCA about the works. 2016 will see Troon’s ninth Open, but the first at the Ayrshire course since Todd Hamilton won the championship in 2004.
One of the major projects is the removal of trees behind the green on the ninth hole and creation of dunes in their place.
A back tee is being added to the tenth hole and a dune slack in the carry, providing material for the dune construction behind the ninth green.
Another major project concerns the fifteenth hole. New tees are being constructed to the left of the fourteenth green, and the first half of the fairway is being moved to the left of the current fairway. The hole will now be further away from the access road that runs alongside the course, and restores the line which was played for the 1923 Open Championship.
Other work includes the movement of the fairway bunkers on the fourth hole along with the addition of low dunes and an approach bunker.
The tees on the fifth hole are being reconstructed, while on the sixth hole tees are being enlarged, as well as some reshaping work to the green surrounds.
An old fairway bunker is being restored on the seventh hole, adding risk to any attempt to drive onto the green.
The greens on holes two, four, eight, thirteen, sixteen and seventeen are being restored to their original sizes by mowing.
The back tees are being enlarged on the twelfth and thirteenth holes, and some gorse is being removed on the eleventh hole and being replaced with heather rough vegetation.
The 2016 Open Championships tournament will take place between 10-17 July 2016.