Trump Turnberry in Scotland has made several changes to its Ailsa course, overseen by Martin Ebert, who completed a major project on the course in 2016.
The work includes replacing areas of thick rough with mown edges or exposed sand, adjustments to greens on the ninth and eleventh holes and work on the burn on the sixteenth hole.
“The new par-three ninth and the new par-three eleventh both require brave and accurate tee shots, but what has been found is that in summer, with the ball running fast, good shots to the green have tended to run through, rather than holding,” said the club’s director of golf, Ricky Hall.
Ebert and director of courses and estates Allan Patterson suggested raising the ninth green slightly and extending the eleventh green site.
“In the case of the eleventh, rough vegetation was removed to expose natural sand areas and rocky outcrops, and a new greenside bunker was added. This resulted in both these incredible par three holes being a much fairer test.”
Banking work has also been completed on the burn on the sixteenth hole. “It has also always been problematic, being slow running, particularly in dry spells, choked with silt and requiring constant clearing,” said Hall. “The new banking is handsome, the water runs fast over a concrete base and, with the introduction of three stone weirs, there is even the pleasant sound generated by the falling water. Improvements to the bridge itself complete the picture and offer a much-enhanced feature.”
“It is symptomatic of the attention to detail from the Trump Organization that local stone no longer in use has been sourced for the works, to ensure the look is in keeping with the locale,” said Hall. “And that the stonemasons and constructors who so successfully worked at Trump International Golf Links, Aberdeen, were commissioned to ensure the very highest level of construction and finish.”
The changes were authorised by Eric Trump, who is responsible for the Trump Organization’s golf interests, following a round with the club’s golf management team in summer 2018. “The most recent enhancements to the Ailsa, and the wider golf offering at the resort, are a testament to the passion and commitment all of us feel towards fostering Turnberry’s great golf heritage,” said Trump. “We aim to ensure it remains a true icon of the sport, recognised and admired all over the world.”
“Apart from the enhanced layouts and stunning new holes, a major factor is that areas of impenetrable rough have been replaced with either mown edges to the fairways or scraped to expose areas of sand-waste, which is visually pleasing and makes the ball easier to find and play, whilst retaining an element of penalty,” said Hall.
“A fine example of this has been created between the seventh green and the eighth tee, where a large hollow of deep grass previously swallowed the errant ball, never to be seen again. A most attractive area of sand has now been exposed, allowing the possibility of a sand save.”
Renovations have also been made to the Arran course and the driving range, and new paths have been introduced on the King Robert the Bruce course.