Western Gailes Golf Course

One of several eighteen-hole links golf courses located within the sand dunes of Irvine Bay, Western Gailes is squeezed into a narrow strip of land to the west of the Ayrshire Coast Railway Line, 1¼ miles (2 km) south of Barassie and 2 miles (3 km) south of Irvine. The standard course is a par 71 and of 6106 yards in length, extending to 7014 yards (par 75) from its championship tees. Laid out from 1897 by the club's own green-keeper, following the natural terrain, the course was developed by four Glaswegian golfers on land leased from William Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland (1857 - 1943), which the club was able to buy in 1920. Portland became an Honorary President of the Club. Western Gailes was damaged by tanks during World War II, when the area was used for training. The northern section of the course was modified in the 1970s by Fred W. Hawtree to accommodate a new access road for Irvine Harbourside.

The temporary clubhouse was replaced with a permanent structure in 1909, which has been progressively extended over the years. This clubhouse lies in the middle of the course, with the first four holes lying to the north, alongside the railway. Players then turn south for the next nine holes, which hug the shore, before returning north towards the clubhouse for the final five holes, again located next to the railway. Much of the course is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, noted for its Northern Marsh orchids.

Western Gailes hosted the PGA Championship in 1964, the Curtis Cup in 1972 and the Scottish Amateur Championship (1927, 1934, 1953, 1961, 1966, 1974, 1981, 2002 and 2011). It also serves as a qualifying course for the Open Championship, when this is played at Turnberry or Troon.

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