A timeline of one the world’s most famous golf destinations
Willy Fernie, winner of the 1883 Open Championship and four-time runner-up, designed the original 6,248-yard No.1 course, along with a 1,690-yard nine-hole ladies course. They opened in 1901.
A train station that led direct to the luxurious, Italian marble-floored Turnberry Station Hotel, now Trump Turnberry, both station and hotel opened in 1906. Visitors would flock from across UK to the Ayrshire coastline, known as ‘the sunshine corner’ of Scotland.
The castle ruins on the No.1 course (now the Ailsa) date to the 13thcentury when it was the home of the Earl of Carrick whose daughter Marjorie married Robert de Brus (Bruce). The couple then went on to have a son Robert who became King of Scotland.
The lighthouse is a major focal point of the course on the Ailsa, which was built 1878 by Robert Stevenson, grandfather of the author Robert Louis Stevenson. Today it is home to a private suite available for hire.
During both World Wars, the golf course was taken over by the RAF and used as an airfield. In World War I it was used for aerial gunnery training and then in 1941 it was used for torpedo training, including ‘bouncing bomb’ practise.
The PGA Match Play in 1960 was the first major international event to be hosted by Turnberry, followed by The Open in 1977. In that first Open, Tom Watson defeated Jack Nicklaus in the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’. It hosted a second Open in 1986, won by Greg Norman.
In the 1994 Open at Turnberry Nick Price beat Jesper Parnevik by a single stroke to the 1994 Open at Turnberry, before history almost repeated itself in 2009 when Tom Watson, aged 59, missed a ninth Major by losing a play-off to Stewart Cink.
Donald Trump bought Turnberry in 2014 and began a huge overhaul of both the crumbling hotel and the golf course, putting £100m down for renovations. The Ailsa course was spectacularly renovated by Ebert & Mackenzie, and a new course, King Robert the Bruce, added. It was promptly voted No.1 in the UK.