West Kilbride Golf Club is one of Scotlands great links treasures but is less well known to the wider golfing world than it deserves to be.
Here there are spectacular and memorable views across the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran and beyond to the Mull of Kintyre. It is a course that has twice benefited from the architectural hand of James Braid. The five-times Open Champion made alterations to the original Old Tom Morris nine-hole layout in 1914. He returned in 1923 after the Open Championship at Troon and left the club with further improvement plans which were completed two years later. Today this remains the layout so much enjoyed by members and visitors alike.
It is impossible to pinpoint the reason why, but West Kilbride is rarely classified alongside Ayrshire’s other wonderful seaside courses. It is not a Turnberry, a Troon or a Prestwick, but West Kilbride deserves elevation to the second tier alongside Irvine, Barassie and the Gailes.
It’s not that West Kilbride’s 1st is especially exacting, just that as with much of this relatively short course, the opportunity to make a fool of yourself is all too evident.
The stretch from 12-17 is the best on this championship-standard links, which plays up to 6,500 yards and it is a proper test off the backs.
This gem of a golf course has recently undergone some significant redevelopment with the introduction of over 40 new bunkers throughout the course. The course in itself is renowned for it’s fantastic greens along with the fact that the course is very rarely closed all year round due to its exceptional free draining soil.