Irvine Golf Club, Bogside, Irvine, Ayrshire
Founded 1887. Links Course
Irvine Golf Club is one of Scotland’s hidden links gems and owes much of its present character to the design work of James Braid. This is very much a traditional links course and provides a real challenge with its subtle changes of direction. The fairways are built on sand and are divided by generous amounts of gorse and heather, placing a premium on accuracy, while the greens run consistently fast and true. Located just north of Troon, Irvine is another course whose quality can be gauged by the fact that it regularly plays host to final qualifying for the Open Championship.
Great golf is only part of the story when considering what makes the perfect golf trip. Thankfully, the other essential component parts are all found in abundance in Scotland, not least in the sights to see department. Whether scheduling a day off from golf or filling an afternoon after your morning round, there are many options regardless of which region you are visiting. The below is intended as a very general guide to sightseeing in the Ayrshire region.
Playing golf in Ayrshire is likely to see you staying no further south than Turnberry, from where some of the nearby attractions include the impressive ruins of Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries and Dundrennan Abbey near Kirkcudbright. Only ten minutes from Turnberry is Culzean Castle & Country Park (above) and this is well worth a visit when travelling to or from Turnberry.
And while you are likely to be far too busy playing great golf courses like Turnberry, Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes, other attractions north of Turnberry in the Troon area include Dundonald Castle & Visitor Centre in Dundonald Village, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Souter Johnnies Cottage in Kirkoswald and Dean Castle Country Park in Kilmarnock.
You may not actually stay in Glasgow during your trip but there are plenty of sightseeing options including a visit to 13th century Bothwell Castle about ten miles southeast of Glasgow and the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve. The many museums in or near Glasgow include the impressive Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride, which provides an insight into rural life in Scotland in times past. If you are looking for a distillery in the area, Glengoyne Distillery, about 14 miles north of Glasgow is an excellent option.