The Open: Royal Troon Old Course Preview

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Royal Troon is one of the oldest golf courses in the UK, having been established back in 1878. Troon’s championship standard ‘Old Course’ will host The Open Championship for the first time since 2004, so what can we expect from this renowned course?

Anyone who has ever played links golf knows that these types of courses, usually coastal, bring their own set of challenges with changeable weather conditions and high winds. Royal Troon is no exception to the rule, and has a number of extremely tricky holes, especially on the back nine.

The front nine on this famous course is considered fairly straightforward. This means it’s important that Open competitors try and take some early ground to counteract any trouble they might run into on the way back to the clubhouse.

The wind often helps players during the first three holes because it typically blows in the direction of the greens. These holes are also sub-400-yard par 4s, which is considered a comfortable distance for modern professionals. The following two par 5s also offer potential opportunities to score well, as long as players can avoid bunkers and any unfortunate kicks from the bumpy terrain.

The 8th hole is the famous par 3 ‘Postage Stamp’, which is just 123 yards in length and can be as little as 99 yards depending on the pin position. That doesn’t make it a gimme for a birdie though, as the tiny green and guarding bunkers make it a very small target to hit – hence the name.

The back nine heading back to the clubhouse is undoubtedly more challenging. ‘The Railway’ 11th is renowned for being one of the most intimidating on the course. With the active Glasgow to Ayr railway line running down the right and a thick gorse barrier on the left, accuracy is absolutely key when driving down the 483-yard par 4.

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All holes from the 13th onwards usually involve playing into the wind. Combine this with several flat holes, which make seeing the fairways and greens clearly very tricky, and the result is that birdies are often scarce. Many golfers fall foul of the back nine – even the best in the world!

Get peace of mind with golf insurance

If The Open inspires you to get out onto the course, there is always the chance that an accident could happen. That’s why we recommend you take out a golf insurance policy. Click here for more information.

Photo credit – G. Laird