Don't overlook the Gailes Links at Glasgow Golf Club along Scotland's west coast
IRVINE, Ayrshire, Scotland -- Without any views of the water, the Gailes Links at Glasgow Golf Club tends to be overlooked by golfers touring Scotland's west coast.
It's not so easily dismissed by the R&A. The Gailes Links has been named the only Scottish links that will host the final Open Championship qualifier for four consecutive years starting in 2014.
The Glasgow Golf Club, the ninth-oldest golf club in the world, acquired the course in 1892 as a winter home for its membership 35 miles away. Former Open champion Willie Park Jr. redesigned the 6,903-yard par 71 in 1912.
Long grass and gorse pinches its fairways. With only two par 5s and three par 3s, players must churn out pars on one tough par 4 after another for a decent score. Lost strokes can be made up with proper play on four par 4s that are 342 yards or shorter from the tips. The club recently cut back gorse on two par 3s, the 152-yard sixth hole and the 220-yard 12th hole, to make them more playable. Holes 14 and 16 run parallel to the railway like so many great links of the region.
"We are under the radar," caddie master William Main said. "When visitors come, they are enthused about the course. They want to come back."
- Scotland Beyond St. Andrews: In the Southwest, the links are almost close enough to form a chain
- Five great links golf courses that will never host the Open Championship