Set between the railway and the sea, Western Gailes in Ayrshire delivers an exacting challenge over exceptional golfing terrain.

Western Gailes Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range £70-£175

Medal Tee – Par 71 – 6,640 Yards

Visitor Times: Monday – 09.00-12.00 & 14.00-16.30, Tuesday and Thursday – 14:00-15:00, Wednesday & Friday – 09:00-12.00 & 14:00-16:30, Saturday – 15:30-16:30, Sunday – 14:30-16:00.

Website: www.westerngailes.com

Western Gailes Golf Club Course Review

This venerable Ayrshire links is what traditional Scottish golf is all about. The early and late holes play in one direction, with the middle section running the other way along the shore. Some great green settings and thought-provoking short par 4s.

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Western Gailes Golf Club Course Review

For many golfers, this renowned course on the Ayrshire coast, just north of Troon, gets pretty close to pure links heaven.

It plays over a particularly slender links strip, often only two holes wide, between sea and railway, heading first north, then south for a long stretch, before a five-hole northward trek back to a central clubhouse.

Sand hills and sea views abound as you tackle one glorious links hole after another. The links dates back to 1897 and still has quite a traditional feel, but rarely relies on blind shots for protection, preferring to use the natural terrain and a number of deviously placed bunkers to make you think, along with the ever-present Firth breeze and some inconveniently located burns.

Its setting on the Firth of Clyde means it enjoys enviable views across to Arran and beyond. The sand hills may not be quite as towering as on those on some of our modern links courses, but few make as stunningly effective use of the natural routing between dune ridges as Western Gailes, where a number of holes play to isolated greens set in shallow natural amphitheatres.

Western Gailes Golf Club Course Review

The 6th and 7th greens stand out in this regard, with the par-3 latter having an amphitheatre feel for its entire length, on account of the dune ridge along the beach to the right and a slightly lower one flanking the left side.

Indeed, the coastal holes from the 5th through to the 13th rank among the very best links stretches you will encounter anywhere.

Course changes since previous ranking

None advised

Proposed course changes

None planned

Golf Monthly Verdict

A thorough links test with glorious views across to Arran