The Ailsa course at Turnberry will play host to the world’s elite golfers this July, as the Open Championship rightfully returns to one of Britain’s most treasured venues – but Padraig Harrington and his many rivals will face a lenghthened track.
The addition of 20 new bunkers and six new tees has seen the course lengthened by around 250 yards since it last staged the Open in 1994, suggesting the Ayrshire Links might not be quite so hospitable this time around.
In his quest to secure a third consecutive Open Championship, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington will face a number of layout changes to the challenging 7,200-yard, par-70 venue.
One such alteration sees the 10th tee moved back towards Turnberry’s famous trademark lighthouse creating a tee shot which will require a 200-yard carry just to clear the bay.
Other modifications include the transformation of the 16th from a 410-yard pushover, to a testing 455-yard dogleg. Similarly, Turnberry’s penultimate hole has been lengthened by a staggering 61 yards, coupled by the addition of three new bunkers.
With dreams of the ‘Paddy-Slam’ left amongst the azaleas of Augusta, Harrington can now concentrate on joining the illustrious list of Turnberry winners, including Tom Watson, Greg Norman and Nick Price.