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Royal Troon

Royal Troon Background

Royal Troon first hosted The Open in 1923 and 9 times subsequently most recently being in 2016 when Henrik Stenson was the winner.

Troon was founded in 1878 after a meeting in the pub by a few enthusiasts. Designed originally by George Strath, James Braid later modified and extended the layout.

It and has firmly moved out of the shadow of it’s neighbour Prestwick (which by 1923 had already hosted 23 Open Championships).

Troon was bestowed Royal status in 1978 ( the last one to be granted this status) and is a traditional out and back course.

Make your score on the outward nine as the inward nine is severe often playing into the prevailing wind.

The 6th is the longest par 5 in Open Championship golf and the 8th The Postage Stamp is the shortest at 123 yards.

Royal Troon is ranked 25th in the U.K and 77th in the world.

18 holes, coastline terrain, challenging, buggies, caddies, power trolleys, practise range, equipment hire, casual dress code.

1st Hole : Seal – Par 4

An easy opening hole if the wind is coming from the west or behind.
Keep your drive short of the bunkers on the left side of the fairway to give you a short iron into a green tightly guarded with bunkers.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 346
Yellow 348
White 357
Championship (Blue) 370
Par 4
Stroke Index 16

2nd Hole : Black Rock – Par 4

The tee shot brings the sea and trouble down the right of the fairway into play.
Aim for the church steeple with your driver in the distance.
Ideally you want to aim left of centre whilst avoiding the left fairway bunkers.
Another short iron into a well guarded green.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 365
Yellow 369
White 381
Championship (Blue) 391
Par 4
Stroke Index 7

3rd Hole : Gyaws – Par 4

For the long hitters or when the hole is played downwind there is burn running across the fairway at the 290 yard mark.

There are 2 bunkers down the left hand side of the fairway that will catch those playing safe or drawing their tee shot.

Your second short should be a mid to short iron into a tightly guarded green.

This is a large green so consult your caddy for yardage or play one club longer than you think to avoid the greenside bunkers.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 360
Yellow 366
White 371
Championship (Blue) 379
Par 4
Stroke Index 11

4th Hole : Dunure- Par 5

The first of 3 par 5’s at Royal Troon is a dog legged hole to the right.

There are 2 bunkers to the left side of the fairway and one huge bunker to the right that will catch most sliced or pushed drives.

The fairway looks extremely narrow from the tee and forces you to aim at the bunkers on the left and “pray”.

If you manage to find the fairway from the tee you are left with a straight view of the green.

For the big hitters the green is reachable with a fairway wood or long iron when the wind is helping.

For most of us, a fairway wood shot faces bunkers down the left of the fairway and hills with severe rough if you miss right.

The 3rd shot should be a short iron into a large 2 tiered green with 2 bunkers at the front and a large drop behind the green.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 476
Yellow 476
White 522
Championship (Blue) 555
Par 5
Stroke Index 4

5th Hole : Greenan – Par 3

The 5th hole at Royal Troon is the first of the 4 par 3’s on the course.

From the yellow, white and blue tees this hole typically requires a long iron or utility wood.

There are 3 large bunkers that guard a big hitting surface.

There is no Scottish ‘run up’ to this hole.

To make the green you have to carry the ball 95% of the hole length.

Jack Nicklaus once explained the way to play the 5th hole was to play for the back or over the green as the trouble lies at the front.

Walking off the 5th green with a par 3 is a good result.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 134
Yellow 183
White 194
Championship (Blue) 210
Par 3
Stroke Index 14

6th Hole : Turnberry – Par 5

With a handicap stroke index of 2 and once regarded at the longest hole in Open Championship golf, the 6th hole is the second of the 3 par 5’s.

The hole is straight but not straight forward.

There are 2 bunkers on the left and one on the right positioned to catch the drawn or faded drive.

A good fairway wood still leaves a mid to short iron for most handicap golfers.

The big hitters downwind could easily catch the 2 bunkers that are 40 yards short of the green.

The 3rd short is played into a large narrow green.

Pull your approach shot and you can land in the left bunker or down a steep hill.

Push your approach slightly right and your ball rolls off the green into a small gulley.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 508
Yellow 518
White 544
Championship (Blue) 601
Par 5
Stroke Index 2

7th Hole : Tel-El-Kebir – Par 4

For the 7th hole we change direction and turn east and play from a highly elevated tee looking down towards the fairway and green.

The fairway doglegs right with 2 large bunkers situated behind a sandhill on the right and a line of 3 bunkers guarded the left side of the fairway.

Push your drive right and you catch the bunker or your view for your second shot to the green is blocked.

Draw or pull your drive and you risk catching the 3 bunkers down the left.

Members try and play toward the left side of the fairway as this provides the best view of the green.

Your second shot will be a mid to short iron over a gully just short of the green and 2 severely steep bunkers facing you.

The 7th green is one of the most difficult greens on the course to read.

It’s a fast putt from back to front and has borrows coming from both the left and right sides.

A few steps off the green, up the hill and you arrive at the world famous 8th hole.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 348
Yellow 354
White 381
Championship (Blue) 405
Par 4
Stroke Index 9

8th Hole : Postage Stamp – Par 3

The Postage Stamp at Royal Troon is regarded as the second most famous hole in golf.

At 123 yards in length the hole is very short but also very dangerous.

The tee shot is played from higher ground looking down to a long narrow green below.

There is a bunker short of the green, the coffin bunker to the left and 2 bunkers to the right of the green.

A pulled or drawn tee shot will find a very steep coffin bunker on the left that is difficult to recover from.

Even if you manage to get out of the coffin bunker in one shot your next challenge is prevent your bunker shot running off around the other side of the green into their right hand side bunkers.

Even a well executed tee shot can roll off the right of the green down into 2 deep bunkers with vertical faces.

The bunkers on the right are about 10 feet below the level of the green making these bunkers shots the hardest you’ll ever face.

Downwind the Postage Stamp may only be a sand wedge or wedge.

Into the wind, the hole can play up to a 5 or 6 iron.

Good luck, best wishes.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 118
Yellow 114
White 123
Championship (Blue) 123
Par 3
Stroke Index 18

9th Hole : The Monk – Par 4

The closing hole of the ‘easier’ 9 at Royal Troon, The Monk is a slight dog leg to the left.

Your drive should be down the left hand side of the fairway; but short of the 2 large bunkers in the middle of the fairway.

There’s a lot more space down the left hand side than you can see.

The longer hitter may hit a long iron or utility wood with a draw and be safely short of the bunkers.

A mid iron shot over a narrow hilly fairway into a new upward sloping green.

Beware of the danger to the right of the green.

There’s a line of bushes that can easily catch a pushed approach shot.

Walking off the 9th green with a par 4 is a result.

Homeward bound and onto the toughest 9 holes in Open Championship Golf.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 370
Yellow 375
White 387
Championship (Blue) 422
Par 4
Stroke Index 5
Turnberry Ailsa, Prestwick, Royal Troon
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10th Hole : Sandhills – Par 4

Do not let the stroke index of the 10th hole deceive you; this is a very tough hole to start the back 9.

Normally the wind will blow left to right off the tee.

Most golfers play the yellow or white tees to a fairly wide fairway.

There are no bunkers on this hole but deep rough to the left and a hill and gorse to the right off the tee.

The ideal tee shot is to aim down the left side and let the wind bring the ball back to the centre of the fairway.

Most golfers will be left with a mid to long iron or utility wood approach shot to the green.

There is a plateaued green and you do not want to miss right.

There’s a sharp drop off the right side of the green with a 10% chance of a chip and putt for par.

The safe second shot is to play to the left hand side of the green; short and left gives you a chance of a pitch or putter from off the green to save par.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 360
Yellow 367
White 385
Championship (Blue) 452
Par 4
Stroke Index 10

11th Hole : The Railway – Par 4

The hardest hole on Royal Troon named after the railway line that runs the full length of the hole.

Our advice would be to play the 11th like a par 5.

It’s a long par 4 with trouble off the tee and trouble with your second shot.

The white and yellow teeing area is normally to the left of the 10th green.

You tee from a higher ground facing the railway line with gorse to the left and gorse out of bounds to the right.

You simply have to hit your best and straightest drive to catch the fairway.

Long hitters may want to consider a utility wood from the tee as a long drive can run out of fairway or go out of bounds to the right if pushed or sliced.

If you do hit the fairway you are faced with a long second shot with the railway line and out of bounds just yards from the right edge of the green.

The safe second shot is to play left but the hole’s solo bunker could grab a pulled or drawn shot.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 417
Yellow 357
White 421
Championship (Blue) 483
Par 4
Stroke Index 1

12th Hole : The Fox – Par 4

We turn south from the last time at the 12th hole.

The 12th hole is a long slight dog-leg to the right.

Drive down the left of centre over the brow of the hill with a long long narrow green in the distance.

You will still have a long second shot with a mid to long iron or utility wood.

There’s a 2 tiered green with bunkers left and right short of the green.

Even a good approach shot can run off either side of the green into 2 gullies.

Mark Calcavecchia famously chipped his 3rd shot straight into the hole from the left gorse en route to becoming Open Champion in 1989.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 368
Yellow 377
White 427
Championship (Blue) 429
Par 4
Stroke Index 6

13th Hole : Burmah – Par 4

You turn and face north and it’s 6 homeward bound holes towards the club house.

At the 13th hole you drive down the left hand side of an undulating fairway.

A drive down the right blocks your sight of the green.

You play your second shot into a very large elevated green.

Miss left and long and you’re faced with a difficult chip shot back up to the green.

Miss short you can putt off the green to the hole or miss right and have an easy chip shot.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 377
Yellow 382
White 411
Championship (Blue) 472
Par 4
Stroke Index 12

14th Hole : Alton – Par 3

The 3rd of the 4 par 3’s at Royal Troon is a medium to long iron shot or sometimes a utility wood depending on your distance or the wind direction.

The green is heavily guarded with 2 deep bunkers on the right and one of the left.

Like the 5th hole, it’s better to take one club more and be long rather than short at the 14th.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 171
Yellow 167
White 175
Championship (Blue) 178
Par 3
Stroke Index 15

15th Hole : Crosbie – Par 4

The 3rd hardest hole on the course.

The 15th hole was re-designed for the 2016 Open Championship.

A long drive is required to miss bunkers on either side of the fairway.

A second shot from a undulating and hilly fairway into a green hidden resting in a hollow.

You may recall Henrik Stenson’s monster putt across the full length of this green en-route to becoming the Champion Golfer of the Year in 2016.

Walking off the 15th hole with a 5 is never a bad score for most amateur golfers.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 398
Yellow 402
White 436
Championship (Blue) 502
Par 4
Stroke Index 3

16th Hole : Well – Par 5

The 16th is the last par 5 on the course and realistically your best birdie opportunity on the back nine.

Most amateur golfers can hit a driver from the tee but beware of the burn at the 280-300 yard point.

The second shot is a difficult shot with bunkers down the left and a bunker on the right hand side of the fairway.

Your second shot, generally with a fairway wood or long iron, has to be very accurate to miss those bunkers and give yourself a good angle for your 3rd shot.

Ideally you want your 2nd shot to be from the left side of the fairway giving you a straight line to the flag taking the greenside bunkers out of play.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 395
Yellow 504
White 533
Championship (Blue) 533
Par 5
Stroke Index 8

17th Hole : Rabbit – Par 3

The 17th is a long par 3; a long iron or wood.

If you hit the green at the 14th hole, the rule of thumb is to hit 2 clubs more at the 17th.

The green has bunkers short left and right and steep slopes where the ball rolls off the sides.

A par 3 is a great score here; not many people make 2; unless you’re Henrik Stenson.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 166
Yellow 167
White 210
Championship (Blue) 218
Par 3
Stroke Index 13

18th Hole : Craigend – Par 4

The 18th may be stroke index 17 but don’t let that mislead you.

The ideal drive is to aim at the club house flagpole and hit it down the left centre and avoid the 2 bunkers on the left and come up short of the bunker on the right.

You don’t want to power a driver down the 18th and end up in the right bunker like Greg Norman in 1989.

You will be left with a mid to short iron for your approach to 18.

Bear in mind the 18th green is 25% longer than every other green; so ask your caddy or check your stroke saver for the distance to the flag.

Your second shot will appear shorter than it really it.

Bunkers left and right and out of bounds over the green await your walk down a memorable round of Open Championship golf.

Make sure you take plenty of selfies and group photographs on the 18th green next to the flag with the club house in the background.

These will be memories to savour and share for years to come.

Course Yardage
Ladies (Red Tees) 331
Yellow 344
White 374
Championship (Blue) 464
Par 4
Stroke Index 17
Turnberry Ailsa, Prestwick, Royal Troon
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