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© 2005 Golf Europe Limited

Royal’ Troon was the last of the Royal Golf Clubs to be so honoured, gaining its title during its own centenary year of 1978. Troon’s Royal Title remains the only one to be granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The club had the whole hearted support of the Scottish Golf Union when it wrote to the Secretary of State for Scotland in April 1978 requesting that a formal application be placed before the Queen. One month later confirmation was received by the clubs Secretary, that Her Majesty had been ‘Graciously pleased to accede’ to the request. Troon’s motto reads ‘Tam Artequam Marte’ meaning ‘As much by skill as by strength’ a very apt motto for a course so demanding and testing of ones golfing talents.

The links of Royal Troon are perhaps now the most important, in the West of Scotland, since Prestwick gave up any hopes of staging the World’s Greatest Championship. Founded in 1878 Royal Troon lies at the southern end of the Ayrshire coastline where Golf was played long before Troon was founded. There is evidence in Ian Mackintosh’s history of Troon that four or five holes date back as early as 1870, when the holes were cut with a knife and ‘neither round nor square, but were large enough’. Over the years the course has evolved into one of the toughest in Open Championship history boasting both the longest and shortest holes on the Open rota. The shortest is the world famous, or infamous, 8th hole known as ‘The Postage Stamp’.

Several famous course architects have left their marks at Troon, Willie Fernie, James Braid, Alistair Mackenzie and Frank Pennink, although in Braid’s case his contribution was restricted to advice on bunkering. Many illustrious names appear on the ‘Claret Jug’ after victory at Troon, the most significant being that of Arnold Palmer who in 1962 spread-eagled the field with scintillating performance. Only six rounds under 70 were recorded in 1962, three of these belonging to Arnold. During Tom Watson’s winning year of 1982 Royal Troon honoured Arnold Palmer with life membership for his contribution of Golf, and his help in re-establishing ‘The Open’ as the premier event in world golf.
There are very few days on which the wind does not blow across this exposed links, and the battle out is a fierce one against the prevailing wind. Then you turn for home and onwards to the famous Troon finish, not for the faint of heart, and regarded by some as the toughest finishing stretch anywhere.

Two of the most famous holes at Royal Troon, the 577 yard. 6th, currently the longest hole in Open Championship golf and the 8th hole ‘The Postage Stamp’ all 126 yard, have claimed many victims over the years. The 6th hole ending the challenge of one Bobby Clampett, an American, who spread-eagled the field in the 1982 Open, only to find a sandy grave short of the green on the final day. In the 1950 Open a German player named Herman Tissies single putted the 8th hole, ‘The Postage Stamp’ unfortunately it had taken him 14 strokes to reach the putting surface of the infamous par 3 hole. One of the most popular and memorable triumph’s on the eighth belongs to one of golf’s gentlemen, Gene Sarazen, a winner of all four major championships, then in his seventies playing in the 1973 open Gene holed his tee shot with a five iron in round one, then in round two followed up his ace with a two, holing a bunker shot for his birdie. His total for two rounds at the Postage Stamp was THREE strokes, and he hadn’t used his PUTTER !!! Greg Norman and Tiger Woods hold the course record around the links of Troon, Greg’s round notable for six straight birdies on the opening holes, and Tiger’s for propelling him back into contention during the 1997 Open after all seemed lost.

One of the abiding memories of a visit to Royal Troon, apart from the golf course, is dinner in the club restaurant, surrounded by the wonderful oil paintings looking down from the paneled walls listening to both the tales of woe and glory from golfers visiting, from different parts of the globe.

Royal Troon is a course worthy of the game, and is a challenge not to be missed by any golfing enthusiast.

Royal Troon Golf Club
Craigend Road
Troon
KA10 6EP
Founded:- 1878
Type of course:- Links
No of holes:- 18
Distance:- 7101 yds
Par:- 71 (SSS 74)
Designer:- Wullie Fernie, James Braid
Location:- Ayrshire