Forming part of a superb run of links golf courses between Irvine to the north and Prestwick to the south, that includes Royal Troon and Dundonald Links amongst it, Western Gailes is a superb traditional links golf course. It is nestled between the Firth of Clyde, and the Glasgow/Ayrshire railway line and is a mere 45-minutes from Glasgow and 90-minutes from Edinburgh. This narrowly defined strip of land is no more than two holes wide at any point, with the clubhouse, quite unusually for a links, almost in the middle of the course.
The founding fathers of Western Gailes were all members of Glasgow golf clubs looking for somewhere to play away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They left that hustle and bustle by train, with a station being used at the golf club right up until the New Year in 1966. The line is still used and forms part of the challenge at Western Gailes from the 14th back home. The first greenkeeper of the club was a certain “Mr. Morris,” but it is not believed to be Old Tom. Whomever it was, they managed to pull a 9-hole course together by the Spring of 1898 with the 2nd nine by May, no mean feat.
As for the golf course itself, there is everything you could wish for in a links; high dunes, out of bounds railway line, undulating fairways, deep pot bunkers, winding burns. It also has, in the opinion of the Pro, one of the best par three holes anywhere in the world, the 7th. Aptly named “Sea,” this 183yard hole is entirely carry, with the breeze coming off your right shoulder from the Firth adjacent to the tee. , and there is little room for a wayward iron before you hit thick rough. This green unusually runs away from the sea, making the majority of putts played across the break. A par on this spectacular hole is well earned.
Having hosted the Curtis Cup, British PGA, Seniors Amateur and Scottish Boys, as well as being a Final Qualifying venue for The Open, the caliber of Western Gailes is unquestionable.