Scottsdale, Arizona – The Westin Turnberry Resort, Scotland, has marked the official opening of their challenging new golf course, the Kintyre, with a Celebrity Charity Golf Day in aid of CLIC -Cancer and Leukemia in Children.
This stunning new course with its undulating greens and fairways, magnificent ocean holes and views, coupled with all the highlights of a links course including pot bunkers, elevated tees and thick Scottish rough, is set to be the perfect complement to its illustrious counterpart, the Ailsa.
Designed by the highly esteemed golf course architect, Donald Steel, The Kintyre encompasses land formerly used by the Arran course as well as a new stretch of land, known as Bains Hill. The old Arran course, originally created in 1909, has already been rebuilt on two occasions, both of which followed the end of the two World Wars. So comprehensive was the re-design that a change of name was warranted, hence the Kintyre replacing Arran to maintain the geographic link.
Bains Hill, a stretch of land that extends along the Ayrshire coastline, guarantees spectacular views of the Isle of Arran, Mull of Kintyre, the lighthouse and Ailsa Craig. Seven challenging golf holes have been created on this elevated section of ground, adding a fresh dimension to the course and some breathtaking shots for the golfer.
As the short ascent is made from the 7th green, the nature of the course dramatically changes with the extra elevation from the 8th tee creating magnificent panoramic views. Unseen from the tee, hidden by a narrow ridge, is the 8th green in a cove that seems to merge with the beach beyond where a delicate pitch is required to avoid two deep bunkers. This is followed by a demanding drive along the shoreline for the 9th, which is set against the renowned symbols of Turnberry and on to the long ridge on the 10th, the highest point.
Appreciable changes of level are rare on links courses but Kintyre’s descent from Bains Hill is a glorious exception. Once the short 12th, on the fringe of the wetland, has been negotiated, the high tees on the 13th offer a final glimpse of the invigorating views and thereafter, it is back to more familiar territory. Avenues of gorse may offer more protection from the wind but Kintyre’s challenge is unrelenting, although the direction of the holes changes more often than on most links.
The last three holes break fresh ground, and the 18th is an amalgamation of the Arran’s 17th and 18th, curving to the left towards an elevated green that is contoured below the clubhouse. A final challenge to the golfer, on this par 5 there are bunkers to catch the drive and copious other bunkers flanking the rest of the hole to magnify the slightest error.
Elsewhere on the course, greens have been reshaped and bunkered, tees have been enlarged, elevated and moved back, gorse has been cleared to allow for the regeneration of heather and an effective irrigation system has been installed.
Donald Steel, who pioneered the development of the new course together with fellow architect Martin Ebert, commented, “To be given the opportunity of opening a new course at Turnberry to match the quality and popularity of the Ailsa was an enviable challenge. Taking the best features from the Arran and combining them with the natural splendour and dramatic scope for change that Bains Hill offered, has resulted in a golf course of the highest standards.”
“Turnberry is renowned as a leading golf resort but the Kintyre has added a further dimension reaffirming its position as the number one venue for links golf worldwide,” said Stewart Selbie, General Manger, The Westin Turnberry Resort. Turnberry will now be in the unique and enviable position of offering 36 challenging links holes to its members and visitors in addition to a further 9 hole academy course. The Kintyre is just one element of the $20 million investment that has been directed to all areas of Turnberry transforming it into a world class resort with golf and leisure facilities second to none.”
The existing Arran course is currently being transformed into a unique par three and four 9-hole academy course and will be named ‘The Arran Academy Course’. Opening in Autumn 2001, the Academy Course will add to the outstanding teaching environment of the state-of-the-art ‘Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy’. Colin Montgomerie’s teaching philosophy, which focuses on developing the individual’s natural golfing ability, is evident throughout the tuition programs offered at The Academy.
The resort now offers luxury cottages and lodges, all in close proximity to the hotel and overlooking the golf courses and coastline, which are perfect for golfing groups and families. Opening in Summer 2001 will be an on-site Activity Centre with a full range of pursuits such as trout fishing, falconry, shooting, archery and off-road driving.