As much by skill as by strength
That’s the moto for Royal Troon, inscribed on the clubhouse, all livery and on every flag on the course. For anyone who ventures to the coast in Ayrshire to play this course steeped in history and tradition, you would do well to remember that and pay heed to every flag.
When you arrive at Royal Troon your expectations are met, a warm welcome, a grand old clubhouse a well stocked (branded) Pro Shop and well informed staff.
Donald pictured above was a fountain of knowledge and made us all feel very welcome. Not a well managed photograph considering the photobomb from the window cleaner
Like any links golf course, when the wind is up, it is a completely different test. We were very lucky, being from St Andrews I am used to playing links golf in the wind and moaning about it, as most who follow me on twitter can verify. However, the conditions were perfect a one to two club wind which is nothing in links terms, for 16 holes no rain and as there has been torrential downfalls in the previous 48 hours the greens were softer and more accommodating to receiving the ball.
A tried, tested and trusted combo for me as a brand ambassador for 2015 is the hot pink and blue. Why not, golf is about having fun!
The course is immaculate, manicured to perfection. I am writing a course review to be published soon, even trying to be constructive, their is very little criticism I can muster in regards to the course. Greens are true, perfectly manicured and links quick, but not frightening. The fairways are cut to perfection. The rough is punishing as it should be, 10 yards off the fairway it’s like cabbage, but what are you doing 10 yards off the fairway!
Next year Royal Troon will host the 145 Open championship and if the wind blows it will be a very stern test for the boys from the Tour, if the wind doesn’t pick up, even with the championship tees adding up to 100 yards on certain holes you could see a few tasty scores as their are birdies to be had.
When you play the par 3’s well on any course it always makes a difference. Arriving at the 8th, one of the signature holes, The Postage Stamp , I was conscious to keep the score going, a little bit of a hold up and a audience adds to the pressure. Playing 120 yards into the wind, down the shaft on a 9 iron and popping it to 10 feet, i left the tee with the chest out and strutting my hot pink trousers down the fairway feeling very happy.
For me, shot of the day came at the final par 3 of the round on the 17th, Rabbit, knocking an 8 iron stiff. One more roll and we would have had a hole in 1 to celebrate, but alas it was not to be. Next time.
Yes, there will be a next time. If Royal Troon is not on your bucket list, then put it there. Great course, great experience and somewhere where you need to go to wear it well. One thing I wouldn’t do is hit it hard, for like I said Tam Arte Quam Marte , this is a course you need to think and plot your way round. Not many calls for the big dog round here (depending on tees and ability of course )