Western Gailes dates back over 125 years to 1897, when the earliest golfers used to arrive on the train south from Glasgow.
Stretching to over 7,000 yards from the championship tees, the entire links lies between the sea and railway. The opening holes head north, before a stretch of nine consecutive holes played in the opposite direction, with the sea on the golfer’s right. The closing quintet of holes include the unforgettable 17th, one of the most testing par 4s in all of Scotland.
The original architect of this unusually routed links is unknown but Tom Simpson probably had at least some influence, as, more recently, did Fred Hawtree.
“Nearly half the greens lie in saucers or bowls and so gather the ball, but as many are full of subtle slopes that neutralise any advantage” said Frank Pennink in his timeless Golfer’s Companion.
Western Gailes is most certainly as traditional, attractive and testing a Scottish links as you could wish to find.
Take a closer look at the holes below.