European Tour

Turnberry to undergo major changes

2015-04-21 14:04

Turnberry - The Ailsa course at Turnberry, which has hosted four British Opens, will undergo major changes when it closes at the end of September.

The magnificent views over the Firth of Clyde will look the same, but the course will be radically different, with all but a handful of holes altered when it reopens next summer.

New tees will be added at several holes adjacent to the water, and will require long tee shots across the "hazard" of the open sea to reach the safety of the fairway.

The iconic lighthouse will be renovated and used as a halfway house, providing an unusual and perhaps unique resting point for weary players.

Par will be 70, with five par-threes and three par-fives.

The changes were revealed on Tuesday at a news conference at Trump Turnberry hosted by course owner Donald Trump's son, Eric.

The next available Open slot is 2020 and the younger Trump is hopeful the R&A will award another championship to his course.

"It's really up to the R&A. We'd love to make it happen," he told reporters.

Before the renovation, the world's top women players will play the course one more time at the Women's British Open this year from July 30-Aug. 2.

Turnberry has a small but storied history as an Open venue, fist hosting the famous "Duel in the Sun" in which Tom Watson beat fellow American Jack Nicklaus in 1977.

Australian Greg Norman (1986) and Zimbabwe's Nick Price (1994) subsequently triumphed at the venue before Stewart Cink beat then-59-year-old Watson in a playoff in 2009.

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