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Turnberry- Affordable- surely not!
Review of the Course (2002)

If I can sum up this course in one sentence it would be: Whilst Winter golf might not be everyones "cup of tea", this must be your exception.

Turnberry Hotel is renowned around the world, ostensibly for it magnificent golf course, but also for its world class hotel and spa. Normally to play on the golf course would remain a dream for most golfers but due to an innovative pricing structure by the owners Westin Hotels, it has suddenly became affordable.

It has been an open secret amongst local and national golfers, that during the winter months, Turnberry is opened up to the general public to play the championship course (Ailsa).

This week I thought I would take advantage of this offer, to play on the hallowed turf. The cost for this year (2001) for play up to the end of March is 59 for a day, with April costing 10 more. Whilst this may appear quite a lot of money, let me assure you in my opinion it is worth every penny. In addition it also compares very favourably with the normal peak season costs and includes some extras. To give you a flavour of what it is like I thought I would share a personal opinion of my day.

The day actually started the night before, where like a young child waiting for Santa Claus to arrive I couldn't really sleep. However that didn't result in me rising early the next morning bleary eyed, as I was off like a shot to make the journey down to the coast. Our tee off time was booked for 10.03 and we arrived at 9.00 AM. You should really make the effort to arrive at least this early and in some respects it was actually not early enough to fully enjoy the extras which are part of the package deal.

Upon arrival you are greeted by the caddymaster who will direct you to where you should go. Having paid, when you will receive your complimentary ball marker and tee set, you can make your way to the locker rooms to arrange your golfing equipment. However it is not time yet to change as you still have to eat. You should make your way up to the clubhouse restaurant where you will help yourself to tea or coffee and receive what is probably the best bacon roll I have ever tasted. After savouring your "breakfast" and having changed into the usual golfing attire you can make use of the facilities of the driving range.

Again this is part of the package deal and you receive twenty-six golf balls to warm up with. The reason behind this rather odd number is that Colin Montgomery, whom the driving range is named after, traditionally warms up by going through the clubs in his bag one by one then in reverse order. From the driving range you then make your way to the starters hut for your allotted tee time. The reason that I remarked on the shortness of time earlier, was that we had literally two minutes for some practice putting. Having played on the greens, believe me you will want to "warm up" the putter.

The Round Begins

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