How you can play at Royal Troon – with a hole Phil Mickelson says challenges the best in the world

Royal Troon

Royal Troon ranks among the more expensive rounds going, but many jump at the opportunity to follow the path taken by Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson in their incredible 2016 Open Championship final-round duel.

A single round at the old course will set you back £340 while a day ticket is available for £390 per golfer or £315 per PGA Member which includes a round on the Old Course and a round on the Portland Course.

Prospective visiting players will need to produce a handicap certificate to establish proficiency before they will be allowed to take to the course. You will have to book your round well in advance too as Royal Troon is known to have limited tee times available and they are quickly snapped up.

And Royal Troon will host the Open Championship in 2024, which has cut the number of available weeks to play the course in the next year.

But its close proximity to Prestwick Airport gives Royal Troon unparalleled accessibility should you manage to snag a booking on the Old Course.

Modelled on the traditional out-and-back manner of the Old Course at St Andrews, Royal Troon eases players into the challenge with a relatively gentle opening through stunning links scenery.

Troon’s fabled 8th hole ‘the Postage Stamp’ is celebrated and feared in equal measure and is the signature hole at the Ayrshire course.

Even at championship length, it is a short hole at 123 yards, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great challenge.

Phil Mickelson gave the hole a glowing review: “The Postage Stamp is a perfect example of how you can challenge the best players in the world.”

Two-time Champion Golfer Willie Park Jnr gave the eighth hole its distinctive moniker when he wrote in Golf Illustrated: “A pitching surface skimmed down to the size of a postage stamp.”

Following the initial stretch, the golfer heads north at the 13th hole for a lengthy, extremely difficult finish. This has three lengthy par fours, two difficult par threes, and a difficult par five (the 16th) with a fairway awkwardly cut in half by its infamous ditch.

The Old Course at Royal Troon was built in 1878, extended to 18 holes 10 years later, and redesigned by five-time champion golfer James Braid in preparation for the 1923 Open. Troon acquired the “Royal” designation in 1978, the year of its centenary, and its clubhouse is a rich repository of golf history.

In 2024, Royal Troon will host its 10th Open, with Justin Leonard, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Watson, Tom Weiskopf, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Locke and Arthur Havers previous winners there in the past. From 1962 through 2004, Americans won the Open six times in a row at Troon, but Henrik Stenson of Sweden broke the streak in 2016.

If you want to go where so many famous faces have gone before, Royal Troon has an online booking system, but prospective players can call +44 (0)1292 311 555 or email bookingsmanager@royaltroon.com for enquiries.

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