Irvine is not quite a seaside course but the land is close enough for the turf to boast that sandy texture that is such a delight to strike the ball from. More commonly known as Bogside, Irvine is a 15 minute drive from Glasgow Prestwick airport and 45 minutes from the centre of the city itself. A James Braid designed course, it is a really fun and quirky golf course. Its great strength is perhaps the variety of the holes – quirky in places and very solid in others.
There are plenty of short par 4s, brilliant views of the surrounding Arran and a lovely mixture of links and heathland. This all makes Irvine a real pleasure to play. Although it appeared we had visited Ayrshire in the middle of monsoon season, the course was dry, bouncy and plenty of fun.
Each individual hole has its merits at Irvine, however there are a couple that really stand out. The 3rd, 4th and 5th are a succession of short and scorable par 4s and each are brilliant. The 4th is probably the most famous of the bunch though and it’s easy to see why.
An elevated tee shot over shrubland and heather makes what should be an easy carry to the fairway very daunting. The railway line is out of bounds left with the river Irvine directly behind the green, making your approach shot from the fairway to an elevated green a tricky and nervy affair.