Founded in 1878, and with a rich history, this course presents a fantastic golfing challenge...
Royal Troon Golf Club
Royal Troon Golf Club hosted The 145th Open Championship in July 2016, the ninth occasion since 1923 that the Open has been held at Troon. And what an Open it was with Henrik Stenson finally prevailing over a gallant Phil Mickelson in a virtual match-play dog-fight that rivalled the great ‘Duel in Sun’ at Turnberry in 1977.
The Club was founded in 1878, and presents a fantastic golfing challenge. Willie Fernie, Open Champion of 1883 was appointed Professional at Troon Golf Club in 1887. During his 37 year tenure he was responsible for many improvements to the Old Course including designing and laying out the iconic Postage Stamp and Railway holes – two of the most recognised golfing holes in the world.
The course, which took its current form in 1888, is designed in the traditional out-and-back manner of the Old Course at St Andrews. A gentle opening few holes and relatively straightforward closing stretch are the bookends for a series of holes which weave up, round and through some of the most striking links land to be found at any of the host venues. This character makes the strength and direction of the wind even more important than is usual on a links course: if the wind is against the players on the back nine, it’s as tough a finish as can be found anywhere.
Given the nature of the course, Troon has tended to favour champions who stay patient and concentrate on playing their own game rather than trying to overpower the course. Palmer in 1962 and Weiskopf in 1973 both won at the venue by tempering their natural aggressiveness; Greg Norman lost a play-off to Mark Calcavecchia in 1989 after his power ran him into trouble on the 18th; and Todd Hamilton in 2004 was a model of the calm, measured golfer.
As well as hosting The Open nine times, Troon has hosted some 38 other major Amateur Championships – The Amateur, The British Ladies’ Amateur and Scottish Amateur Championships among them.
Troon Golf Club was awarded Royal status in 1978 to celebrate its Centenary and has since been known as Royal Troon Golf Club.
145th Open – Royal Troon 2016
The 145th Open at Royal Troon was one of the most dramatic Championships in its illustrious history.
The headline story of the first round of the final day was Phil Mickelson’s missed putt on the 18th hole as he chased a record-breaking round of 62. The ball looked destined to drop from the moment it left his putter, only to lip the hole at the final moment, leaving Mickelson to settle for a course record 63.
The second round was played in murky, wet and windy weather. Taking advantage of an early start and the calmer breeze, Mickelson posted a round of 69 to take him to ten-under-par, while the later starters toiled in far more inclement conditions. However, Henrik Stenson carded a superb 65, the best round of the day, to move within one stroke of the 2013 Champion Golfer of the Year.
An absorbing third round saw Stenson and Mickelson pull clear of the pack, with a five shot gap back to JB Holmes in third place. The Swede registered a 68 to take the lead on twelve-under-par after the American posted a round of 70 to drop into second place one stroke back.
The final round may be remembered for some of the highest quality golf ever played in the Championship during a gripping dual between Stenson and Mickelson.
Stenson mastered his way around Royal Troon, posting a round of 63 that included ten birdies to win The 145th Open and become the 2016 Champion Golfer of the Year. The winning margin was three strokes, Mickelson finishing with a 65.
Becoming Sweden’s first ever Major Championship winner, Stenson shaved one shot off the record for the lowest final round by a winner of The Open, previously held by Greg Norman and his 64 at Royal St George’s in 1993. He also set a new 72-hole Championship record of 264, twenty-under-par.