Is Turnberry Still On The Open Rota?

The course hasn't hosted the tournament since 2009 when Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in a playoff

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The course hasn't hosted the tournament since 2009 when Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in a playoff

Is Turnberry Still On The Open Rota?

Royal St George's hosts the Open Championship for the first time since 2011, we head back to the Old Course in 2022 for the first time since 2015, and Royal Liverpool in 2023 having previously hosted it back in 2014.

St Andrews usually hosts every five years but the average gap between hosting for the other venues tends to be between 8-12 years.

However, there is one course that hasn't held an Open Championship since 2009 and it still doesn't have a date penciled in. And it's arguably the best of the lot. Turnberry.

The Ailsa course hosted the tournament in 2009 when Stewart Cink defeated Tom Watson in a playoff after the 59-year-old five-time Open champion bogeyed the 72nd hole.

Turnberry is a much better course now than back then thanks to some phenomenal upgrades after the 2015 Women's British Open.

Martin Ebert changed a number of holes including those around the famous lighthouse, with a stunning new par-3 9th playing directly next to it along the rocky coastline.

But is it still on the rota?

Well it does not look like the event will return for a while if the comments made in January 2021 are anything to go by.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers later confirmed in a statement that Donald Trump's Turnberry resort would not be restored to the Open rota, and it is unlikely to change while Trump is associated with the venue.

"We had no plans to stage any of our championships at Turnberry and will not do so in the foreseeable future," said Slumbers.

"We will not return until we are convinced that the focus will be on the championship, the players and the course itself and we do not believe that is achievable in the current circumstances."

These comments were made just a few hours after the PGA of America stripped Trump's Bedminster Club of the right to stage the PGA Championship in 2022, saying; "It has become clear that it would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand, it would put at risk the PGA's ability to deliver our many programmes and sustain the longevity of our mission."

Slumbers' comments in particular are illuminating because in 2016 he said; "Turnberry is, was and is, part of the pool of courses for the Open Championship. There are at the moment nine courses, and Turnberry is one of those."

However this is clearly no longer the case.

Related: How many golf courses does Donald Trump own?

As far as other courses to be taken off the rota, Muirfield was briefly taken off in 2016 after the club's Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers voted against allowing female members, but then both Muirfield and the R&A reversed their decisions.

The R&A has locked in the next four Open venues, with Royal St. George’s (2021), St. Andrews (2022), Royal Liverpool (2023) and Royal Troon (2024) on the schedule.

For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website.

Sam Tremlett
Sam Tremlett

A golfer for most of his life, Sam started playing the game to prove he was the best player out of his father and two brothers.
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He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since February 2018. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

A jack of all trades across print and digital formats, Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TS3
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #6