Built between Irvine Bay and the railway on Ayrshire's celebrated western coastline, Western Gailes is a charming old links first laid out by greenkeeper Fred Morris in 1898. It's a classic out and back links that follows the Ayeshire dunes with its clubhouse in the middle of the property, meaning an extra change of direction for the players. The opening few holes are quite good, but its the period through the middle of the front nine that really captures attention here - the final third on the par five 6th and the terrifyingly difficult short 7th are both outstanding, the 7th ones of Scotland's most natural and attractive short par threes.
Unfortunately the final ten holes here are played over low-lying dunes and are far less interesting than the opening seven or eight. There are a few fine flatter holes, but it's the opening nine at Western Gailes that rightly deserve all the recognition.