Early Years


Clubhouse 1904 Clubhouse 1904 - Troon Golf Club was formed on 16th March 1878, in the Portland Arms Hotel in Troon.

Royal Troon Golf Club proudly hosted The 145th Open Championship in July of 2016. It was the ninth occasion The Open had been held at Troon. Considering the Club’s humble beginning in 1878, the journey has been remarkable with great credit due to some forward thinking members during the Club’s early years.


Troon Golf Club was fortunate from the outset by having friends in high places. Successive Dukes of Portland, who owned the land, exercised a benign interest and the Duke’s agents Frederick J Turner and later his son J Harling Turner, busied themselves to work in the Club’s interests.

Duke of Portland Duke of Portland

First Captain The first Captain appointed was James Dickie (left) who held office for four years. Charlie Hunter (right), Keeper of the Green, Prestwick G.C.

The Club’s first Captain, James Dickie, was already well acquainted with Troon’s natural seascapes of beaches and dunes, and he worked closely with the Duke’s Agents in developing plans to add golf to its attractions - the links just to the south of the town presented exactly the right conditions to lay out a course. This task was carried out by Charlie Hunter, Keeper of the Green at Prestwick Golf Club, who had served his apprenticeship under the legendary Old Tom Morris. Six greens were laid down, some still in play today.


Thanks to James Dickie’s enthusiasm and energy, and the assistance of the Club’s first Secretary, Dr John Highet, Members of the new Troon Golf Club were playing their first competition - for the Dickie Cross - only six months after formation.

Dr John Highet Dr John Highet (left) held the office of Honorary Secretary from 1878 until 1893. Dickie Cross (right)

First Professional George Strath (left) and Clubhouse (right) 1886c.

George Strath was appointed the Club’s first Professional in 1882 and 4 years later with a combination of Members’ loans and financial support from James Dickie, the course was extended to 12 then 18 holes, and a splendid new clubhouse built. The Ladies Golf Club which was established in 1882 moved into the reconditioned original men’s clubhouse. The design and construction of the 18 hole course by George Strath and completed in 1884, was a truly remarkable feat and formed much of the layout played today.


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 Postage Stamp and Railway holes. The 1895 Relief Course (now known as the Portland Course) was his creation - just one of 33 he designed. An expert club maker, tutor, Keeper of the Green and fine player, his time at Troon was of great benefit to the Club.

Willie Fernie Willie Fernie, Open Champion 1883

The Ladies Championship The Ladies' Championship

Membership by 1900 had reached 700. Apart from many Professional and Amateur matches featuring some of the most famous players of the time, the Club hosted, in 1904 its first Championship "The Ladies' Championship" won by Lottie Dod who was also a 5 time Wimbeldon Ladies Tennis Champion. It was the first of some 38 Championships, including 8 Open Championships, held at Troon to the present day.


The next 20 years were just as frenetic. Further ambitious developments and expansions were undertaken. These included two majoy extensions to the Clubhouse, the building of a two new ladies Clubhouses, two new 18 golf courses laid out and a new Club, Portland, formed. The Iconic holes known as Postage Stamp and Railway holes were constructed in 1909, by Willie Fernie.

8th Hole - Postage Stamp 8th hole - Postage Stamp, 1923.

Royal Status Second Club Crest (left) & New Club Crest (right)

Troon Golf Club was awarded Royal status in 1978 to celebrate its Centenary and has since been known as Royal Troon Golf Club.