Troon is renowned for being one of the fairest of the courses used for the Open Championship, and no type of player is deemed to have a significant advantage. Power, accuracy, scrambling and putting can all win you this title, and here’s a hole-by-hole guide of the demands players will face – great to know if you’re betting in-play.
#1 (Seal), 367 yards, par 4: Betting-in-play punters may well wish to back a few before the off, as Troon has a relatively easy start. Players will get a good view of the beach thanks to a new tee on number-one, and should get a good look at birdie here if they avoid the fairway bunkers.
#2 (Black Rock), 390 yards, par 4: Darren Clarke famously knocked a three-iron onto the beach when playing for safety when in contention in 1997, but an iron off the tee will still be the choice of many players with bunkers within range of many with a driver in their hands.
#3 (Gyaws), 377 yards, par 4: Named after the fairway burn, the art is to miss said burn which is 285 yards from the tee. Most players will lay-up, leaving a short iron in to their green for their second shot.
#4 (Dunure), 555 yards, par 5: Gary Evans made an albatross here in 2004, and the first of the par-5s dog-legs gently right. Players will be looking to negotiate the fairway bunkers off the tee to set-up a chance of going for the green in two.
#5 (Greenan), 209 yards, par 3: This is the first of the opening holes that will probably play over-par even if the wind doesn’t blow. There are deep bunkers to the left and right of the green, and the beach awaits on the right for anyone who’s really wayward.
#6 (Turnberry), 601 yards, par 5: The second longest hole on the Open rota, and a precision drive will be needed to thread a safe haven through fairway bunkers, whilst the approach also requires precision to hit a narrow green.
#7 (Tel-el-Kebir), 401 yards, par 4: Named after an 1882 battle, and players will need to battle their nerves here if taking on the bunkers that guard the right-handed dog-leg.
#8 (Postage Stamp), 123 yards, par 3: The most iconic par three in Open history may only be 120 yards long, but it’s been the scene for everything from a hole-in-one from 71-year-old Gene Sarazen to a 15 by Herman Tissies. Hit the tiny green and a birdie-putt is on, but miss the green and you’ll need silky scrambling skills to escape with a par.
#9 (The Monk), 422 yards, par 4: A real risk and reward hole, with a good drive leaving a short-iron in and a real birdie chance, but many will lay-up short of some treacherous fairway bunkers and leave a tougher approach shot to tough two-tier green.
#10 (Sandhills), 451 yards, par 4: The undulating fairway will leave less accurate players searching for their ball in gorse bushes, and the hillside green mustn’t be missed on the right if a sharp drop is to be avoided
#11 (The Railway), 482 yards, par 4: To say this is one of the toughest holes in Open Championship golf, is best highlighted by the fact that the great Jack Nicklaus once had a 10 here. Betfair in-play markets may well fluctuate the most at this hole.
#12 (The Fox), 430 yards, par 4: Mark Calcavecchia’s unbelievable chip-in here in 1989 was the catalyst for his win. However, this is one of the more generous driving holes on the course, and there should be plenty of birdies, though balls missing the putting surface can find serious trouble.
#13 (Burmah), 473 yards, par 4: Hollows and humps can send wayward shots even more off line, and hitting the green from these areas will require something special. Offer any player four pars here and they’d snatch your hand off.
#14 (Alton), 178 yards, par 3: Bunkers make this hold look more daunting than it actually is, and in benign conditions there will be plenty of birdies.
#15 (Crosbie), 499 yards, par 4: The players have an extra 42 yards to contend with, and they’ll need to be both straight and long to get their drive into the perfect spot to avoid fairway bunkers and set-up the ideal approach shot.
#16 (Well), 554 yards, par 5: A ditch situated 280-yards from the tee will mean most players have to consider what to hit off the tee. Lay-up and reaching in two is difficult, so big-hitters could have a huge advantage on the final par-5.
#17 (Rabbit), 220 yards, par 3: Ernie Els birdied this in the final round in 2004 to get himself into a play-off, but then bogeyed it in the play-off, highlighting that this long-hole could be a real turning point in the closing stages.
#18 (Craigend), 458 yards, par 4: The leaders will need to control their adrenalin here, as the bunker on the right is reachable at 300 yards out, as Greg Norman found out in the 1989 play-off. They also mustn’t go long of the 38-yard green, as out-of-bounds is waiting to end the biggest dream of all.