When the Open Championship returns to Royal Troon in 2016, the Scottish course will look a little different than the course where Todd Hamilton defeated Ernie Els in a playoff in 2004.
Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert is making changes to a venue that has hosted eight Open Championships dating to 1923.
The R&A has precipitated the changes, as they have at most other courses on the Open Championship rota, and has used Mackenzie & Ebert to perform the work.
The changes at Royal Troon touch almost every hole but are not intended to lengthen the course.
The modifications include:
- Restoration of the size of the greens on the second, fourth, eighth, 13th, 16th and 17th holes;
- Movement of fairway bunkers, addition of low dunes and an approach bunker on the fourth hole;
- Enlargement of tees on the fifth, sixth, 12th and 13th holes;
- Enlargement of tees and reshaping of green surrounds on the sixth hole;
- Restoration of an old fairway bunker to add some risk to attempting to drive the green on the seventh hole;
- Removal of trees behind the ninth green and the creation of dunes instead, because the dunes were casting shade over the green and roots were invading the green surface;
- Addition of a back tee and creation of a dune slack in the carry on the 10th hole;
- Removal of gorse and replacement with heather rough vegetation on the 11th hole;
- Construction of new tees to the left of the 14th green and movement of the first half of the fairway to the left. This moves the hole away from the access road alongside the course and restores the line that was played for the 1923 Open Championship on the 15th hole.
Expect the work to be completed this summer.