“Iconic” is undoubtedly an overused term, but there can be no other to describe one of, if not the, most photographed objects in golf, and the logo of the Trump Turnberry resort, the Turnberry lighthouse and lighthouse keeper’s housing.
Turnberry Head marks a particularly dangerous part of the Ayrshire coast and in 1873, David Stevenson’s lighthouse, erected on the site of Robert the Bruce’s mediaeval castle was completed, resulting in the saving of many lives. In 1986, when the light was automated, the housing was vacated and the building used only as a maintenance facility. It remained a striking symbol, but with little relationship to the course; the fairway of the par 4 ninth hole by-passing the lighthouse by several hundred yards.
However, the inspired creation of the new par 3 replacement ninth, thrillingly demanding a shot over the bay, also presented an opportunity to utilise the lighthouse, now adjacent to the ninth green, as a halfway house extraordinaire. The sensitive makeover of the listed building has not only resulted in the creation of a fabulous bistro/bar and toilets provision, but also, a luxurious fully serviced two-bedroom suite for hotel guests, with magnificent and unrivalled ocean views from its extensive terraces.
The terrace by the grillroom and bar is even more extensive, providing, with its views of Ailsa and Arran, a stunning venue for a fine food and Turnberry beer break, before heading out to the equally stunning tenth hole. The only problem is tearing oneself away from this idyllic spot; so if you are not actually playing the course, why not take an invigorating walk along the high dune, and take a relaxing meal or drink at this to this unique dining destination?