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Nic Ladds 12th Jul 2009 - 11:24

A little bit about tempestuous Turnberry

The quest for the Claret Jug gets going next week and many a punter and spectator will be delighted that it returns to Turnberry as it has the potential to be an absolute classic with volatile weather conditions and hazards galore.

Turnberry is located on the Atlantic coast of Scotland in South Ayrshire where it comprises of three links golf courses, as well as a golf academy and five star hotel.

Of the three courses it will be the Alisa Course that is being used for The Open for the fourth time in Turnberry's history with the other three occasions being in 1977, 1986 and most recently in 1994.

Although having only staged The Open three times before, the course has been the scene of some memorable moments including 'the duel in the sun' when Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus pulled 10 shots clear of the field to do battle against each other with Watson just coming off the better.

Here was also where 'The Great White Shark' Greg Norman won his first Major in 1986, then Nick Price saw off a star-studded field in 1994 to win his one and only Open Championship by one stroke from Jesper Parnevik.

Like many links courses, if the weather is windy and rainy then Turnberry is a totally different animal to when conditions are good and we could see winning scores of minus double figures if fine but otherwise it will be a war of attrition as to who will grind out the best rounds.

While it is hard to judge accurately exactly what the weather will be like the predictions at the moment suggest rain from the outset and winds of up to 25kph over the four days which will certainly make things interesting with conditions capable of changing in an instant and being the difference between a fantastic round and a shocking 18 holes.

As we haven't seen Turnberry for 15 years it is hard to judge exactly how tough it will be but we do know an extra 247 yards has been put on making it a not huge 7,204 yards.

Although the shortness of the course may make some believe the big hitters can negate the tricky lay out by driving long and taking the bunkers out of play, they may be wrong as the host of doglegs, new traps and more treacherous rough will punish those who dare stray off the narrow fairways.

Punters may well want to note that Tiger Woods has always done better on courses with much more open fairways like St Andrews where he won two of his three Opens.

If the weather is bad we are in for a real treat, a possible battle where only the most savvy links players will prevail - a subject at which the out of form winner of the past two Opens Padraig Harrington excels and many may prefer the 28/1 about the Irishman than the 2/1 about Woods.

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