Dame Laura Davies backs Donald Trump's Turnberry changes

By Jamie LillywhiteBBC Sport
Lee Westwood at the ninth
The ninth hole will see the most dramatic change, from a par four to a three in the opposite direction
Ricoh Women's British Open
Venue: Turnberry, Ayrshire Dates: 30 July-2 August
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC Two (Thursday & Friday, 13:00-17:15 BST, Saturday & Sunday, 14:00-18:00 BST), BBC Sport website, plus desktop, tablets, mobiles and app.

Former women's world number one Dame Laura Davies believes tycoon Donald Trump's dramatic redevelopment plans for Turnberry will be positive.

The Ayrshire course will have five new holesexternal-link constructed this year.

"I was talking to R&A members who are in the know last week at The Open and they say the R&A is absolutely delighted with the changes," she said.

"Everyone is excited, so for once he is not controversial, he's doing a really good thing for an Open rota course."

The Ailsa Course at Turnberry
Turnberry has staged The Open in 1977, 1986, 1994 and 2009

The Ailsa Course at Turnberry was established in 1901 and its current design, drawn up by Scottish architect Philip Mackenzie Ross, has been in place since 1950.

It has staged four Open Championships, the last of which was in 2009, and next week will host the Women's British Open for a second time, the final major event before the reconstruction begins.

American Trump bought the resort from Dubai-based Leisurecorp last year and has announced he will spend £100m developing the links, which will become known as Trump Turnberry.

"As soon as we've gone, maybe a month after we've finished there, they are going to start doing it," said Dame Laura, who won the British Open title at Royal Birkdale in 1986.

One of the most dramatic differences will be at the ninth hole, a par four which featured prominently in the popular BBC Pro-Celebrity television series of the 1980s and requires a tee shot to carry from the coastline across a cliff face on to the fairway.

"Number nine is now going to be a 245-yard par three going in the other direction on to the ocean," Dame Laura told BBC Sport. "Number 11 is the same, that's going to come round the coast, the biggest changes are mainly around the coastline by the lighthouse. Apparently, 14 holes are being changed in total."

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