A LEGENDARY golfer has spoken of his love of one of Ayrshire's best-known courses - and says it deserves to be returned to the Open Championship rota.

Gary Player, winner of nine major championships, including three triumphs at The Open, posted to social media site X - formerly known as Twitter - about his admiration for the Turnberry course, which he described as "incredibly special".

The venue, with its three courses, welcomes golfers and tourists from all over the world to play its famous greens and enjoy its spectacular views.

Turnberry, owned by former US President Donald Trump, hasn't hosted the Open since 2009 and is not currently pencilled in to host the tournament in the future.

Posting a picture of himself on one of Turnberry's meticulously-manicured greens, the 87-year-old South African said: "With all the golf I’ve played in my life, it is not often that I stop to snap a photo on a green.

"But Turnberry is incredibly special and is a close second to Pine Valley in my top two courses on the planet.

"No doubt Turnberry deserves to be back on The Open’s Rota. It’s an absolute paradise of links golf with a storied history."

Player's three Open Championship wins came at Muirfield in 1959, Carnoustie in 1968 and Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1974.

According to reports earlier this year, the Open Championship's governing body, the R&A, has no plans to return Turnberry to the Open rota, saying it is "still perceived as a serious security risk due to potential protests" associated with its owner.

Mr Trump's most recent visit to the venue was in May of this year, when he stopped off to play a round in between visits to his courses at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire and at Doonbeg in County Clare.

Turnberry's Ailsa Course hosted the tournament in 1977, 1986, 1994 and 2009.

The winners were Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Nick Price and Stewart Cink respectively.

Turnberry also hosted the Women's British Open in 2002, when Australian Karrie Webb emerged victorious, and has been the venue for the Senior Open Championship on seven occasions - most recently in 2012, when it was won by American Fred Couples.