PRESTWICK, Ayrshire, Scotland -- Prestwick Golf Club hasn't held an Open Championship in nearly 90 years, yet only the Old Course at St. Andrews has hosted more majors than this venerable Scottish club.
The 6,908-yard Old Course at Prestwick might be too short and too quirky to host an Open today, but golfers shouldn't pass up the chance to play such a historic treasure.
Prestwick hosted the first dozen Open Championships from 1860 to 1872 until St. Andrews and Musselburgh joined in the original rotation. Prestwick's original 12-hole routing, created in 1851, didn't extend to 18 holes until 1882. Over the years, legendary figures such as Old and Young Tom Morris, Willie Park and Harry Vardon have all won at Prestwick. The last of Prestwick's 24 Opens came in 1925.
The first hole runs along the railway, setting the stage for a demanding round among the dunes. Hiring a caddie or playing with a member remains an absolute must to solve Prestwick's most mysterious holes. Otherwise, the blind shots on the par-5 third hole, the par-3 fifth hole and the par-4 17th hole will trick first-timers into course mismanagement. Even with the proper instruction, there's no guarantee of bogey or better on these tough holes.
After golf, explore the clubhouse, home to a trove of old books, pictures and artifacts.