Prestwick Golf Club
Prestwick is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world and stakes claim as the original host to the British Open in 1860. The course was only 12 holes back then, but was later stretched to 18 by Old Tom Morris. Today, the Open has moved next door to Royal Troon when its in this neck of Ayrshire, but Prestwick still demands utmost respect from first-time guests, as it features narrow fairways and rugged dunes creating many blind shots. Players are most advised to take caddies along. Prestwick's clubhouse also features a wonderful collection of golf memorabilia.
|Senior (W)||71||5973 yards||76.0||141|
|Black M: 74.4/139||345||164||533||417||231||445||484||432||461||3512||453||213||541||458||406||353||290||394||288||3396||6908|
|White M: 73.2/133||345||164||477||384||206||362||430||432||444||3244||453||195||513||458||363||353||290||394||288||3307||6551|
|Blue M: 70.6/122 W: 76.0/141||322||140||449||329||181||340||396||426||415||2998||414||168||459||412||303||322||272||378||247||2975||5973|
|Green M: 68.3/118 W: 74.3/132||278||123||409||312||114||328||396||374||398||2732||414||159||452||404||279||291||238||372||230||2839||5571|
One of my Scotland favorites
Prestwick is not for everyone. It's a quirky course that challenges off the tee and around the green and it's rough is thicker than many Scottish courses. It's a course you will either love or hate. After playing it a dozen times in the past twenty years, it's clearly one I love.
The first hole gets the challenge started. A narrow hole with the railway running hard down the right side, its a tee shot to make the normal player more than a little nervous. The par 5 3rd presents the challenge with a blind 2nd shot. The 4th is a great example (repeated numerous times) of how the tee shot has to be played at an angle that seems unnatural to the eye. The blind tee shot on the par 3 5th is always a treat. I could go on and on about the merits and challenges on almost every hole, but I'll wrap up by saying the 17th is one of the most interesting and challenging par 4 you will ever play. At least the short par 4 18th gives you perhaps the best chance of a birdie all day.
The course was in excellent condition the three days we played in the past week.
Let's finish that the club's staff is one of the friendliest you will find. Their Prestwick Experience gives you the chance to lunch in the main dining room with other visitors and members and is worth experiencing at least once. They also have a great deal with a significantly reduced rate for additional rounds during the week following your first round.
Another must-play in Scotland
The history, the quirky layout and the setting all make for this course that hosted the first Open a must play for visitors to Scotland. The course has so many traditions and artifacts in its old clubhouse, including the traditional kummel drink (which I tried). The 17th (one of the most unique holes I've ever played) is actually the oldest hole in championship golf as Prestwick hosted the first Open in 1860. That was before the U.S. Civil War.
After spending a very informative and pleasant half hour talking to the pro who informed us that the very first British Open was played here in 1860, we decided to play a round if possible. He squeezed us on and we had one of the more enjoyable rounds of our trip.
Even though the 17th is the only original hole from that first Open, it was still a thrill to tread the same grounds a all those long-passed greats.
Must play History
Prestwick is unique and not easy at all. I recommend playing it forward here. I actually played here twice in the morning on consecutive days. The club was very welcoming. I even went out before other groups on both days. Being on my own first thing in the morning-both rounds were completed in 3 hours.
The course has some great holes. The first plays alongside the train tracks and the closer you are to the tracks, the more the green opens up. Stay left and it is completely blind. The 17th is the original "Alps" hole and is a classic. Long approach shot over mounding and a bunker that you can't see. Amazing. The 5th hole is similar but a one shot hole without the bunkers. Ring the bell to let everyone know you are finished.
The par 5 third hole "Cardinal" is exceptional. Second and third shot options are abundant on this hole. Don't get in the Cardinal Bunker-I did once and regret it.
The thirteenth hole has a green that only mother nature can produce. Despite being a long hole, the green has many sections and humps as well as run offs if you are short. Not sure that this hole would exist with modern machines-glad it does.
This is a unique links which is tough; from the back many forced carries and no matter where you are playing from strategy with blind shots. I think that if you had to play this course for the rest of your life-you would not grow tired of it. It is full of strategy and surprises.
If you are in Ayrshire, this is a can't miss.
Authentic, rugged, quirky and blissfully out of touch would all be appropriate accounts of this museum that features multiple blind holes, small and w
People are amazed when they learn that Prestwick is second only to the Old Course in the number of Open Championships it has hosted (24), having hosted it’s last in 1925. So it is important that one approaches the experience with an appreciation for being swept up by things that were. Old Tom Morris was the course’s first “Keeper of the Green,” in 1851, when the course was twelve holes (an additional six were added in 1883). Authentic, rugged, quirky and blissfully out of touch would all be appropriate accounts of this museum that features multiple blind holes, small and well protected greens and wild variety at every turn. Prestwick is a joy and should be on every golfer’s bucket list.