Prestwick - no. 18
0 of 17
Prestwick - no. 18
The first Open was held at Prestwick in 1860. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Images
Prestwick - no. 1
1 of 17
Prestwick - no. 1
The par 4 first hole at Prestwick runs along the railway. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 2
2 of 17
Prestwick - no. 2
No. 2, Prestwick's first par 3 is 164 yards and nicknamed the "Tunnel. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 3
3 of 17
Prestwick - no. 3
The 533-yard par-3 third hole, "Cardinal," plays toward a ravine then up and over a large hill. The second shot is blind. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 5
4 of 17
Prestwick - no. 5
An old bridge takes you across the water hazard near the par-3 fifth at Prestwick. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 5
5 of 17
Prestwick - no. 5
The "Himalayas" is what they call the blind par-3 fifth at Prestwick. Players ring the bell once they've finished the hole. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 6
6 of 17
Prestwick - no. 6
The 445-yard Elysian Fields par 4 at Prestwick Golf Club. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 8
7 of 17
Prestwick - no. 8
The 432-yard par-4 eighth hole is nicknamed "End. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 10
8 of 17
Prestwick - no. 10
There are a few water hazards on Prestick, like this one near no. 10. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 13
9 of 17
Prestwick - no. 13
The 13th hole at Prestwick, named "Sea Headrig," is the no. 4 handicap hole, playing to 458 yards as a par 4. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 15
10 of 17
Prestwick - no. 15
The tee shot is tight on the short par-4 "Narrows" hole at Prestwick. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 17
11 of 17
Prestwick - no. 17
Here's the tee shot for the oldest hole in championship golf, the difficult par-4 17th at Prestwick. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 17
12 of 17
Prestwick - no. 17
The Sahara bunker awaits golfers on the long par-4 17th, named the "Alps," at Prestwick Golf Club Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - no. 18
13 of 17
Prestwick - no. 18
At just 288 yards, Prestwick ends with a drivable, risk-reward par 4. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - clubhouse
14 of 17
Prestwick - clubhouse
Prestwick's history is well-documented inside the clubhouse. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick captains
15 of 17
Prestwick captains
Portraits of past captains can be found inside the Prestwick Clubhouse. The first one was the Earl Of Eglington in 1851. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Prestwick - kummel
16 of 17
Prestwick - kummel
Kummel is served as a long-time traditional drink at Prestwick Golf Club. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor

A look at the birthplace of The Open: Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland

PRESTWICK, South Ayshire, Scotland -- While the Old Course at St. Andrews at St. Andrews is the birthplace of golf, the birthplace of The Open is Prestwick Golf Club , which conducted the first championship in 1860. In fact, Old Tom Morris, who designed the course, was the greenkeeper, and Young Tom Morris spent his formative years at Prestwick during those years.

The course has a changed a little since then, but many of the original 12 holes (1851) remain, like par-4 "Alps" 17th hole, considered the oldest hole in championship golf. There's an indicator on the tee for pin positions to a hidden green that's protected by the massive Sahara bunkers. Aiming markers at the top of the hill help players line up their approach shots.

The course expanded to 18 holes in 1882. At 6,908 yards, this par 71 is still an excellent test of golf, though it's no longer in the Open rotation.

The intrigue continues inside the clubhouse, where you can see much of the history of Prestwick and golf, for that matter. Inside are letters and artifacts from the greats of the game, as well as portraits of past captains. On Wednesdays and Friday mornings, visitors can also take in the "Prestwick Experience," which affords the opportunity to play the championship course and enjoy lunch in the Dining Room at a special rate.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
Related Links
Because the Open Championship was first played at Prestwick, the southwest of Scotland occupies a special place in the hearts of many. Although Prestwick is no longer on the Open rota, Troon and Turnberry most definitely are, and there are probably more outstanding golf courses in this most beautiful corner of the country than there are anywhere in the world.
The links of Ayrshire along the west coast of Scotland were created for well heeled vacationers traveling by train from Glasgow and Edinburgh more than a century ago. Many of the railway stops have been lost to history, but the cherished links live on. Of the dozen or more links courses in Ayrshire, Jason Scott Deegan offers up the five best places to tee it up for a trip to remember.

Popular Videos

Now Reading
A look at the birthplace of The Open: Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE