Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 1
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 1
A train races by the first green of the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 2
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 2
The second hold on the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club is called "Tunnel." Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 5
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 5
Golfers walk up the path to the fifth green, a par 3 completely hidden by dunes, on the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 6
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 6
The mostly flat fairway makes the sixth hole on the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club play relatively easy. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 9
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 9
An aiming post guides the blind approach shot to the ninth green on the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 11
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 11
The 11th hole is the only par 3 on the back nine of the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 14
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 14
The 14th green on the Old Course comes back to the clubhouse at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 15
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 15
A narrow fairway finishes at an elevated green on the 15th hole of the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 17
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Prestwick Golf Club - Old Course - hole 17
The second shot to the blind 17th green must carry huge dunes called the "Alps" on the Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, Scotland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Prestwick Golf Club - clubhouse
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Prestwick Golf Club - clubhouse
The clubhouse of the Prestwick Golf Club holds some historic Open Championship artifacts. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Cherish the historic, quirky Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, home of the Open

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.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Cherish the historic, quirky Old Course at Prestwick Golf Club in East Ayrshire, home of the Open
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