Played Prestwick on July 11 and July 13 with my son Scott. On this trip also played Kilspindie, North Berwick (West Links), Carnoustie(Championship), Turnberry (Aisla), and Musselburgh Links (Old) . All the courses we played were great golfing experiences. Prestwick stood out as the best golfing experience of them all for several reasons.
Being the "Birthplace of The Open Championship" certainly helped. Especially when The Open this year is in nearby Muirfield. We went to a practice round at Muirfield during our visit. Muirfield is certainly similar to Prestwick in that it rewards very well thought out shots and penalizes those that are not. Prestwick certainly tests shot making skills and has for a very long time.
Everyone we met at the course and clubhouse were great and the clubhouse oozes with history. Could picture the battles between Old and Young Tom in the early days of Prestwick as well as between the greatest golfers of the day in the Open Championship. Eating in the informal Cardinal Room after the round was a special experience. The members were also very welcoming and took a true interest in ensuring we enjoyed our stay.
The starter was great and gave us several tips on playing the course and ensured we could find our way around the course. The experience in the pro shop was also exceptional . Certainly everything about Prestwick makes me want to visit again for the challenge and experience.
The overall condition of the course was the best of all we played. The fairways were firm and in perfect condition. The greens and tees were also in pristine condition and the bunkers were numerous and could be very penal. The rough outside the first cut was very difficult and hitting the fairways with the correct distances was definitely essential.
All the holes are individually great golfing experiences and each standout on their own. The blind tee shot on the par 3 fifth (Himalayas) was great and I could envision players trying to hit over the hill in the early days. The blind 2nd shot on the par 4 17th (Alps) with the Sahara Bunker lurking short of the green was certainly a unique challenge. The (Railway) first is a great little hole that shows accuracy and precision are essential and does not need to be long to be a great. The finishing (Clock) 18th is a short hole where eagles are possible but over the green is OB and the rough on an errant shot is very difficult especially if a birdie is needed. The short par 4 15th (Narrows) lives up to its name on the tee shot with the green sloping away from you on the 2nd shot. The broadly sloping green on the par 4 13th (Sea Heading) was a pleasure to putt on.
I could go on and on about every hole but would highly recommend Prestwick for any golfer that enjoys a challenge and unique experience at the "Birthplace of The Open Championship". Click here to see a You Tube slideshow of some pictures I took during my visit. Jim Brady
Date: July 22, 2013