A recent round at Prestwick with caddies followed by lunch in the member’s dining room was one of my all-time top UK golf experiences. This was despite the greens not being at their best on the day, having had a very recent brush with the verti-cutter.
However, this was not important next to the opportunity to examine one of the true legends of golf. For me an added pleasure was to be able to conduct the examination without ever having to wait on the course, a luxury you can normally only dream of at courses of this calibre.
For the avoidance of doubt, I have chosen to disregard both the temporary dip in conditioning and the fast pace of play when deciding to rate Prestwick at the highest level. Prestwick deserves it because of the originality of the course design, which goes way past its place in the history of the Open Championship.
There are many detailed descriptions of the course, among Top100 reviews below and other sites dedicated to golf architecture, so let me just take one example: you can play holes like Sea Hedrig (13th) and Alps (17th) time and time again with the same strategy and face different lies on the fairway and on/near the green every time.
Some of that is undoubtedly down to luck, or the lack of it. Therefore, if you subscribe to the “a good course should reward good shots and punish bad ones” philosophy then you should perhaps stay away from Prestwick and leave it to those of us who have fallen in love with this timeless icon of links golf.
As an aside, consider taking the train here. The walk from the station platform to the clubhouse and the first tee is among the shortest in golf.
Date: September 02, 2019