Prestwick - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

Prestwick Golf Club,
2 Links Road,
Prestwick,
Ayrshire,
KA9 1QG,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1292 473812


Prestwick Golf Club hosted its 24th and last Open Championship in 1925. Only St Andrews has hosted more Open Championships than Prestwick.

Date Winner Country
1860 Willie Park Sr Scotland
1861 Tom Morris Sr Scotland
1862 Tom Morris Sr Scotland
1863 Willie Park Sr Scotland
1864 Tom Morris Sr Scotland
1865 Andrew Strath Scotland
1866 Willie Park Sr Scotland
1867 Tom Morris Sr Scotland
1868 Tom Morris Jr Scotland
1869 Tom Morris Jr Scotland
1870 Tom Morris Jr Scotland
1872 Tom Morris Jr Scotland
1875 Willie Park Sr Scotland
1878 Jamie Anderson Scotland
1881 Bob Ferguson Scotland
1884 Jack Simpson Scotland
1887 Willie Park Jr Scotland
1890 John Ball Jr England
1893 Willie Auchterlonie Scotland
1898 Harry Vardon England
1903 Harry Vardon England
1908 James Braid Scotland
1914 Harry Vardon England
1925 Jim Barnes USA


In 1851, a 12-hole course was founded at Prestwick Golf Club with Old Tom Morris as “Keeper of the Green”. Nine years later in 1860, the British Open Championship was born and didn’t move away from Prestwick until it went to St Andrews in 1873. The Open has been hosted here no fewer than 24 times, although the most recent championship was held in 1925. St Andrews is the only venue to have hosted more Opens than Prestwick and obviously the Old Course is still on the Open circuit.

The first eleven Opens were contested for a red Moroccan belt, which was won outright by Young Tom Morris after he successfully won three consecutive titles between 1868 and 1870. There was no Open Championship in 1871 because there was no trophy to play for until the Claret Jug was purchased for £30 and offered for annual competition in 1872. Ironically Young Tom Morris was the first winner of the Claret Jug. Six more holes were added to Prestwick’s original 12-hole layout in 1883.

The course is a traditional monument, an authentic affair with a layout of holes that snake to and fro through rugged dunes and rippled fairways. There are numerous blind holes and cavernous sleepered bunkers with wooden steps to take you down to the bottom. The greens are notoriously firm and fast – some are hidden in hollows whilst others are perched on raised plateaux. The majority are quite small and all of them have wicked borrows to negotiate.

One of Prestwick’s great strengths is the quality and variety of the holes. The 1st is one of the most intimidating holes in golf, a par four called “Railway”. The railway tracks run all the way down the right-hand side of the hole, waiting to gobble up a right-hander’s slice. The 3rd is a short par five (stroke index 1) called “Cardinal” and is famous for its deep, deep bunker, propped up by railway sleepers. The 5th is a blind par three called “Himalayas” – your tee shot must carry over a huge sand dune.

Perhaps Prestwick's most famous hole, which C.B. Macdonald replicated at the National Golf Links of America, is the 17th, Alps, which Darwin described as; "The most spectacular blind hole in all the world."

There are so many great things to say about Prestwick. The best thing to do is to play the course and judge it for yourself. Every student of golf course architecture simply has to tick this one off their list.

Bernard Darwin brought Prestwick to a close much better than we ever could in his book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles: “So ends Prestwick, and what a jolly course it is, to be sure!”

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Prestwick

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: The course at Prestwick Golf Club is a traditional monument, an authentic affair with a layout of holes that snake to and fro through rugged dunes and rippled fairways. Rating: 8.7 out of 10 Reviews: 48
TaylorMade
Billy
Prestwick is one of those courses that simply must be played. As one of the previous reviewers said, it's interesting. The start is good and the finish is excellent but the holes in middle are fairly average. If the wind is in the wrong direction (as it was when we played) there's a constant smell of aviation fuel from Prestwick airport, which is a bit nauseous. Nevertheless it's a course well worth playing and it's a real golfing step back in time which doesn’t beat you up too badly.
April 07, 2006
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Darren
Interesting. That’s how I would phase Prestwick. I really enjoyed my day here, but in a completely different way to Dundonald and Turnberry. It IS like stepping back in time. The pick of the holes for me was 15; a blind narrow tee shot, and a blind approach to a green that runs away from you. 17 is the most bizarre hole I have ever played, confusing in some ways. You need to come here with a different attitude, and accept the course for what it is, a trip into the history of golf. The greens were fast and true (in March!), the clubhouse very friendly, the course empty (other than our fourball, only two more members ventured the course the whole day). Highly recommended.
March 30, 2006
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Leighton Maurice
I find it hard to believe that I played the same course as some of the other reviews. Course was vastly over priced, if I had paid £60 then I would have put it down to experience but at £120, I'm sorry, but expect something special. Rely entirely on the history, other than the 1st and 3rd which are enjoyable, course is boring and over rated, doesn't rank in my top 100.
January 23, 2006
2 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Richard Smith
I absolutely love this course. I played there for the first time in 1984, and I've played there two other times since. Playing Prestwick reminds me of the Titlest NXT golf ball ads on TV where the ghost of Old Tom Morris appears. Every time you look around you expect to see a ghost or other reminder of the times when the British Open was played there in 1860.History aside, Prestwick remains an enjoyable and very playable golf course. The course measures around 6500 yards from the medal tees, and this includes two short, driveable par 4's at 16 and 18. Prestwick delivers you into the world of Scottish golf during the 1800's. There are blind shots, rolling fairways, steeply banked greens, dunes, gigantic bunkers straight in your path, and hidden pot bunkers that are almost impossible to get out of. In sum, everything that golf was. Blind shots are out of fashion now, but most of the other elements are still incorporated into course design today.I would tell everyone who enjoys golf to make the pilgrimage to Prestwick. Take a step back into the past, and even with titanium drivers and the ProV1, you will still have quite a challange on your hands.Richard Smith Knoxville, Tennessee
December 04, 2005
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jim McCann

Returned for another Monday at noon SGU tee time in October 2005. This time our four ball arrived early and had a brunch in the Cardinal Dining Room because we would not make lunch in the afternoon! The weather was so bad all around us but we managed to get away with only a few showers and complete our round in a touch under four hours.

All in the party were impressed and glad to have played on such an historic track.

Jim McCann

October 27, 2005
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

W
'Birthplace of The Open', need I say more? (!)
October 25, 2005
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jim McCann

Played the course at noon on a Monday in August 2003. The club offer the SGU a token tee time once a week at this time at a discounted rate for a fourball. A noon start time is convenient for Prestwick as it means visiting golfers have no chance of rubbing shoulders with members in their famed Cardinal dining room which closes at 4.00pm.

As for the course, it was simply magnificent!

If you like your golf old-fashioned (like the Machrie) then this is the place for you. Blind drives and approach shots over massive dunes to God knows what lies beyond and generally small and wildly undulating greens make this a course not suited to the faint hearted.

Too old-fashioned to ever be considered an Open venue again, it is a place to pay homage to the venue for those original Opens. Oh, and did I forget to mention the bunkers? Many feet taller or deeper than your height, depending on the lie of the land, these massive sleepered craters are a sight to behold and a hazard to be avoided.

Enjoy playing on the same holes of Open champions from over a hundred years ago -- I'm surprised the committee haven't stipulated the compulsary wearing of plus fours!

Jim McCann

December 24, 2004
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
kevin
July 16, 2011
sir ,why dont you pay a full green fee like most people do and then you can comment about the food ect
iaincmccoll
Palpable history with idiosyncratic holes and awesome greens. Clubhouse full of golfing artifacts and catering would put Gordon Ramsay to shame. Course set up for matchplay with greens second to none. In my top three courses anywhere. Every golf nut should play this course at least once, as there is no other club similar.
June 28, 2004
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful