Prestwick Golf Club: Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info
Packed with blind shots, drivable par 4s, desert-sized bunkers and rollercoaster greens, Prestwick is a living link with the game’s past
Prestwick Golf Club Key Information
|Header Cell - Column 0||Header Cell - Column 1|
|Address||2-4 Links Road, Prestwick, Ayrshire, KA9 1QH.|
|Phone Number||+44 (0)1292 477404|
|Green Fees||£240-£270 per round high season; £195-£245 April & October; £85 additional round the same week or KA postcodes|
|Visitor Times||Weekday mornings and afternoons: play between 8am and 9am is limited to twoballs. Not before 10.15am on Thursdays. Limited Sunday times available.|
|Par||Men: 71 black, white, blue; Ladies: 71 blue, 74 green|
|Slope Rating||Men: 139 black, 133 white, 122 blue (seniors); Ladies: 141 blue, 132 green|
|Designed by||Old Tom Morris|
Golf Monthly Verdict
Much has changed since Prestwick hosted the first ever Open Championship over its then 12-hole course in 1860. But the wonderfully natural, rumpled terrain still provides a tangible link with the challenge that those early Open competitors faced. Six original greens remain along with three original holes.
Prestwick is still an utterly beguiling place to play and still more than capable of fully testing your game. It may be historically significant, but it is also still hugely relevant.
REASONS TO PLAY PRESTWICK
- The chance to enjoy and savour where the earliest Open Championships were played
- You'll face the kind of challenge you rarely face in the modern era in the form of blind shots and vast bunkers
- There are plenty of chances to score interspersed with some tougher tests
UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 43
It can sometimes be easy to forget that St Andrews Old Course is not the true home of The Open. No, the first 12 Opens were played on an Ayrshire links that was less than a decade old when eight players teed it up for the inaugural Challenge Belt in October 1860.
Much has changed at Prestwick in the last 160 years, but the wonderfully natural, rumpled terrain still provides a tangible link with the challenge that those early Open competitors faced.
Six original greens remain along with three original holes and last year Prestwick laid the original 12-hole course back out to mark the 150th staging of The Open Championship.
Willie Park Senior won in 1860 over that same 12-hole course, and Prestwick would go on to host 24 Opens up to 1925. Old Tom Morris oversaw the extension to 18 holes in 1882, and although The Open essentially outgrew Prestwick, it has continued to test the best unpaid golfers in the game, hosting the Amateur Championship on 11 occasions, most recently in 2001.
The links continues to feature in the top half of our Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland rankings.
The main objective on the 1st is to keep your slice at bay sufficiently to avoid the highly adjacent Ayrshire Coast railway. A couple of holes later, you’ll encounter one of many memorable hazards as the par-5 3rd turns right after the vast, sleepered Cardinal bunker.
Before long you’ll be standing on the tee of Prestwick’s most famous hole of all – the long blind par-3 5th, Himalayas, where you fire directly over a tall dune to a big green well-protected by sand. They don’t build them like this any more… more’s the pity!
Coming home, the 17th (Alps) is Prestwick’s original 2nd and calls for a blind approach that must successfully negotiate the hidden, yet sizable, Sahara bunker guarding the right half of the green.
Prestwick is still an utterly beguiling place to play – a course where mere mortals can tread the same historically important turf as those early Open pioneers and find that it’s still more than capable of fully testing their games.
That is Prestwick’s charm – historically significant yet still hugely relevant.
What The Top 100 Panel Said
Prestwick is unique. The holes on the oldest part of the course (1-5 and 13-18) are played over undulating links terrain offering awkward lies, blind shots and unpredictable bounces. It's fun. The middle part of the course is the ‘newer’ addition and provides the sterner test, but these middle holes aren’t as memorable. Is Prestwick my favourite course? Not by a long way. Would I play it every chance I got? Absolutely!
It’s not a course where you just reach for the driver on all the longer holes unless you are the do-or-die type, as strategy and hazard placement definitely ask questions of your game. Okay it doesn’t have a driving range and the short game area is a little bijou, but how many golf courses on God’s green earth can boast a living museum to change your shoes in and have a pint in? And at how many can you walk around with your friends drinking in 160+ years' history of this great game?
Prestwick Golf Club location
Prestwick Golf Club Green Fees
|Row 0 - Cell 0||18 holes||Day|
|May to September 2023 - weekdays||£240||£315|
|May to September 2023 - Sundays||£270||£345|
|April & October 2023 - weekdays||£195||N/A|
|April & October 2023 - weekends||£245||N/A|
|Additional rounds played same week||£85||N/A|
|Ayrshire residents (KA post code) - weekday afternoons||£85||N/A|
Book a tee-time at Prestwick online
Best Courses Near Prestwick
Huge skies stretch above as you forge out from the clubhouse over the front nine towards the loop and famous 'Postage Stamp' 8th hole. The course could be considered in three distinct sections – the first six head out along the coast. Then holes 7 to 12 ask more technical questions, moving through the dunes. Finally, the challenge ramps up as you head for home with the last six generally into the wind.
TRUMP TURNBERRY AILSA
The Ailsa hosted its first Open in 1977 to put Turnberry firmly on the map. Its most recent was in 2009, since when the links has been expertly upgraded by Martin Ebert. Among the major changes was the creation of a spectacular new par-3 9th hole by the lighthouse, while the 10th and 11th holes, which hug the shoreline, have also both been greatly improved to maximise the drama of their settings.
Best Places To Stay Near Prestwick
Carlton Hotel, Prestwick - Book now at Booking.com
Close to Ayr and Prestwick town centres, The Carlton Hotel has stylish rooms with free Wi-Fi, and a bar and restaurant. Glasgow Prestwick International Airport is a five-minute car journey away. Logans Bar Restaurant serves meals until 9pm and has plasma TVs and an outdoor terrace.
Adamton Country House Hotel, Monkton - Book now at Booking.com
This impressive country house hotel is set in 19.5 acres of private grounds, just ten minutes from Prestwick Airport. It offers free Wi-Fi in public areas, a bar and a restaurant. Rooms are either located in the historic main house or within the adjacent annexe wing, and some have stunning views over the grounds.
PRESTWICK HISTORICAL TOP 100 RANKING UK&I
- 2023/24 - 43
- 2021/22 - 44
- 2019/20 - 42
- 2017/18 - 43
- 2015/16 - 46
- 2013/14 - 43
- 2011/12 - 43
- 2009/10 - 55
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Prestwick fall off The Open Championship rota?
Prestwick hosted the first Open in 1860 and 24 in total. Up until 1881 it was played over three rounds of the then compact 12-hole course that featured some criss-cross holes. Despite expanding to 18 holes in 1882, it was still a fairly compact layout and as the Open Championship grew in stature, attracting ever-larger crowds, it was only a matter of time before the Ayrshire links could no longer cope. The last Prestwick Open was in 1925, with Jim Barnes the champion. But it remains comfortably the second most-used Open venue behind only St Andrews on 30.
Why is the 5th hole called 'Himalayas' at Prestwick?
Stand on the tee and you will see why, for the hole plays completely blind over a hill to a green that can be up to 231 yards away depending on what tees you play from. It's important to aim over the sleeper on the hill that corresponds with your tee colour and to remember that five bunkers flank the left of the green, with just one short-right.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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