Prestbury Golf Club Course Review

The Harry Colt course at Prestbury Golf Club ranks among the best layouts and tests in inland Cheshire

Prestbury Golf Club - 17th hole
(Image credit: Prestbury Golf club)

Prestbury Golf Club Course Review

GF £40-£95 per round (book online up to 90 days in advance)
Par 71, 6,419 yards
Slope 146
GM Verdict – A beautiful parkland/woodland course with many memorable holes and moments – one of inland Cheshire’s finest
Favourite Hole – The 12th is a modest-length par 4 with a downhill approach over a meandering brook to a wedge-shaped green

Prestbury Golf Club - 12th hole

An aerial view of the final approach to the excellent 12th hole

(Image credit: Prestbury Golf Club)

Take the mighty links of The Wirral out of the equation and many golfers would rank the fine course at Prestbury near Macclesfield in the top three of a best golf courses in Cheshire ranking. The club, which reached its centenary milestone in 2020, plays over a wonderfully varied yet relatively compact layout, which makes excellent use of a number of eye-catching changes in elevation right from the start. The reasonably accommodating par-5 opener drops down before rising to the green while the splendid, steeply downhill par-3 4th plays from a tee you must scale via steps aplenty.

Related: the best golf courses on The Wirral

Prestbury Golf Club - 2nd hole

Deep grass hollows surround the right half of the 2nd green at Prestbury

(Image credit: Prestbury Golf Club)

Although best described as parkland/woodland terrain, there is more than a hint of a heathland feel trying to get out in places, with Prestbury’s sandy soil ensuring it is one of the best-draining courses in the area. From the 8th, the course plays around the course’s perimeters in an anti-clockwise direction, until making a deviation after the delightful 12th. A look at Google maps tells you that houses lie close to those extremities throughout, but you are often blissfully unaware of this as you make your way round.

Prestbury Golf Club - 4th hole

Looking back up the par-3 4th where you must scale many steps to reach the tee

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Harry Colt was the man tasked with creating the course back in 1920, and as ever, the master designer made excellent use of the natural terrain, picking out some excellent green sites including the distinctive shelf greens on the 3rd and 5th holes. Reflecting on his work at Prestbury some years later, Colt commented that “every hole presents some distinct feature of an impressive character” and few who have played here over the years would disagree.

Prestbury Golf Club - 9th hole

You'll think someone has made a mistake when you glance at the scorecard to discover that the memorable 9th is a par 4 not a par 5!

(Image credit: Prestbury Golf Club)

Among the important events to have visited Prestbury are the English Seniors Championship in 2005 and Regional Qualifying for The Open Championship. There are a number of holes you will remember long after playing Prestbury, perhaps none more so than the difficult 9th with its testing drive and steeply uphill approach to a long narrow green at the highest point on the course. Yes, it is a par 4, not a par 5!

Prestbury Golf Club - 17th hole

The 17th is a fine par 3 played across a wide gully from a tee that wraps around the left side of the 16th green

(Image credit: Prestbury Golf Club)

A couple of holes later, it’s the downhill approach over a meandering stream just short of the narrow-fronted 12th green that will linger in the memory, while the shortish par-3 17th then plays across a wide gully from an unusual semi-circular tee wrapped around the left half of the 16th green.

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

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 even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, 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 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...