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Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick Golf Club

“Old” Prestwick Golf Club was home to the very first Open Golf Championship back in 1860.

Prestwick hosted the first 11 consecutive Opens before losing its place on the Open course rota after 1925.

It is a fantastic golf course and should be experienced by all golfers.

Back in the 70s and 80s Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson used to warm up for the Open at Royal Troon and other Scottish Open venues by playing Prestwick.

1st Hole : Railway – Par 4

The opening hole at Prestwick is without doubt one of the scariest opening holes in Scotland.

As one American guest once remarked “who built a railway to the right of the first hole?”

The railway line is out of bounds all the way down the first hole.

You generally tee off with a mid iron and aim down the left side of the fairway.

But the best approach is from the right side of the fairway into a large green protected with bunkers short and left.

Course Yardage
Championship 345
Medal 345
Senior/Ladies 322
Par 4
Stroke Index 11

2nd Hole : Tunnel – Par 3

A delightful short par 3 from an elevated tee is only a mid to short iron. There are 4 bunkers that guard the green but you should easily walk off the second hole with a par 3.

Course Yardage
Championship 164
Medal 164
Senior/Ladies 140
Par 3
Stroke Index 17

3rd Hole : Cardinal – Par 5

Whilst the 3rd hole is not a long dogleg par 5 it is a very tricky hole to negotiate.

You have to position your tee shot short of the fairway bunkers and the huge Cardinal Bunker that runs across the middle of the fairway.

For the longer hitters it’s possible to reach the green with your second shot however you bring out of bounds on the right into play.

Ideally you play to the left of the green and hope for a kind bounce.

A short third shot into the green gives you a chance of a birdie 4.

Course Yardage
Championship 533
Medal 477
Senior/Ladies 449
Par 5
Stroke Index 3

4th Hole : Bridge – Par 4

The 4th hole requires an accurate drive so that you miss the bunkers on each side of the fairway.

Many a tee shot has been driven right out of bounds so be careful.

A mid to short iron shot into a left to right sloping green.

Course Yardage
Championship 417
Medal 384
Senior/Ladies 329
Par 4
Stroke Index 13

5th Hole : Himalayas – Par 3

The 5th hole is a long blind par three over a hill that requires skill and luck to hit the green.

The bad miss is long and right avoiding all the bunkers surrounding this green.

Course Yardage
Championship 231
Medal 206
Senior/Ladies 181
Par 3
Stroke Index 15

6th Hole : Elysian Fields – Par 4

For the 6th hole you play back south towards the club house.

Avoid the bunkers on both sides of the fairway gives you a mid iron shot into a protected green; with declines to the left and right.

This should be an easy par 4 to negotiate before you tackle a difficult stretch of holes to the turn.

Course Yardage
Championship 445
Medal 362
Senior/Ladies 340
Par 4
Stroke Index 15

7th Hole : Monkton Miln – Par 4

The 7th hole is the hardest hole on the course; with a stroke index of 1.

Bunkers scattered down the right hand side of the fairway will catch a pushed or faded drive.

Then you are faced with a mid to long iron shot uphill towards a heavily guarded green.

Course Yardage
Championship 484
Medal 430
Senior/Ladies 396
Par 4
Stroke Index 1

8th Hole : End – Par 4

The 8th is another long difficult hole played slightly downhill.

Your drive will need to be long and accurate to carry the fairway bunkers at the 225 yard point.

Then a mid to long iron into a long uphill green.

A par 4 is a good score at the 8th.

Course Yardage
Championship 432
Medal 432
Senior/Ladies 426
Par 4
Stroke Index 9

9th Hole : Eglinton – Par 4

The final hole on the front nine is a difficult uphill dogleg par 4 to right.

For most amateur golfers this is a drive and a long iron or fairway wood with the second shot into a very large semi blind green.

Bunkers guard the approach to the green and front and back of the green.

A par 4 is a very good score to close the front nine at Old Prestwick.

Course Yardage
Championship 461
Medal 444
Senior/Ladies 415
Par 4
Stroke Index 7
Turnberry Ailsa, Prestwick, Royal Troon
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10th Hole : Arran – Par 4

We start the back nine with another long par 4.

Playing from a raised tee and hitting toward the Isle of Arran in the background, you want to avoid the bunkers to the left and right.

Then you have a long uphill second shot into a bunker free green.

Course Yardage
Championship 453
Medal 453
Senior/Ladies 414
Par 4
Stroke Index 4

11th Hole : Carrick – Par 3

A little light relief comes in the form of the par 3 eleventh hole.

A mid to long iron into a heavily guarded green this is a lovely par 3 facing southwards.

This would be a great hole to make a 2 at to compensate for some of the previously difficult holes.

Course Yardage
Championship 213
Medal 195
Senior/Ladies 168
Par 3
Stroke Index 16

12th Hole : Wall – Par 5

A good par 5 to make birdie at if you can negotiate missing the 3 bunkers down the left hand side of the fairway.

The long hitters can try and hit the green in 2 but face an army of bunkers that provide the approach to the green.

For mere mortals like ourselves, this is a 3 shot par 5.

Ideally you want your 2nd shot from the fairway to finish 100 yard shots of the green on the right hand side of the fairway.

The approach shot into the green requires accuracy as the green slopes heavily right to left.

One good putt for a birdie and you’re heading off to a wonderful closing 6 holes.

Course Yardage
Championship 541
Medal 513
Senior/Ladies 459
Par 5
Stroke Index 8

13th Hole : Sea Headrig – Par 4

An extremely long and difficult par 4 with a stroke index of 2.

You can afford to drive down the left hand side of fairway that is adjoined to the 16th fairway.

Then you are left with, typically, a fairway wood into a green with a massive slope from front to back.

A bogey 5 isn’t a back score as there are a few birdie opportunities in the closing 5 holes.

Course Yardage
Championship 458
Medal 458
Senior/Ladies 412
Par 4
Stroke Index 2

14th Hole : Goosedubs – Par 4

A short par 4 dogleg to the left played toward the Prestwick clubhouse.

You drive slightly downhill towards a large wide fairway.

From there you have a short iron into a large green with bunkers to the right and short left.

A good approach shot should give you the first of 3 great birdie opportunities.

Course Yardage
Championship 406
Medal 363
Senior/Ladies 303
Par 4
Stroke Index 14

15th Hole : Narrows – Par 4

The 15th is a short par 4 but requires a laser accurate drive over the hill at the 210 yard mark.

A hidden bunker to the right of the fairway can catch pushed or faded tee shots.

Then a short iron uphill to a green that slopes severely from left to right.

Another good birdie chance with a well played approach.

Course Yardage
Championship 353
Medal 353
Senior/Ladies 322
Par 4
Stroke Index 10

16th Hole : Cardinals Back – Par 4

The 16th hole is a very short, drivable par 4.

Your drive has to be extremely accurate otherwise you will catch the bunker short left or the cardinal bunker on the right.

Those drives coming up short of the green face a tricky chip toward a 2 tiered green sloping front to back.

A great birdie chance from a good pitch.

Course Yardage
Championship 290
Medal 290
Senior/Ladies 272
Par 4
Stroke Index 18

17th Hole : Alps – Par 4

The 17th is a tough hole that requires a good tee shot.

Then you are faced with a blind uphill approach shot guarded with a huge bunker short of the green.

The green is situated in a basin where shot short or long will roll back into the centre of the green.

You will be happy to walk to the 18th hole with a par 4 on your scorecard.

Course Yardage
Championship 394
Medal 394
Ladies/Senior 378
Par 4
Stroke Index 6

18th Hole : Clock – Par 4

The 18th is another very shot par 4 at only 288 yards; in range for most good golfers.

The drive requires a fade left to right to avoid the greenside bunker.

But a pushed or sliced drive will end up over the ridge into some difficult rough.

The green is long and flat and requires an accurate chip shot to give yourself a closing birdie opportunity.

Course Yardage
Championship 288
Medal 288
Senior/Ladies 247
Par 4
Stroke Index 12
Turnberry Ailsa, Prestwick, Royal Troon
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