From the Prestwick website (http://www.prestwickgc.co.uk/index.html):
Prestwick Golf Club was founded in 1851 by a group of 57 members who met at the Red Lion Inn, Prestwick.
The first Open Championship was held at Prestwick on October 17, 1860 and played according to the Rules of Prestwick Golf Club.
Today was a great day of golf. Our tee time on one of the older courses in the world was at 11:07am, the sun was shining and the temperature was reaching towards 13 degrees Celsius. It was my turn for a caddy and Gary was excellent, showing us where to go (and thank goodness as we would have had troubles on several holes including the blind shots on the par 3 #5 and the par 4 #17 which had the biggest greenside bunker I had ever seen). I had a rough go on the front nine, having trouble with tee shots and fighting my way in the deep fescue on my way to a 49. The course plays long at 6544 yards with long par 4s at 7 (430 yards), 8 (431 yards), 9 (444 yards), 10 (454 yards) and 13 (460 yards). Gary was very patient handing me clubs, cleaning the ball and giving us directional advice to ensure that our balls were at least started in the right direction.
The back nine was much better than the front with a great stretch between 11 and 16 going +2 through that stretch of holes (a visit to the fescue on #10 and #17 led to doubles on both of those holes) and a bogie on 18 left me with a 43 on the front and 92 all said and done. Knowing what I do now about the course, there are definitely some holes I would play differently, including different shots on 15 and 16 to stay out of the fairway bunkers as well as on 18 to stay in the fairway. The bunkers needed to be avoided at all costs whether they were fairway or greenside. Another issue I had on the day was putting. i didn’t putt poorly (I think I only had 1 three putt), however I did not putt great, with no one putts and lots of balls left just on the edge (including three birdie putts). With a little bit of help there, I would have scored a bit better.
So after four rounds in Scotland, my course favorites are as follows:
- Turnberry Ailsa
- Irvine Golf Club (Bogside)
- Kilmarnock Barassie
Tomorrow brings us Royal Troon, the Old Course which we could see from high-up on #8 at Prestwick. It looked spectacular. Then it is off to St. Andrews to try the ballot for the Old Course.