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Episode 59 – Profiling Prestwick Golf Club

Continuing into Ayrshire for the final leg of our winter series our first stop is Prestwick, home to The Open Championship. When the 2015 Open Championship takes place in July in St Andrews few will even be aware of Prestiwck and it’s proud history with the most celebrated tournament in world golf. As the regional Ayrshire Golf states, it was home for the first 11 opens and birthplace of the Open Championship.

3rd Hole, Prestwick Golf Club

3rd Hole, Prestwick Golf Club

“The 17th hole is another blind approach to a well bunkered and sloping green. These quirky holes add to the experience and the whole club has an ambience harkening back to the days of Old Tom Morris.”

A quote from Graylyn Loomis’ Prestwick Golf Club Course Review.

Visitor times are ample and a caddie very much encouraged. The quirks of Prestwick make for a genuine authentic Scottish golf experience.

Green Fee – £150 Weekdays

Both Ru & Graylyn had some questions during the episode which Prestwick Golf Club secretary Ken was more than happy to answer.

Why did the Open leave Prestwick in 1925? 

After 3 rounds an expatriate Scot, Macdonald Smith, was leading – the prospect of a Scots born man winning the Open again after a number of years meant that crowds flocked to the course in their thousands and really the course couldn’t take such a large crowd. This was still in the time before the concept of stewarding existed and spectators got in the way of players. In the event Macdonald Smith faltered in the final round (probably because of the crowds) and ‘Long’ Jim Barnes was the winner. We have photographs in our archive which show how difficult it was for the players to play shots etc. Given the problems with large crowds the Club asked not to host the Open again. The course was still long and challenging enough and in good enough condition but we just had nowhere to accommodate a crowd.

Why the relatively low number of members?

It is deliberate that we keep the number of Members relatively low – this means that there are always tee times available for Members and also space round the Big Table in the Dining Room for lunch (Graylin will understand that I think).

Read up on your history before you visit Prestwick. Check out some of our recommended reading here.

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