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Sean_A

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One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK New
« on: June 24, 2015, 06:47:23 AM »
1911 Course Map.


While undoubtedly among the finest courses in the British lsles, Prestwick may not be considered the best. Many would likely reserve that accolade for The Old Course, Muirfield, Co Down, Portrush or Dornoch. Yet, Prestwick must take a forward seat for it was their members who hosted the first Open Championship in 1860...before the club or course had reached it's tenth birthday. That inaugural event was won by Willie Park Sr who returned a score of 174 over three rounds of 12 holes; beating course designer and Keeper of the Green, Old Tom Morris, by two strokes.  Prestwick’s day in the championship sun ended as quickly as it began. Only 65 years after propagating The Open a dark day descended on 26 June 1925.  Large crowds gathered to see Carnoustie born Macdonald Smith whisk away his first Claret Jug.  Instead, big hitting Jim Barnes of Cornwall beat the unruly crowds and Smith; who would finish fourth while playing through a sea of people.  The Open had outgrown its birthplace with the club never again being invited to host the Open.  It is remarkable then that with 24 Opens and 90 years in the books, only St Andrews has hosted more Opens than Prestwick.  Below is a 1925 map of the course. The course is remarkably similar to today. 

2nd tee was near the tracks to the rear of #1

3rd tee was right between the current 2nd tee and green

9 & 10 were par 5s totaling an extra 100 yards of length

15 & 16 were considerably shorter....16 was 233...what an interesting yardage that may be cool today

 



The Morrises will forever be associated with Prestwick due to each winning The Open on four occasions at Prestwick.  Aged 46, Old Tom remains the oldest winner of the Open and with his initial triumph in 1868 (shooting 154 over 36 holes; a remarkable feat) and after winning in 1868 the 17 year old Young Tom remains the youngest champion. Prestwick would continue hosting the event until 1870 when the Championship met a crisis. Young Tom Morris carried off the Challenge Belt after his third consecutive victory leaving the organizers with no prize. Consequently, there was no Open held in 1871, but as a means to raise money to host future Opens Prestwick agreed to co-organize the tournament with the Royal & Ancient GC and The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.  The three clubs operated a rotation using their courses (Prestwick, St Andrews and Musselburgh) as the venues.  This arrangement carried on until 1892 when Harold Hilton won the Claret Jug at the Honourable Company’s newly completed course at Muirfield. 

It could well be that the famous disagreement with Allan Robertson concerning Old Tom’s use of the gutty ball was the impetus required to lure Mr Morris away from his comfortable position at St Andrews.  This opportunity did, however, provide Old Tom with a gateway into architecture and Prestwick may be his first solo design.  With the exception of the area covering the second half of the first hole, it is clear Old Tom was bent on utilizing the land which exhibits the best natural character, but not without some difficulty.  The old 6th, crossed five holes and according to Horace Hutchinson “much ingenious dodging about was necessary to squeeze the dozen holes out of the old ground, and blind holes were then the rule, not the exception.”  It is thought there are six greens and four holes still in play from the Old Tom Morris 1851 twelve hole design. 

#2: A shortish (which can play deceptively long) par 3 was the OTM 3rd.  The tee has been moved well right of the Alps Green.
#3: The famous Cardinal hole which was the OTM 4th hole.  The tee has been moved over Pow Burn. 
#13: Sea Hedrig, a long par 4 which was the OTM 5th hole. 
#17: Alps, an entirely original mid length par 4 playing over a 35(?) foot dune; OTM’s 2nd hole.
#15 green was the OTM 9th green.
#16 green was the OTM 1st green.

The white ink is the OTM layout circa 1852 overlayed on the current course map.  The map was nicked from Pete Pittock....with gratitude.


The first shot of the day was a typical "avoidance" swing designed to eliminate rattling a ball among the tracks.  My 7 wood instead finished among the rough country out left.  After hacking an 8 iron just shy of the bunkers I pitched on the green and two putted for a point.  Mental note, the greens are nowhere near as good as the practice green  :P  The proper way to play the hole is seen below...lay up shy of the narrows and plop a short iron onto the putting surface...sounds easy, but this 345 yarder is a very intimidating opening hole.  Sporting the "I belong to a southeast England golf club" salmon troozers is our very own Spangles Muldoon. 


The ease of the round continues on the second; 8 iron a few yards short of the green.  My running 6 iron turned about 4 feet right, maybe three more than expected.  Once again I missed the putt...1 point...heavy sigh.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: July 14, 2022, 04:20:23 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Marc Haring

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1 & 2)
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 10:12:20 AM »
I'm looking forward to this Sean. Thank the Lord it's not you in the pink troo's. There should surely be a two shot penalty for behaviour not consistent with the spirit of the game.


I believe the official guide advises hitting the first tee shot up the right hand side to open up the green. As if......
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 11:47:06 AM by Marc Haring »

Sean_A

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1 & 2)
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 12:55:34 PM »
Marc

Yes, as if.....Still, I like the first and think it potentially rewards the chap who warms up prior to the round...so...not me. 

PRESTWICK CONT.

The Pow Burn makes its presence known on the famous Cardinal.  There is plenty of room left, but of course the further left one is the more taxing the second will be.  Many a fine golfer had his card dashed in the cavernous Cardinal bunker.   Fortunately, after a lovely drive my 2 hybrid sailed true over the sand pit and onto the humpty bumpty fairway on the far side.  Below is a view of both fairway bunkers, though the forward pit faces the 17th tee.  It is thought that OTM's 8th green was in this space between the bunkers. 


From this angle the green is located between the steps and the path.


1889 water colour by J Smart.




All manner of stances can be had for the third shot.  Despite the wonky lie, I hit a good pitch to 10 feet, but yet again missed the putt...3 points. 




The fourth takes us beyond the original boundary of the course which was marked by a wall near the 3rd green.  Braid installed the right bunker not long before his fifth and final Open victory in 1908.  The left bunker does double duty with the 12th hole.  Under normal conditions there isn't much reason to challenge the bunkers as a lay-up doesn't leave much more than an 8 iron.  Yet many people have failed to cover Braid's bunker....Luckily I split the sand then hit a rather weak 9 iron which spilled toward the bridge spanning Pow Burn.  Two putts saw another two points on the card.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: December 21, 2020, 07:13:05 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

DMoriarty

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-4)
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 03:14:52 PM »
Thanks for the review Sean.   FWIW, while the yardage doesn't fit, the third at Prestwick was one of the "ideal holes" listed by CBM in his 1906 article on the the ideal links "13. 400 yards. Similar 3d. Prestwick." 
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

Jud_T

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-4)
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2015, 03:29:31 PM »
Sean,

Thanks for posting this.  For GCAers Prestwick has to be at or very near the top of the heap for combining history, quirk and just plain fun.  I wish I'd had another go instead of trudging through a storm at Turnberry (and that's not a knock on Turnberry).
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Ken Moum

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-4)
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 04:08:23 PM »
So.... when were you there?


My wife and I had the 8:32 just yesterday. She had one of the caddymasters with her, he's been there since he was 15.





You can just see my ball there a foot or two from the wall in Sahara, having defied Andy's suggestion to lay up from 180. My sand play is about the only part of my game I have any pride in, so getting out in one shot was important.  I did, but left it in the swale at the front of the green, two-putted for my five.





Possibly my favorite thing in the clubhouse:


Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Sean_A

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-4)
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 04:12:49 PM »
David

I think Prestwick's original 4th (Wall) was about 450.  Put the tee back on the other side of the burn and 500ish is about right. 

Ken

I was there last Friday and this past Monday.

PRESTWICK TOUR CONT

Many might think Himalayas is an original hole, but this was built many years after Old Tom departed for St Andrews.  In fact, another hole traversed the Himalayas somewhere around the current 10th.  Alas, this hole is no longer.  Himalayas can be a very trying task should the wind not cooperate.  On this day, however, an indifferent 5 iron was squeezed between the green and left bunkers.  Three points was never in doubt. One interesting tidbit is originally this hole had a large bunker just below the wood wall and another to the right. Given the state of the rough it could be this is one instance where a hole has been made harder by the removal of sand.




1874 water colour by RC Crawford.


At this point the course makes a radical departure from the classic terrain associated with Prestwick.  Darwin well describes the situation; "One cannot repress the feeling that one might as well stayed inland...these flattish holes are undoubtably very fine holes, and if anyone likes to say that they are in reality better golf holes than those within the wall, we may still respect his judgement and regard him as a man and brother.  Equally we may form a low estimate of his appreciation of the beautiful and romantic and remain perfectly steadfast in our own allegiance to the Alps, Cardinal and Sea-He'therick." 

Since the venerable Torda Cup was on the line I played on, but truth be told, should I be afforded the opportunity of many games, I would be sorely tempted to jump from 5 to 10.  However, as stated by the great Bernardo, these holes have merit.  The 6th may be the most interesting of the lot; a moderate length par 4 bending right around a large mound with a bunker at its centre.  The green is somewhat below the fairway and of the plateau type...so the approach is tricky.  I hit a poor drive right then bunkered myself to the left of the green. Not being heroic, I played up the hill choosing instead to leave a downhill putt...which I holed for two points.

More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 07:14:33 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Emil Weber

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-6)
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 07:58:35 PM »
Sean,
Thanks for refreshing my memory of what remains one of my absolute favourite spots in golf!
I don't think there is necessarily a problem with any of holes 6-9 individually, just that it's the four of them in a row. Most of the great links easily get away with a few holes of such slightly "minor" quality, and I find Prestwicks weakest hole to be 14, anyway. That being said you could also argue that this stretch is a welcomed breather in between all that quirk.
Interestingly though I like 6 the least, the green site looks very awkward to my eye. 7 and 8 are very solid and I'm actually a bit of a fan of 9, especially the green.
Looking forward to the rest of the tour!
Cheers

Jason Topp

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-6)
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2015, 09:12:23 PM »
Sean - I am going to need help with your scoring system.  It sounds like Stapleford but I am unsure why you get 3 points for a par.

Steve Wilson

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-6)
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 11:44:12 PM »
I played there on the 28th having opted for the Prestwick Experience.  The other 8:15 player didn't show up so I had a caddy to myself, played in about two and a half hours.  Ended up being entertained by several of the older members in the bar room so that I was latish for lunch and ended up  eating by myself.  I was halfway through the meal when 8 Scots from Panmure on their annual week long golfing holiday came into the dining room and soon adopted me as one of their own.  Some six hours later with considerable red wine, ruby port, a pummel and a whimmel, we finally parted company. 


While these 8 fellows weren't included in the Prestwick Experience, they will always be at the center of my memories of the course and club.  Plus, I think I'll always have a game at Panmure when I'm in the area.

Some days you play golf, some days you find things.

I'm not really registered, but I couldn't find a symbol for certifiable.

"Every good drive by a high handicapper will be punished..."  Garland Bailey at the BUDA in sharing with me what the better player should always remember.

Mark Pearce

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-6)
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2015, 01:10:24 AM »
Sean - I am going to need help with your scoring system.  It sounds like Stapleford but I am unsure why you get 3 points for a par.
Presumably he w getting a shot on that hole, so it was a nett birdie?
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Tyler Page

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-6)
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2015, 02:23:38 AM »
I actually think holes 7-9 are underrated. I realize that there is so much excitement in many of the other holes at Prestwick that they can seem somewhat plain, but the greens make them interesting. Pity the man that rolls his approach on 8 to the back of the green when there is a front hole location. He is venturing into 4-putt territory.  Ditto the 9th if he is front left and the pin is back right.


Thanks so much for the pics.  Brings back fond memories. Prestwick is my favorite course in the world and certainly the best match play course I have ever played.  The history and friendliness of the place is the whip cream and cherry on top of the sundae, but the GOLF is what is so spectacular there.  If I could join any club and have to play only that course for the rest of my life, it would be Prestwick.

Sean_A

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-6)
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2015, 02:43:08 AM »
Jason

Yes, 9 shots recieved on 1-9 stroke index.  So, birdie, net or natural, equals 3 points.   

Tyler

Yes, if Prestwick is to have any pretensions of championship quality 7-10 are a must for it would be sacriledge to suggest the reworking of the holes on the original part of the course. 

PRESTWICK TOUR CONT

The very difficult 7th moves steadily uphill.  Up to now most holes have either been generously wide or provided an obvious lay-up. The 7th not only runs steadily uphill, but the fairly narrow fairway which slides right is protected with sand on both sides.  Most golfers will have to challenge the left bunker to escape the clutches of the blind trio on the right.  Strangely, many don't mention Prestwick's bunkering, but there are many expertly placed bunkers (many of which can't be seen from the tee) which must be reckoned with.

I hit a rather poor drive well into the left rough about equal with the left bunker.  With the unhelpful wind picking up and over 200 yards to the green, I foolishly risked a 2 hybrid.  It went straight, but came out low and failed to reach the fairway.  I hacked my wedge near the 8th tee then hit a lovely downhill putt from off the green to save a five and 2 points.

The 8th too is severe.  The landing zone isn't visible from the tee, but one senses that aiming for the mound on left edge of the fairway is a better bet than the open expanse out right.  My instinct was correct as the wind inched my drive just right of yet more hidden pits.  From here, though a 2 hybrid in, the green is clearly in view.  My approach wanted to suck right to the low ground and more sand, but somehow found some grip leaving a straightforward two putts from off the green for a much needed 3 points. The reader gets a feel for the change in topography in the photo below.


Turning back along the Himalayas, it seems like one of these holes should be a three shotter, but no, the powers that be gave us four par 4s in a row with a yardage ranging from 430 to 453.  While a very difficult stretch of holes, they are all easy bogeys if one doesn't get too greedy.  The 9th turns hard right as did my drive.  Left with a blind shot (even from the fairway the approach is blind) over an edge of the Himalayas I decided on a bold play with a 7 wood.  Good strike, but leaked a tad right into the greenside bunker.  A very poor bunker shot left me 30 feet for par....thanks for playing, but no go.  2 points gave me a respectable total of 20 points on the front nine. 

More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 06:53:34 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Colin Macqueen

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-9)
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2015, 03:31:37 AM »
Sean,
As usual an excellent review by GCA's greatest golfing gadabout!


Steve W. - These Scots just keep on involving you in their golfing peregrinations and predilection for port and malt whisky!


Pray tell what on earth is "…a pummel and a whimmel"?!!


If you do get around to a game at Panmure (the course where my love of caddying blossomed!) give yourself the time to play Burnside next to Carnasty. Cheap, very good fun and an Arble hidden gem methinks.


Cheers Colin
"Golf, thou art a gentle sprite, I owe thee much"
The Hielander

Steve Wilson

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Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-9)
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2015, 10:04:13 AM »
Colin,
 A pummel is what you get when you don't proof read or perhaps when you deserve a good pummeling.  I presume a pummel would be a single blow rather than a series of them.


What I meant was kummel or as Wikipedia puts it:


Kümmel[/size], also called [/color][/size]kummel[/color][/size] or [/color][/size]kimmel[/color][/size], is a sweet, colorless [/color][/size]liqueur[/color][/size] flavored with [/color][/size]caraway[/color][/size] seed, [/color][/size]cumin[/color][/size], and [/color][/size]fennel[/color][/size].[/color]
[/size][/color]
[/size]A [/color][/size]whimmel is what you have when your companions discover that you're finding the kummel barely palatable and add single malt to the remaining kummel.  The result is more palatable but, I fear, a waste of good single malt. [/color]

[/size]Kummel is traditional at Prestwick and some like and some don't.  Now I've done it and I don't have to do it again.  I think that makes it clear which category I fall into.[/color]

[/size]Others have mentioned the Burnside, and I think I would find it more congenial to the level of my game than Carnasty, but I'd probably, given the chance, play both.[/color]

[/size]And as far Scots and port and malt whisky, I say "Bring it on."  [/color]

[/size]One of the highlights of the long afternoon occurred when it was announced that I had earned the great honor and privilege of buying a round for everyone, which consisted of three single malts and another bottle of the ruby port.  Great fun and I do hope to look these fellows up in the near future.[/color]



[/size][/color]
Some days you play golf, some days you find things.

I'm not really registered, but I couldn't find a symbol for certifiable.

"Every good drive by a high handicapper will be punished..."  Garland Bailey at the BUDA in sharing with me what the better player should always remember.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: One Man's Gad Around PRESTWICK (1-9)
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2015, 04:00:54 AM »
PRESTWICK TOUR CONT

We now climb to the summit of Himalayas for the testing 10th...453 yards with the second uphill and often into the breeze.  I prefer the lower tee which alters the angle of the drive to such a degree that a dogleg right is created. I hit a fine drive just beyond the left bunker and once again felt I needed a 3 wood to reach the green...a club I don't carry.  I instead hit a ripping 2 hybrid which cut the wind in two and ran like a stabbed rat once on the turf.  A rather indifferent 8 iron chip from the right rough just shy of the green left me with a snaking 15 footer...which I duly dispatched for a par and 3 points. 


The third and final par 3 of a good set comes early at the 11th.  The front right to rear left slope of this green with two blind bunkers cutting off the kick in shot from the right is most sinister.  The course is chocker block full of blind pits, but I decided to take my chances in trying to bounce one in from the right with a five iron (guessing there would only be one bunker and some space to work the ball in)...this is how I discovered there are two bunkers.  I hit a fine bunker shot some 12 feet past the hole and sunk the putt for two points. 

Finally, after a succession of driver/wood play two-shotters, a par 5.  A trio of bunkers await down the left of a tilting left fairway, but as on most holes there is plenty of scope for a safe shot.  For many, the second is a matter of blandly pushing the ball up the fairway, but should the hole be cut on the right side of the green there is strategy in challenging the four bunkers left to take advantage of the green slopes.  For those who have hopes of reaching in two the long approach is an exciting prospect.  Two bunkers set into dunes either side of the narrow fairway are the main defense.  There is also the green which moves sharply left.  After two fine shots left me shy of the Pillars of Hercules (no, that is not the name of the bunkers!) I stupidly tried to get cute in getting close to the hole.  I skinnied my low 9 iron up the bank right of the green; a position from which a bogey was a foregone conclusion...2 points. 


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 07:21:30 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Sean_A

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Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK 1-12
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2015, 04:26:07 AM »
PRESTWICK TOUR CONT

While usually only acknowledged by well travelled architects and aficionado laymen, Sea Hedrig is a hole whose character and excellence is rarely matched.  The quality and confounding aspect of Sea Hedrig measures up with the famed holes of Scotland whose names include The Road Hole, Postage Stamp, Foxy and Redan.  The fairway is layered with an elephants' graveyard of some 450 yards in length topped off with a green which all and sundry would claim points in the wrong direction. There is plenty of room to swing away from the tee, but there is Willie Campbell's Grave to contend with; a blind bunker not far from the ideal position. 




With rough closing down the left side beyond the 16th green, many will choose to steer a course right of the Grave.  I, however, double crossed my tee shot just beyond the 16th green into a depression of short rough. The green being beyond hope of reaching, I then decided to hit 7 wood for position up the leftish side of the fairway.  Given the rough down the left it is nearly impossible to outflank the green for the up the gut chip, so I was left with a tricky pitch over the "odd corners and angles sticking out".  The green rises distinctly toward the rear shelf which then almost imperceptibly drifts downhill toward the green's edge. A par four here will inevitably be the result of a deft chip and a putt, which I did not accomplish so earned a five for 2 points.




Goosedubs takes its name from the ponds that used to form left of the fairway during long rain spells.  In truth, this is a hole everybody has a good chance of paring for it isn't in the slightest problematic.  I do like the hole just the same simply because it is a good spacer between Sea Hedrig and the greatest boozer's loop on the planet.  2 points. 


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 08:35:50 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Pete_Pittock

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Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK 1-14
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2015, 11:31:18 PM »
Sean,
Happy to be of assistance with the map.
Another way to play #1 is a hard running carom off the wall, avoiding the lions mouth. My two fondly remembered shots are sinking a birdie putt from the back fringe on 17 (documented on video!) followed by a tee shot on 18 which left a tap-in eagle putt accompanied  with (muted) applause from members behind the large clubhouse window. I guess that is three.

Prestwick, and North Berwick were eye openers to me when I first played them in 1975 (gosh, forty years ago) as throw-ins on my first golf trip to GB&I. It is hard to beat them.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 11:34:56 PM by Pete_Pittock »

Sean_A

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Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK 1-14
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2015, 05:45:10 AM »
Peter

The eagle was quite a feat in 1975!  You must have been an excellent player.

PRESTWICK TOUR CONT

Darwin had this to say about Narrows, "The chief charactersistic of the fifteenth is that no two persons are agreed on the best way of playng it.  We may lash out for death or glory with a driver, or play short with the pusillanimpus iron; we may go out to the right or away to the left, but wherever we try to go we shall heave a sigh of relief if our ball finishes its agitating career upon a piece of turf". 

Narrows is narrow in every sense of the word.  The tee is slammed into a dangerous spot between 14 and 18 greens.  The fairway can't be much wider than the tee.  The green is narrow and funnels madly from high left to low ground on the right.  It is folly to challenge the man who thinks this hole is OTT because that is a fair assessment. No, it makes more sense to challenge the esprit of this disgruntled player for Narrows is the definition of fun and excitement.  All courses need those awkward holes which seem to have no solution to the puzzle save for a dash of heedless thinking and a spot of luck. 


I decided to hit driver, but did not commit to the shot and hit a wounded duck, luckily just shy of a cavernous bunker to the right of the fairway.  My memory served me well for I hit my 9 iron approach miles left of the flag and hoped it would canter 30 or so yards toward the flag once landing.  My guess was spot on and I was rewarded with a 7 foot birdie opportunity which I unceremoniously missed...4 for 2 points.




This angle testifies to the severity of the slope.


Cardinal's Back is another short 4 which with the wind at our backs and a favourable bounce or two can see the ball reach the putting surface.  Unlike Narrows, this hole is quite generous as it shares a fairway with Sea Hedrig. There is a large margin of error either short or left of Willie Campbell's Grave. For those with the flag in mind there is plenty of rough right of the Grave and fairway.  Near the sloping front to back green is the monstrous Cardinal Bunker which we encountered on the 3rd.  For good measure, there are two pits to the rear of the putting surface.  It all sounds rather daunting, but most have the capacity to earn a par here without a terrible strain...which in part is why the hole is so compelling. 


I decided on the bold play between the Grave and rough and hit a reasonable drive leaving about 40 or so yards to the green.  With the hole tucked right the only way to get close to flag was to bump a flat shot off the bank...risking the rough shy of the green or tumbling over the wall.  Of course, this is the shot I decided upon.  I came up about a yard short, leaving me a tricky up and down which was managed with a good putt...2 points.






Very, very few courses can claim one hole which could be included in the canon of golf, to have two such distinctive holes is an accomplishment matched perhaps only by The Old Course.  Furthermore, the 17th may be the oldest hole in championship golf as it was originally the 2nd as part of the OTM design. The Alps needs no description, but my birdie three for 4 points put me in a position to take home the cash.




The club should be commended for the excellent preservation of this hazard.




I just happen to birdie 18 as well from tees around 245 yards.  While not reachable for most, the hole from the medal tee of 290 yards is more compelling due to the angle of the tee shot bringing right rough and thus the left bunker more into play.  Still, 3 points is 3 points.  My level score on the back nine was good for 21 points.  With 20 points on the front my tally was a smooth 41 points.  However, in the Buda I play off scratch (due to complications of seriously high cappers in the society) so my score for the competition was 32.  Off scratch I am usually delighted with anything above 25 points so this was a banner day.  Unfortunately my form disappeared for the following three days and I finished in the middle of the pack for the cherished Torda Cup.

That then ends the greatest boozers loop on the planet and in turn Prestwick.  The members are incredibly fortunate to have daily access to such a storied links and I am sure they are well aware of this.  Despite the somewhat prosaic nature (compared to the holes inside the old boundary) of 6-10 Prestwick has more than enough superb holes to demand any golfer with a pinch of soul to play at least once.  Where else can one play iconic holes such as  Sea Hedrig and Alps which were fashioned by the hand of Old Tom Morris?  The answer is quite simply only Prestwick.  It is impossible to not allow the Great Bernardo the last word: "A man is probably less likely to be contradicted in lauding Prestwick than in singing the praises of any other course in Christendom."  2*  2015

Ran's Review.
http://golfclubatlas.com/courses-by-country/scotland/prestwick-golf-club/

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 08:27:14 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Pete_Pittock

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2015, 02:47:00 PM »
Sean,
Small ball, big wind

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2015, 05:43:39 AM »
Sean,
Small ball, big wind

Ahhhh. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 05:45:59 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Matt MacIver

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2015, 06:56:47 AM »
Sean - thanks for another great tour, on a top flight course. I can't recall too much about 7-10 but perhaps I was just worn out, it was our second round that day after Troon, and quite windy.


Had one of my favorite ever golfing moments on #16: with the wind blowing left to right my caddy aimed me way left and we watched the ball roll for a full 20-30 seconds along the hill and bumpy ground, stopping 12 feet from the hole and near a putters' foot. I easily missed the eagle putt but made the next while they looked on from the 17th tee. 3 pts?

MCirba

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2015, 10:09:13 AM »
Splendid tour, Sean...thanks for sharing.
"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent" - Calvin Coolidge

https://cobbscreek.org/

Colin Shellard

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2015, 11:49:25 AM »
Excellent write up Sean. Had the honour of playing Prestwick about 5 years ago, on a Monday, so we literally had the course and clubhouse to ourselves (There is no catering on a Monday so the Members don't venture down there). Another fourball went out as we were on the 15th.


Where I have to add - I have no idea how to play 15, or even the line to hit it from off the tee, but I know it was further right then I went. We sat and discussed it after the round, and there doesn't seem to be a obvious way to play the hole to me.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: One Man's Gad Round PRESTWICK
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2015, 04:26:19 AM »
Thanks for sharing Sean. Looks just wonderful. One day.....
atb

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