When golfers show up to play a round at Prestwick Country Club the first thing they need to know is that they cannot play this course with a “grip it and rip it” mentality. Pete and P.B. Dye did not design this fantastically challenging course to be played that way. It is most certainly a course that takes thought and and game plan on where to hit the ball on each and every hole. Surrounded by thick pine forests and sandy waste areas, Prestwick presents golfers with one challenge after another, requiring a steady eye and hand and patience when it comes to the many risk-reward opportunities golfers encounter.
It starts as soon as golfers tee it up on the short par 4 first hole. Trees guard the left side of the fairway and a waste bunker runs halfway down the right side. The fairway narrows as it approaches the green making less than driver a good choice off the tee. Then the small green makes for a challenging approach shot.
No.2 is one of the more intimidating tee shots on the golf course. A deep waste bunker runs the left side of the fairway until the fairway turns left toward an elevated putting surface surrounded by sand traps. Trees and O.B. awaits tee balls that drift to the right. Position “A” is very important on this hole. Get to the middle of the fairway at the dogleg for the best angle to the green.
The the fourth hole requires golfers to hit over water twice. Once off the tee and then on the approach, where the water comes right up to the front edge of the green. Driver is possible on this hole but not recommended. It is a par 4 that can be played many different ways, but all of them require precise shot placement.
Turning to the back nine, the 10th hole has one of the narrowest looking fairways on the beach. Tall pines line both sides of the fairway behind rolling mounds making it appear more narrow than it actually is. It does require accuracy off the tee, any wayward drive will more than likely leave a second shot blocked by a tree.
The 11th hole requires golfers to make a choice of two ways to play off the tee. They can lay up to the left of the fairway and play a longer shot into the elevated green across the waste bunker or get aggressive and go down the right side and possibly get across the bunker to the fairway.
These are just a few highlights of how golfers need to think their way around Prestwick. There are risk-reward shots that can really pay off for aggressive golfers, but they can also lead to high scores if they don’t work out. Either way the challenge is there and the course is always in good shape and ready to take on golfers of all ages and ability levels.