4 reviews of Prestwick St. Nicholas Golf Club
Prestwick St Nicholas (PSN) was the final venue on our 2010 annual MAGI golf tour to Scotland from Matlock GC, now in our eighth year. As the ex-pat Scottish organiser I always worry that my selection - based on golfing memories 25+ years old - may prove faulty. However PSN did not let me down. It was just as I remembered it: a magnificent and traditional links in beautiful condition that challenges and delights in equal measure. We had the same sort of welcome as described by previous reviewers. I don't agree that the outlying holes are 'bland' - they are perhaps just not as quirky as some of the others. The card yardages do not reflect the actuals from the visitor tees, but regular sprinkler yardages as you approach each green make up for this. For first timers, a short map might help (the 9th and 11th tees are easy to confuse) If you want the 'true links' experience at a reasonable price with quality rather than pretention, PSN is the place for you. The staff and members are welcoming and rightly proud of their course, keen to hear visitors' views. Compared to the ridiculous prices that some other courses charge, PSN is a bargain.
Prestwick St. Nicholas was the seventh and last stop on our 2008 Scottish golf tour - "we" being 6 Swedish golfers. We had booked our tee times well in advance and were received very warmly by the starter, who took time to show us around the clubhouse and give us some hints about how to play certain holes on the course. Highly appreciated! The course itself is traditional links on a rather small piece of land, which means that it's quite close to residential buildings on some holes. In fact, a drive on the 16th hole does not need to stray very far off course to end up in St. Ninian's Road! The most interesting holes are those on the more contoured part of the course near the clubhouse (excepting the 18th - more later). Holes 1, 2, 16 and 17 are all fine golf holes. Although a bit quirky, holes 6 and 7 whose fairways cross each other, are also interesting to play. Some of the holes at the far end of the course and along the railway line (11 through 15) are a bit bland in my opinion. Hole 18 is special. It's a long par 3 (227 yards) with the tee close to Grangemuir Road, playing back towards the clubhouse and 1st tee. This is, in my opinion, a dangerous hole. Unless you feel very sure of yourself, I'd suggest you play it as a short par 4, using a short or mid iron off the tee. According to people we talked to in the clubhouse, cars in the parking lot have been hit and windows in the clubhouse have been smashed by errant tee shots. Although it must give a great feeling of accomplishment if you put your tee shot on the green, I can't in honesty call this a good golf hole. The course was in immaculate condition when we played it. The greens were the best of our entire tour - which included courses like Southerness, Silloth and Turnberry. The rough was quite sparse over most of the course, making it easy to find balls that had veered off the mown areas. The clubhouse is (or at least looks) old, but inside it's very nice and cosy as well as functional.
Played yesterday, 17th October 2003, on a glorious day for playing golf. When I played here two years ago our three ball was nearly blown away by the wind and we were glad to get back into the respite offered by the clubhouse. This time we had the chance to look around more and savour the course on a warm day with no more than a breeze to worry about as we played back towards the clubhouse. It is no understatement to say that clubs in the shadow of big name neighbours often get unfairly overlooked (look at, say, another hidden gem, Murcar next to Royal Aberdeen, for example). This course deserves greater recognition because it is a cracking links with particularly good opening and closing three holes. Not overly long and not unduly penal if you stray from the fairway, it is a joy to play as it is presented in a very high standard from tee to green. And mentioning greens, you felt you were putting on green velvet carpet on these - its a long time since I played on greens this true - take a bow the greenskeepers.The clubhouse has been modernised to a high standard and the members we met in the lounge could not have been friendlier. Yes, the near neighbour might have the reputation but this course is every bit the real deal in terms of links golf. James McCann, Glasgow.
A wonderful course. Overshadowed by many of the famous courses such as Prestwick, Royal Troon and the other well known Aryshire courses, Prestwick St. Nicholas is a fine addition to these impressive neighbors. Prestwick St. Nicholas has three distinct personalities and thus plays a bit like three different courses. The start as well as the finish are in a section that is most wild and fascinating. The hills and dips and growths offer the golfer a serious challenge. The mid section of the course is in parts rolling and keeping you on your toes and the other part is laidout on a very flat section of terrain that offers very whispy grasses to collect those errant tee shots. A very pleasurable golf course that offers a true challenge as many of the great links courses do in this region. A course that I try to play every time I am back in Scotland.
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