Opens: 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1870, 1872, 1875, 1878, 1881, 1884, 1887, 1890, 1893, 1898, 1903, 1908, 1914, 1925
Location: Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland
Prestwick Golf Club is the original home of The Open Championship. The event was organised by members of the club, who subscribed £25 towards the purchase of the distinctive red Championship Belt, which was the original prize for the winner. The club hosted each of the first dozen Championships before St Andrews and Musselburgh joined a three-way rotation of host venues in 1873 and 1874 respectively.
The original course, built in 1851, consisted of 12 holes which played their way up and down across the linksland dunes. By modern standards the holes at Prestwick make up an unusual routing, with plenty of blind shots and unusual angles to test the unwary golfer. These playing characteristics were retained when, in 1882, the course was extended to 18 holes, and to this day Prestwick remains an astonishing piece of golfing land that invariably takes first time visitors completely by surprise – particularly those playing without caddies.
|Prestwick at a glance |
|Course length (1925 Open) |
6,544 yards, par 71 (est.)
Harry Vardon winning The Open at Prestwick in 1914, with a score of 306. It was Vardon’s sixth win in the event, a record which still stands to this day.
Though Prestwick’s eccentricity and relative lack of length mean that it no longer plays host to The Open, its record of having hosted the Championship 24 times is one that is bettered only by St Andrews. Between 1860 and 1925, the club witnessed all the greats of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Old and Young Tom Morris, Willie Park and Willie Auchterlonie. Yet of all the players who won The Open at the venue, it is perhaps Harry Vardon who sticks out. Vardon won three of his six titles at the Ayrshire course, and had the coming of the First World War not interrupted the playing of the championship, he might have won more.