The First Venue

As the first venue and birthplace of the British Open, Prestwick Golf Club (now known as Royal Prestwick), is situated on the famous golfing Ayrshire coast. The club shares it boundaries with Royal Troon and is just 20 minutes from Turnberry, with Open Championship final qualifying courses such as Kilmarnock Barassie, Glasgow Gailes, Western Gailes and Irvine Bogside all within just five minutes’ drive.
Prestwick Golf Club was founded in 1851 and the first Open Championship was held here in 1860. The tournament was organised by the members, who subscribed £25 to purchase the initial trophy: a red morocco belt with silver clasps.
Willie Park of Musselburgh topped the field of eight with a score of 174 over 36 holes. The belt was won in three successive years by Young Tom Morris from 1868 to 1870 and thus became his property. His belt is now in the keeping of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
There was no Open Championship in 1871, and thereafter Prestwick, the R&A and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh joined forces to purchase the current Claret Jug – still played for in the British Open – for £30. When the Open Championship was revived in 1872, Young Tom won again, thus winning the Open four times in a row: a feat no other golfer has ever matched.

The Club

Prestwick Golf Club is relaxed and friendly, welcoming golfers from all around the world to its traditional links course. Visitors are encouraged to use their temporary membership to its full capacity and enjoy the full lunch in the lavish dining room or, alternatively, pick up a snack in the relaxed Cardinal Room.
A major refurbishment and an extension to the clubhouse were completed in 2001 prior to Prestwick’s 150-year anniversary celebrations. This refurbishment concentrated on visitor facilities, raising them to the standards expected by today’s discerning golfer.
The character-rich clubhouse is steeped in tradition and in all public rooms pictures and interesting memorabilia are displayed. For the golfer who is keen on the history of golf, a visit to the first venue of the British Open is essential.


View Prestwick Golf Club’s course here.