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Challenge, Creativy Attract Players to Prestwick Country Club

04/07/2011

Prestwick Country Club head pro Jay Smith doesn’t delude players that flock to the course Pete and P.B. Dye collaborated to design.

The challenge is as real as it is substantial.

With its rolling fairways, pot bunkers and undulating greens, Prestwick tests every part of a player’s game. No two holes are the same and every club in the bag will come into play at some point.

Knee-knocking approaches, treacherous putts and delicate chip shots come with the scorecard at Prestwick.

In short, it’s the type of layout golfers love to play.
 

The beauty of Prestwick lies in the fairness of challenge. During a round players face difficult holes, but the Dye brothers offer plenty of opportunities to score on a course sculpted to include the types of stunning visuals
their name allows golfers to conjure up.
An approximately 18-acre lake separates the 9th and 18th holes, and the dirt removed to create the lake was put to good use. A berm was constructed around the course, providing the layout with privacy and framing many of its holes.

The rolling fairways, mounds and swales alongside the greens encourage creativity. There isn’t a right way to play Prestwick. Players looking at the same shot may see completely different ways to get the ball to the green, a hallmark of good design work.


There isn’t as much sand at Prestwick as many have come to associate with Dye designs – fewer than 45 bunkers total – but place a premium on avoiding them, particularly the
devious pot bunkers. The course’s fairways are generous, which heightens the importance of putting the tee ball in the short grass.

Danger awaits stray shots around the greens and a key to avoiding difficulty is being well positioned off the tee.


What makes Prestwick an enjoyable design is that players see more than trouble on a course that includes six sets of tees and stretches nearly 7,100 yards from the tips. The first hole offers the opportunity for a fast start, but players that are going to score well need to excel during the middle portion of the round.


Holes two through five comprise, arguably, Prestwick’s toughest stretch, but beginning on the sixth, a relatively easy par 5, the course relents. With the notable
exception of No. 9, holes six through 13 are there for the taking.

The first four holes of the back nine are among Prestwick’s softest so take full advantage, because the 14th- 451 yards from the tips - plays dead into the prevailing wind and is one of the Grand Strand’s toughest par 4s.


The 17th hole, with water running up the left side before crossing in front of the green, is Prestwick’s toughest par 5.


The quality of the Prestwick experience extends to the 19th hole as well. A soaring, brick clubhouse features a back porch overlooking the ninth and 18th greens. It’s a great place to enjoy a meal and a drink, and the view is spectacular, especially if you’ve got buddies finishing up a round.


The Verdict:
A 4.5-star course, according to Golf Digest’s prestigious Best Places to Play guide, Prestwick is an outstanding layout. Sure, it’s tough, don’t arrive expecting anything less, but that’s what people want.

Good shots are demanded and rewarded. Satisfaction accompanies a good round at
Prestwick and that sense of accomplishment is why people play the game. Prestwick isn’t among the Myrtle Beach area’s most renowned courses, but it is among the best.



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