Golf Course Review of Prestbury Golf Club
Prestbury Golf Course
Reviewed by Ed Battye -
Quick Summary: Such an enjoyable course to play
Our 5 Star Rating: 4.2
It always puzzles me why Prestbury doesn't feature, either higher or even at all, in the numerous 'top 100' golf course rankings.
I've certainly played many courses that are regularly included in the lower third of the listings and I would place Prestbury above many of them.
Maybe it's because of its lack of length. At 6,380 yards off the tips it is by no means short but there is only really the 13th (and perhaps the uphill 9th) where a long approach is required to a par four, all of the par fives are in range for longer hitters in two shots, and the set of par 3's average out at around just 160 yards, the longest being the downhill 7th at 186 yards. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though because it creates a really enjoyable and fun round of golf.
Clever design at Prestbury also helps protect its relative shortness. This is very apparent at the third, fifth and 12th which are all short, but not driveable par fours, and where wielding a driver could leave you 'too close' to the green. The elevated position of the greens at the first two and the depressed nature of the latter mean that an approach from 120 yards is very much favoured compared to one from 50 yards.
Prestbury focuses on placement off the tee at several other holes too but still offers the opportunity to be aggressive if one chooses (often unwisely though). The most notable examples of this come at the eighth, 11th, 14th and 15th.
In my opinion, what sets Prestbury apart from many other similar courses is the siting of the greens which is truly exceptional. Each one sits perfectly into the landscape and creates entertaining shots. There are many holes when, even at the top of the balls flight, you are not sure where the ball will finish. This is achieved mainly by the excellent use of the changes in elevation with the 12th being the best example on the course. As you would expect of a course of this length if you miss the green on any hole you are usually faced with a tricky up and down.
The location of the teeing grounds is also superb. Many create thrilling shots that are either downhill or across ravines. The best can be found at the par three fourth where a short hike up the steep hillside is soon forgiven when you get to play the tee shot to the angled and well-guarded green below.
The routing of the course is also exceptional. Here the architect, Harry Colt, takes us on a fabulous journey around the beautiful woodland estate. The layout twists and turns at every point and gives tantalising glimpses of holes that are to come later in the round at several points.
Prestbury is such a gratifying course to play and will provide a thorough examination for the accuracy of your short and medium irons. There is a really nice feel to the place and the course just sits perfectly onto the land it is laid out over.
Prestbury is featured in the National Club Golfer Top 100 under £100 Golf Courses of Great Britain.