Prestatyn Golf Club is the most northerly course in Wales and is set in 150 acres of unspoilt links land. It enjoys a temperate climate and its seaside nature ensures that golfers can play the greens all the year round. It is a championship course, 6808 yards off the championship blue tees and 6564 yards of the medal white tees. The prevailing south west winds are a feature of the course and the low punched shot is often a very useful addition to the player's repertoire.
Hole 1 - 307 yards SI 15 - Water's Edge
The first shot in any round is always a nervy one and for this reason the first hole is a fairly straightforward one to begin with. A long iron or three wood will put you on the fairway, having avoided the dampness of the gutter in front of the tee and the out of bounds on the left. A wedge will get you onto the flat putting surface and if you're close enough you might get a birdie.
Hole 2 - 382 yards SI 7 - Ditch
A slight dogleg right with the hole demanding your tee shot to land just between the two bunkers on either side of the fairway. A mid-iron will get you on to the large green, although two large deep bunkers await any shot that is not quite true. The size of the green requires you to be near the flag to ensure that two puts are all that is required to complete the hole.
Hole 3 - 516 yards SI 5 - Round the Bend
The last of the opening holes played into the prevailing wind and its stroke index indicates its difficulty. A long drive will ensure that you can clear the corner with your second as the hole doglegs left. If your drive is short you may be advised to lay up with your second before going for the green. A good drive and a three wood second should leave you with just a short iron to a mounded green with deceptive borrows.
Hole 4 - 468 yards SI 2 - Ridge
Although the wind may now be on your back it is not the time to give the ball a leathering. On this long straight hole a good drive is essential, avoiding the deep bunker on your left. An accurate long iron or a wood is needed to avoid the two bunkers on the right and the small pot bunker on the left. The green is large and you may find the flag situated behind one of the guarding bunkers just to make you think. The large flat green always offers the opportunity to three putt.
Hole 5 - 404 yards - SI 10 - Beach
At first sight this is a straightforward hole as it stretches out in front of you. A straight drive will put you in the fairway, having avoided the bank on the right. A wide fairway bunker lies in wait for any topped second shots and two bunkers guard the green, the left one being the deepest. A mid-iron will put you on the green which slopes from left to right and has a ridge on the back portion just to complicate matters.
Hole 6 - 176 yards - SI 14 - First Chance
The only par three hole on the first nine and it usually requires a five or six iron. The ball must be well struck to carry the front bunker and avoid the bunker on the right hand side. A ball drawn too much will catch the bunker on the left but the green is large enough to accept most shots.
Hole 7 - 490 yards - SI 12 - Dunes
this is one hole that can offer a genuine birdie possibility. The drive needs to be left side of the fairway, avoiding the three bunkers on the right. The undulations at the front of the green need to be avoided or carried, so use plenty of club for this blind second shot. The line is the marker or just to the right of it. A chip to the green, which slopes from back to front, could set up a birdie opportunity.
Hole 8 - 412 yards - SI 6 - Saltings
this is a hole that can be deceptively simple. The drive is made from an elevated tee and the fairway is not visible so aim for the marker post in the distance. A mid-iron to the green needs to avoid the small bunker on the right side of the green that catches more than its fair share of slightly mis-hit shots. A bunker left and short of the green can be carried and a bank at the back stops any ball running through. The green is smaller than most but once hit offers a birdie chance.
Hole 9 - 311 yards - SI 13 - Moat
A short par four that often only needs a small wood or long iron as accuracy is important off the tee. The well-hit tee shot requires only a short iron to the small reverse-Mackenzie green, trapped by the moat on two sides and the mound of the ladies' tenth tee on another. The out of bounds at the back of the green sets the nerves on edge but a par is often achievable.
Hole 10 - 450 yards - SI 1 - Cardinal
Played directly into the prevailing wind, this is the most difficult hole on the course. It demands a long straight drive, just left of the two bunkers on the right, followed by another wood or long iron to reach the distant green. The green, sloping from front to back is guarded by two small deep bunkers and has a surrounding collar which is difficult to chop over accurately. Most players will be satisfied to escape with a bogey here.
Hole 11 - 139 yards SI 18 - Crossing
The shortest and easiest hole on the course, with a short iron shot over the gutter to a bowl shaped green with four protecting bunkers at the front. The green is domed in the middle and there is always the promise of three putts to disturb the faint-hearted.
Hole 12 - 507 yards SI 9 - Eastbound
The first hole built on the old dunes and with a hard running fairway the ball will go for miles. Avoiding the bunker on the right semi-rough, there may be a chance to get up in two. There are bunkers all down the right side and the green slopes from right to left to a chip to the flag needs to be on the right side at all times. A left side bunker waits to catch any that misjudge their approach shot. A big green with some deceptive borrows keeps the concentration at its peak.
Hole 13 - 175 yards SI 8 - The Warren
Not for the faint-hearted as this hole requires the perfect tee shot, normally with the same club used on the 6th. Six bunkers lie in wait on the left and at the front and a pot bunker front right has more visitors than you thought possible. Further right than this and you will require a chip of delicacy to get near the pin for your par. The well-hit tee shot to the long narrow green will reward you with a par.
Hole 14 - 434 yards - SI 3 - Railway
Out of bounds flanks the left and a string of large deep bunkers focus the vision down the undulating fairway. A tee shot may offer you a sloping lie and it will need a long iron or wood to the green. the green is bowl shaped and gathers the ball in, particularly if fired at the bank on the right. This hole is at its most difficult when the pin is positioned on the top level of the MacKenzie.
Hole 15 - 335 yards - SI 16 - Copse
The signature hole for Prestatyn with its low rambling dunes adjoining the flat fairway. The tee shot has you facing the out of bounds of the railway but the courageous fade or cultivated draw will put you well down the fairway. A wedge over the Eyes bunkers to the reverse MacKenzie green will give you a sure chance of a par. The green slopes right to left so aim your second shot to the right of the flag.
Hole 16 - 414 yards - SI 16 - Plateau
From the tee, look straight down the ridge and you will see the elevated green in the distance. Your tee shot should be long and left, down onto the fairway from where a long second is often required to carry the green. Three bunkers lie in wait, invisible in the dunes and a pot bunker at the right front of the green is well used. The green is flat but contains some deceptive borrows so spend some time lining up your putt.
Hole 17 - 150 yards SI 17 - Road
Sheltered by the trees, the elevated tee can give the idea that the wind has died but look at the flag. All the trouble is at the front with three bunkers to trap the short tee shot, so think big and the receptive green will take the well hit shot. Sloping from back to front, there are a number of tricky borrows on this large green.
Hole 18 - 494 yards SI 11 - Home (At Last)
A dogleg left par five, with out of bounds down the left hand side, the line for the drive is the right edge of the clubhouse. You will need to draw the ball to avoid the three bunkers in echelon and the base shot needs nerves of steel to steer past the bunkers down the right and keep the ball on the undulating fairway. A small hollow can slow the approach shot and the chip to the green needs to be firm and accurate to avoid rolling off. The final putts of the round can be anxious ones when subject to the opinion of the experts on the balcony but you do have the satisfaction of having completed a round of golf at the foremost Championship Golf Course in North Wales.