Club Info

Welcome to Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club

The 26th Oldest Golf Club in the World


Co-Founded by Old Tom Morris in 1851


"A round at Prestwick St Nicholas is pure enjoyment." - Jim Robertson


"A true links that played very firm & fast, wonderful." - Jim Hartsell


"Very enjoyable, a great variety of holes, a challenge but a fair challenge." - The Average Golfer


Experience what old Tom began

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Dear fellow members,

What a mixed bag of weather we had in May! At least the course has benefitted from all the rain and an occasional burst of sun. Ideal growing conditions, and the on-course definition that John and his team have now achieved is tremendous; until you’re hacking your way out the knee-high fescue that is, when maybe “tremendous” is not exactly the first word that springs to mind! Keep it straight, however, and all’s well.

Talking of the course, Stephen King our Links Convenor reported to Committee at the end of May that:
“Greens have recently been double verti-cut and lightly top-dressed with washed sand. This helps remove meadow grass seed heads. Liquid seaweed has also been applied along with a wetting agent. A low nitrogen fertiliser will be applied to all greens as soon as poa annua stops seeding. At the moment these seed heads are very prominent and can last for 3-4 weeks. The height of cut has been reduced to 3.6mm on all greens. This cutting height will remain until seed heads become less visual. Greens have deliberately been left to dry out as much as possible as this helps discourage meadow grass and also favours deeper rooting bent and fescue grasses.

Greens are now being cut 7 days per week, this will continue throughout the growing season. Tees, fairways and surrounds are also being cut at least twice per week.
Certain areas of sparse rough are being fertilised using a high nitrogen fertiliser. Deeper and thicker areas are now being treated with a growth retardant. Hopefully, through time, this will bring more consistent growth regimes in these areas. The growth retardant spray may cause a slight amount of yellowing to the plant.”

Two more volunteer divotting sessions are planned for 3rd and 6th June. At a time when our greens staff are otherwise fully engaged on other tasks, your help with this will be greatly appreciated. Meet at 9am at the greenkeepers shed if you are available.

Past Captain Stuart Millar recently completed a comprehensive survey of all Clubhouse windows. This, as we expected, identified quite a number of problems ranging from stiff and seized opening lights to leaks in double glazed units causing internal condensation issues.
The House Sub-committee will now decide on a remediation strategy and timescale for their rectification. Thank you to Stuart for his report.

Work on upgrading the emergency lighting has now been substantially completed and my thanks go to Past Captains Colin Ramsay and Stuart Millar for their huge effort in helping to keep us all safe with this work.

There was another full agenda for May’s Committee meeting to consider last Thursday.
The main topics discussed were:

  1. Finance: Five months into the 2024 financial year, Club finances are sound and the income and expenditure figures, to date, are in line with the budget.
  2. Resignations and resultant vacancies to be filled from the waiting list: In total there will be approx. 25 new members admitted on 1st June. If you notice a new face around the Clubhouse please introduce yourself and make them very welcome.
  3. The number of visitor bookings for the week of the Open at Troon in July: The bookings are continuing to roll in; it’s going to be a busy week. In order to welcome our visitors, most of whom are coming from abroad, and help them appreciate fully what St. Nicholas GC has to offer, Committee would welcome volunteers during the Open week to act as ‘meeters & greeters’ during the busiest times. Anyone willing to spend a few hours helping the Club in this capacity is asked to contact me over the next few weeks.
  4. Energy Saving and Sustainability: Jim Paterson has made significant inroads in identifying where improvements can be made in our energy consumption. His next step is to identify ways and means for these to be implemented in the most cost-effective manner. Jim has also been in discussion with Scottish Golf and their partners, the Geo Foundation, regarding their golf course sustainability initiative and what help, if any, these organisations can provide.
  5. The future of the Burns Supper: The result of last month’s questionnaire to Members was discussed. This revealed that a significant proportion of respondents were in favour of the event becoming mixed. In order for this to be successful, however, it will require input from the Ladies section. Captain Sandra has been asked to take soundings in this regard ahead of any final decision.
  6. Dog fouling and pedestrians on the course: Both matters have become increasingly problematic, particularly since the Covid lockdown. Committee agreed that additional signage will be erected at the main entrance/egress points of the course in an attempt to limit future incidents, whilst recognising that this is a societal problem and that a few signs will not alter the behaviour of some consistently inconsiderate people.
  7. Balloted competitions: There had been a desire to trial the introduction of balloted competitions to help the integration of new members and generally ‘mix-up’ the membership a bit too. However, it now transpires that whilst the BRS system can cope with this for fourballs it can’t yet do so for threeballs. We will now await an upgrade of BRS’s capabilities before reviving this initiative.

Not discussed this month, but something that I’m often being asked about by Members is progress on the proposed cycle path. It was not discussed because there is absolutely nothing to report! We have heard nothing what-so-ever from South Ayrshire Council in the last 12 months. Whether or not no news is good news in this regard, only time will tell.

The Rod Stewart tribute night on 25th May was a great success. It is likely, therefore, that further such acts will be invited to perform in future. Watch this space!

With Summer now upon us, our hard-working Social Convenor, Monica MacMillan can relax for a bit and recharge her batteries before revealing her plans for the Autumn and Winter.

Grant and his team continue to offer first class food and drink served in rooms with the best views in Prestwick. Please support the Club and make use of our superb facilities from time to time; you won’t be disappointed.

I was fortunate to be re-invited to referee the much delayed final of the 2023 Mens Senior Championship final between Alistair Belford and Drummond Ramage as it meant I was able to witness some splendid golf, played in an excellent spirit and, as it transpired, without having to respond to any searching question on the rules! In the event, Alistair, having been 5 up with 5 to play eventually ran out a 2&1 winner after a late charge from Drummond; congratulations to Alistair; commiserations to Drummond.

Having been asked to present the trophies, I also witnessed the conclusion of this year’s Boyd Cup and Nickson Trophy finals over old Old Prestwick last month. Unfortunately, both St. Nicholas’ representatives, Mark Higgens in the Boyd and Tom Pace in the Nickson lost out to their opponents of the day; Gary McMeeking and Scott Brown respectively, both of St. Cuthbert. The Nickson Trophy final, particularly, was a closely fought affair and could have gone either way. Congratulations to both Mark and Tom for reaching the finals in any event; a great effort from both of you.

Unusual event of the month
Our sharp-eyed Links Convenor drew my attention, last month, to an advert on social media by a local yoga teacher selling spaces on her new outdoor yoga class. This was pitched as a chance to enjoy fresh air and exercise on a beautiful flat piece of grass, in an elevated location, with stunning views across to Arran. Pupils would be able to watch the sun set behind Goatfell as the class progressed. Meet at Newton Shore then walk north along the coastal track for 300m whereupon a step-ladder will be provided to get everyone up onto the raised platform - Yes, you guessed it, our newly expended 12th tee! Not yet open to Members but available, apparently, for yoga classes!
In the event, the lady yoga teacher, once informed that the Club had other ideas about her proposal, relocated her class onto Newton Shore without any fuss.

Tony Greig


The 26th oldest golf club in the world