North Berwick Golf Club

North Berwick, United Kingdom

If there’s any course that will get a golfer’s creative juices flowing, it’s the North Berwick West Links, North Berwick Golf Club’s claim to golfing fame. This course has been encouraging golfers to experiment and explore since before it even officially opened in 1832, the same year North Berwick Golf Club was founded. Interestingly enough, the only club that has continuously played over the same course for longer is none other than St Andrews.

What makes the North Berwick West Links such a joy to play is that each hole has something special to offer. For instance, the 13th, dubbed “The Pit,” is a short par four wih a green set diagonally from the fairway. The green is bordered by one of the ancient stone walls that crisscross their way across the links. This means that the best, and possibly only option for an approach is to bank your ball off the opening in the wall, using it as an entrance to the green.

One of North Berwick’s most famous holes is the par three 15th, “Redan.” This hole is the “original” Redan, meaning that the green slopes downward and away from the point of entrance. The Redan has been replicated more than any other design in golf, but the one at North Berwick is distinct in that it incorporates a blind tee shot, thus raising the stakes.

Another great part about the North Berwick West Links is that, aside from some serpentine burns and the aforementioned stone walls, it doesn’t necessarily go out of its way to antagonize golfers. In fact, its rough is kept relatively short with the intention of speeding up play. That way golfers can spend more time taking in the views of the Firth of Forth, Craigleith Island, and Bass Rock, and less time hunting for wayward golf balls.