Renaissance Club

North Berwick, United Kingdom

Right next door to the world-famous Muirfield is another course of note: the Renaissance Club, Scotland’s first course designed by American architect Tom Doak. Though relatively new, Renaissance has already hosted plenty of high-profile events, including the 2017 Scottish Senior Open, the 2019 Scottish Open, and the 2019 and 2020 Ladies Scottish Open. Not bad for a course that’s only been open since 2008!

What sets Renaissance apart from the rest of Doak’s prolific portfolio, which includes Pacific Dunes and Ballyneal in the U.S., Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, and Barnbougle Dunes in Australia, is how lengthy and demanding of a course it is. It’s got a par of 71 and measures a whopping 7,300 yards from the back tees. All of the par fours stretch beyond 415 yards, except for the fifth, which is made challenging enough by the presence of a centuries-old stone wall.

This isn’t the kind of course that lends itself easily to repeat play, and that’s okay. It’s an experience that’s meant to be savored, especially on holes such as the 10th. This striking clifftop hole wasn’t part of Renaissance’s original layout, as it was built on land formerly owned by the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Same goes for the ninth and 11th.

It’s a good thing the folks over at Muirfield were willing to part with the land, as it has dramatically changed the course for the better. Jerry Sarvadi, one of the owners of the Renaissance Club, agrees, having this to say about the 10th: “I’ve never had a favorite hole on the course, but now there’s no question I do.”