The North Berwick Golf Club
|White M: 73.5/131||322||429||476||178||371||161||365||532||519||3353||172||546||401||387||374||190||378||428||277||3153||6506|
|Blue M: 71.8/127||312||414||444||168||359||139||344||487||502||3169||153||523||363||362||358||178||360||405||269||2971||6140|
|Red W: 71.3/121||302||402||430||163||315||125||325||424||422||2908||144||457||349||332||342||173||370||417||245||2829||5737|
Perfect 60th birthday in North Berwick Photo submitted by Marc4596480
Treasure Island lighthouse on the Firth of Fourth Photo submitted by Marc4596480
Clubhouse and preactice area near 18th green Photo submitted by Marc4596480
The Pit Photo submitted by dward28
1st Green Photo submitted by dward28
The par-4 13th green, the famous Rock Wall hole, called Pit. Photo submitted by JayCoffinGC
Mike Ritz on the tee at The West Links Photo submitted by MikeRitzGC
Nearly Perfect Scottish Golf Experience
I had hoped to play St Andrews while on my Scottish adventure last summer but the Senior Open Championships was being played the weekend following my visit and the Old Course was closed to public play.
On the advice of my good friend, Biggs Tabler, I scheduled a round at North Berwick on my 60th birthday. I arrived early on Sunday morning following an amazing Saturday at The Open in Carnoustie. John greeted me at the clubhouse and gave me a quick orientation. I checked my bag and went upstairs for coffee. The room was full of golfers watching the Sunday morning action at the Open. I spotted a familiar face from Kentucky and introduced myself to Steve Flesch and his son having breakfast as Steve settled his bill.
I found the starter and prepared to play with a gentleman from Bloomington, Indiana. When the other half of our 4-some failed to show, the starter asked if we minded being paired with Steve and his son. Are you kidding me?
What a start to an amazing day! The weather was clear but windy as we played out. My caddie, Stevie, was very pleasant and helpful as there are blind shots and atypical hazards (stone fences) on this beautiful and historic course. It was impossible to play without talking a few photos, so we did and those will be treasured memories of an amazing day.
The beautiful and friendly clubhouse, memorable golf course, friendly staff and the most amazing views I have ever experienced will bring me back to North Berwick, hard by the Firth of Forth.
My New Favorite
My son and I played this course in early October. It was an amazing experience. The staff was attentive and welcoming. The highlight was easily the course. It is a "Bucket-List" golf experience. Every hole plays alongside the sea, and the course navigates over and around, dunes, valleys, and even ancient stone walls. Holes 12-18 are the best stretch of holes I have ever played. From "the Pit" and "Perfection", to the bisected 16th green, and finally ending on no 18, which is eerily similar to the Old Course, each hole was a delight. We played in overcast conditions with temps in the upper 50s.
Takes a backseat to no course in Scotland
I go back and forth between St. Andrews and North Berwick as my favorite course in all of Scotland. Yes, North Berwick holds its own in virtually every regard for the tourist golfer. It has a very similar out-and-back routing to St. Andrews that begins in the heart of town. The immediate difference is there are far more sea views, right from the start, and the hole variety is simply as good as it gets on planet earth. Any first tour to Scotland for links has to include both St. Andrews and a couple days in East Lothian to play here.
So Much Fun!
As others have mentioned in their reviews If you don't enjoy playing North Berwick you don't enjoy golf. It was our last round in Scotland and it couldn't have been more enjoyable. first nine holes were played into about a 30 mph wind and the last 9 all down wind. The final six holes are special!
If you are staying anywhere around St. Andrews take the time to get over to North Berwick
Best 6 holes in golf
This was my second time playing Berwick, and my appreciation for the famed links continues to grow. Though there are some good holes going out (the first hole is just too cool), where Berwick becomes an absolute must-play is on its last six holes. I challenge you to find a better stretch of golf holes anywhere in the world: They're short, they're quirky and, most importantly, they're fun. It starts with 13, the famous "Pit" hole with the wall guarding the green, and it continues with a blind approach into 14, a legendary tee shot on the Redan hole, an are-you-kidding-me? green complex on 16, a blind approach to 17 and the drive-me-if-you-can 18th hole, back toward town. Seriously, if you don't like these last six holes, then you don't like golf, and we can't be friends. It is, without a doubt, as good as it gets. I'd play this course every day if I could.
What a treat
This is a must-play if you are in this area. If you're not, you should make the trip. I usually don't remember much about individual holes or stretches, but a few on this course stuck out.
The first 12 holes are good. The last six are tremendous. The 13th has a rock wall in front of the green that would seem contrived at an American course but feels classic here. There are a number of blind shots and a forecaddie would be a great benefit. But it helped to be playing with some guys who had been here before.
The views and the originality of the holes make the round worthwhile, and it's cool to begin and end in the middle of the town.
Lucky to play it twice
Played North Berwick three years ago while covering The Open at Muirfield. Thrilled to have another crack at the historic course.
It has an Old Course-vibe, where the first and 18th holes start and end in town. The first 12 holes are great, but the last six are unforgettable. Truly one of the best stretches in all of golf, and that's not an exaggeration.
The par-4 13th is a small rock wall guarding the green and the par-3 15th is the original Redan green.
When I finished here three years ago I thought I'd always remember every hole. I was wrong. It took me awhile to remember when I was back, but standing on each tee box it all came flooding back to me.
Other Scottish courses may have more name recognition, but trust me, this is one you have to find a way to play. It's a special, special place.
You might not play a funner course in the UK than North Berwick. Plenty of quirkiness, but enjoyable quirky, not gimmicky. You will hit shots over stone walls and to the original Redan hole (No. 15). I had a blast playing this course. Tremendous views and the weather could not have been more ideal. Staff will treat you right and explain everything you need to know. This should be a must-play when in Scotland. Enjoyed this course more than Muirfield.
Fun to play
From the welcome at the club house to the final putt we were made to feel like a member. The weather was windy and rained off and on but that was the true links course feel we were looking for. It was in great condition and was fun to play. Even for a short course you get a chance to use every club in the bag.
The perfect course to start a Scotland sojourn
Three of my mates and I recently had the golf trip of a lifetime in Scotland -- six courses in six days. Our first stop was historic North Berwick and its West Links. This was, absolutely, the perfect course for our first day. After flying over-night from the States into Edinburgh, we certainly weren't ready to play a beast of a course like Carnoustie. North Berwick is steeped in history; and provides a wonderful challenge. It's not exceedingly difficult, but it does make you think and execute on every single shot. You're also, more than likely, going to hit every club in your bag -- some from spots you only see in Scotland. The West Links at North Berwick is a course ranked 65th in the world and 9th in Scotland. It is deserving of both. North Berwick is one of the birthplaces of our game -- golf has been played there since the early 1600s. But alas, the current West Links is a mere baby. The course you play today was officially opened on Saturday, April 23, 1877 -- shortly after co-designer Old Tom Morris put his finishing touches on the links. The setting along the Firth of Forth is spectacular, with views of the islands named Bass Rock, Craigleith, Lamb and Fidra. (sound like good names for whisky, don't they?) And with its seaside setting, you're guaranteed to encounter plenty of Scottish wind -- great fun. The course is not very long -- just 6464 yards from the tips. You don't need driver on several holes, but there is plenty of trouble to avoid: steep pot-bunkers, heather, gorse and the beach. On the par-4 14th, known as Perfection, I was anything but. I ripped a drive towards the left side of the fairway, too far left. As my ball went bounding across the firm fairway, towards the sea, my caddy said: "I believe you've run out of Scotland." Indeed. There are many memorable holes at North Berwick, including one of the greatest par-3s in history -- the 15th, REDAN. It is the original -- sloping severely from front right to back left with two cavernous bunkers guarding the front of the green. It is a hole-design that has been copied many times. My favorite hole would have to be the short par-4 13th. 374 yards from the back tee. It seems simple enough until you reach your drive and see what lies ahead .... a four-foot high stone wall, hundreds of years old, guards the green. If you can rid yourself of the visual intimidation, it's really not an insurmountable challenge. If. This has got to be one of the coolest holes in the world. Make sure to take a caddy. And enjoy the incredible hospitality from the clubhouse to the pro shop. When you visit North Berwick, you'll realize the people of Scotland are as wonderful as their courses.
Proper, Quirky, Authentic Links
North Berwick is a course that upon walking off, I wondered when I could walk on again. This is a true gem with possibly the best back nine in Scotland. I had a real experience as the day started out sunny with no wind and ended with a four Club (!) wind and a bit of rain. Like St. Andrews, North Berwick starts and ends in the town. You just don't get that on our side of the pond. There are many wonderful and unique holes as well as template holes for Golf Architects. You play by the sea and it is right next to you on many holes. The fairways and greens are protected by bunkers and there are not too many of them, just enough to make things interesting. Longer holes don't have bunkers. The front nine is good if not great, but the back nine is exceptional. The second hole does cross the sea from the tee shot and it is up to you to decide how heroic you want to be. There are few holes with concrete walls which adds to the appeal of the course. Most notably is the 13th or "Pit" which has the green surrounded by a small wall. If you are on the proper side of the fairway, your second shot is open to the green; if not, best of luck. There is another hole with a blind approach to a hidden green. When finished you ring a bell for the next group. This is the 14th and is called Perfection. The 15th is the original Redan hole. Aim to the right and the ball will funnel to the left pin position. The 16th is "Gate". It has a burn, but it is all about the green. It is the most amazing "Biarritz" I have seen. It is more like a chasm in the middle part. The trouble is that the green is also narrow. 17 is a wonderful longish par 4 and 18 is short and takes you back in to town. North Berwick is a great and unique experience. The staff makes you feel welcome and the clubhouse is open to you. They try to keep it to twosomes so you can play in 3 hours. It is a beautiful location to play. Above all, it is a true Scottish links experience. If you don't love this place, then you should have stayed in the States.
One of my top 3 in Scotland
I have played North Berwick GC 8 times over the last few years and it is one of my favourite golf courses in Scotland. This course has it all: dog legs right and left, long holes, short holes, elevation changes, forced carries, berms, great bunkering. A very walkable course, it has it's quirky aspects (#13,#18)that may strike some as contrived, but this is a gorgeous links course. A classic out and in links, with great views across the firth to the Kingdom of Fife. Easy train access (35 minutes) from Edinburgh,
Proper Scottish golf
Played North Berwick in the gloaming and it quickly moved to my top-three favorites in Scotland. I've played a lot of golf in the country too. I can still recall every hole, especially the par-3 15th hole, which is the original Redan hole. it's one of the most important holes in the history of the game. I particularly love the first and 18th holes, as they remind you of the Old Course atmosphere, where you begin and end the round in the middle of town. Seventy one year old North Berwick member Stewart Barnes joined us for the round. He’s been playing golf for 65 years, still carries a 5 handicap and smokes every drive on the screws about 260 yards. He shot 80. Love Scotland. Love this great game.
North Berwick’s West Links is one of the most authentic links experiences you can have in Scotland
North Berwick’s West Links is one of the most authentic links experiences you can have in Scotland (I am fully aware of the significance of such a statement) and comparable to Brora, which is further north, in it’s ability to carry you back to the very origins of the game. The course is deliciously idiosyncratic with wild humps, swales and stonewalls needing to be negotiated. Because the course is perched above the Firth of Forth, the views of the sea and the Bass Rock are so stunning such as to be distracting, if this tour through golf history was not otherwise so compelling. The par 3, 15th hole, known as the “Redan,” is one of the most significant holes in golf and oft times copied in whole or part. One of the many beauties of North Berwick is that this course is not designed for the occasional appearance of the world’s best, but for those who pay the freight every day, so the pace is fast (the club targets three hours as the mark), it’s not massively long and the rough is manageable. North Berwick is a textbook about golf as it should be.