North Berwick Golf Club Course Review - There are some towns where golf seeps from the very bricks, North Berwick is one of them

North Berwick Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: £55-£140

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,551 Yards

Visitor Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:09-15:00, Tuesday & Thursday 10:09-16:09, Sunday from 12:36-18.00.


North Berwick Golf Club Course Review

Beginning and ending in the town centre, the West Links feels a part of North Berwick. Forging out, you can glance at the sea on every hole while you find yourself negotiating walls and burns, bumps and hollows. With the club founded in 1832 and the origins of the course dating to the same year, this is traditional, characterful and historic links golf. The stretch from the 13th to the 15th contains the course’s most famous holes – The Pit, Perfection and Redan. The last of these three, a 192-yard tester to a hugely sloping green, is one of the world’s most copied par 3s.

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The par-4 14th at North Berwick (Getty Images)

North Berwick, on the golf-rich East Lothian coast, is living proof that the design philosophies of a bygone era can still be very much part of the modern game.

Indeed, many would argue that the challenges of some of the quirkier elements of this wonderful old links are exactly what the game is missing in certain quarters.

The club was founded in 1832, but golf has been played here on the Firth of Forth from the 17th century.

Much like St Andrews, you start and finish in town, and those with a slice will need to pay particular attention to the beach on the 1st and rows of parked cars on the tantalisingly reachable finale.

North Berwick Golf Club Course Review

There is a genuine feeling that precious little has changed here since the earliest days, whether the 13th green stoutly defended by an eminently adjacent wall that takes the links chip and run firmly off the table, the blind approach to 14, or the remarkable raised 16th green in front of the Marine Hotel, where two distinct plateaux are separated by a deep gully.

Then, of course, there is golf’s original ‘Redan’ hole in the 15th, where the well protected green is wider than it is deep, angles across you and slopes significantly – a design strategy copied the world over, but most definitely pioneered in North Berwick.

There’s no doubt that certain elements of the North Berwick design would be dismissed as folly elsewhere, but here, in this most ancient of golfing arenas, they seem entirely relevant and wholly appropriate.

Course changes since previous ranking


Proposed course changes

None planned

Golf Monthly Verdict

Despite attempts at imitation, North Berwick is unique.