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North Berwick

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Founded: 1832
Designer: Mother Nature
Championship Length: 6,420 yards
PAR: 71
SSS (Course Rating): 71
Type: Links
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Who this course is best for:

A golfer who wants to play a World Top 100 course (by most accounts), wants to play a traditional links course, and wants to play golf while staying in Edinburgh, North Berwick, or Gullane. You may have not heard of North Berwick but it will leave you with a great impression.

History of North Berwick:

The 13th oldest golf club in the world, North Berwick is second only to the Royal & Ancient Club in St. Andrews for continuous play over the same course. Originally opened in 1832, the West Links was a 6 holes course before a period of expansion began. It reached 18 holes by 1877 but it was not until nearly twenty years later that the last major extension of the course took place, resulting 6,095 yards in total length. Ben Sayers placed final touches to the course layout in 1932, but since then the course has hardly been touched. Today, North Berwick sits at 6,420 yards which may not be the longest course. Instead, this natural links has created a setting golfers are appreciating more and more as years pass. North Berwick has cracked into the top 50 greatest courses in the world currently resting at #37 by GOLF Magazine.

The course has been described as being from a primitive age, but not be taken as an insult to its undeniable quality. The simple fact is that Mother Nature herself has had a hand in the architecture. North Berwick has, to a large extent, evolved naturally with little assistance from mankind.

The Story of Young Tom Morris

Like all courses of similar historical origins, North Berwick has its own stories to tell – some good, some funny and some tragic. In the early days, matches between the greatest professionals were frequent and attracted thousands. In September 1875, one such match pitted Willie and Mungo Park against Young and Old Tom Morris. The match ended abruptly when a telegram arrived with news that Young Tom’s wife was seriously ill after the birth of their son. On setting out for home, a second message arrived with the news that both mother and son had died. Devastated, the 25-year old “legend” Young Tom, already triple Open Champion, died 3 months later.

Course Overview:

North Berwick regularly hosts final qualifying for the Open Championship. Each hole on this stimulating links poses different tests of judgement and skill. A unique golfing experience boasting blind holes, spectacular views, drives over walls, burns and bunkers deep enough for golfers to disappear. Many holes have been copied by designers all over the world, most commonly the 14th, named “Perfection”. Also the 192-yard par 3, 15th hole called “Redan,” which has been replicated in both Pebble Beach and Shinnecock Hills.

Like many of the great holes in golf, first impressions of “Redan” can be deceptive. It is only by playing the hole a number of times that it reveals its hidden subtleties. The mounds, ridges and depressions left after the sea receded gives the course its natural contours. The 15th hole was part of that evolution. For the player on the tee, the green is blind and the shaped shot can be struck with anything from a driver to a nine iron.

North Berwick is located in the East Lothian area of Scotland along the Firth of Forth. Visit North Berwick and the historic Open Championship venue, Muirfield on the Ultimate Muirfield Experience here.

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Tours that include this Course

Cruden Bay Golf Club

Cruden Bay-Main Course

St Andrews Area & Hidden Gems

Six rounds of golf: 

  • St Andrews-Old Course
  • St Andrews-New Course
  • Gullane-No. 1 Course
  • North Berwick
  • Cruden Bay
  • Royal Aberdeen-Balgownie Course
North Berwick

North Berwick

Ultimate Muirfield Area

Five rounds of golf:

  • Muirfield
  • Archerfield-Fidra Course
  • Gullane-No. 1 Course
  • North Berwick
  • Renaissance Club
Gullane No. 1

Gullane No.1

Hidden Gems

Five rounds of golf:

  • Archerfield Links-Fidra Course
  • Gullane-No. 1 Course
  • North Berwick
  • Cruden Bay
  • Royal Aberdeen-Balgownie Course