North Berwick, Scotland

North Berwick is one of the links courses located in the same area as Muirfield, Gullane and many other great Scottish courses. It is consistently ranked amongst some the best golf courses in the world. Dated back to 1832 and set in the city similar to St. Andrews with some beautiful natural landscape with true links golf.

I played the course in June during fantastic weather conditions which made the experience even more special. We had a nice welcome by one of the members who introduced the club and specifically underlined that as guests you are considered a member for a day with the same privileges. A fun little feature and true Scottish attitude, which makes it very difference to many other top courses you can visit around the world.

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The driving range which is located inside the course. You need to take a short drive and walk across the course to get to the range. Nice with a short warmup, but obviously a bit of work to get there. 
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Great little statement in the clubhouse…. if only that was reality
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The putting green next to the first hole with views on the city

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Hole 1, par 4

A short opening hole where the starter gives you a bit of guidance with the tee shot. Either a risky drive or mid iron. We all opted for the mid iron which basically leaves a wedge to the green. I hit a 7 iron and gap wedge to set up an opening par.

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Approach to the first green, where you can’t really see the bottom of the green. there is plenty of space left, so need to go flag hunting on the first hole.
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Views down the first hole, amazing….
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Hole 2, par 4

A really good golf hole with the water running all the way up the right hand side, city in the background and of course – clear blues skies…

There was a 2nd hole starter as well that assisted with good advice on how to play the hole. I went with driver and hit a good shot to wedge distance. Just a bit long on the approach shot as the greens are firm, but managed to save par.

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Hole 3, par 4

There is a stone wall running across the fairway which we hit short of. Just a 3 wood from the tee and I went just left in the rough. The rough was not too bad, but enough to make it difficult with longer irons. I hit a 7 iron approach shot which bounced over the green even though I tried to hit short of the green, but that is just the beauty of links golf.

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Hole 4, Par 3

A visually tricky par 3, where you can’t see much of the green. It is a short iron, so shouldnt be too big of a problem, but visually demanding.

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Views of the 5th green
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Hole 6, par 3

Obviously want to avoid the bunker in front, but also allow for the ball to bounce. It was a bit downwind, so went with a wedge which still ended up on the back edge of the green.

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Hole 7, par 4

A large green, but protecting with a small water hazard in front.

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Hole 10, par 3

Happy to avoid the bunker on the 10th, but unfortunately didnt manage to get up and down.

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My tee shot on 11th, par 5

11th running along the ocean and slight dogleg right to left. I hit a decent drive just off the fairway.

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13th, par 4

As you can see from above the green is protected by a stone wall in front and a long narrow green.

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14th green with nice views of the ocean

It is a blind approach shot and unfortunately I never found my ball but most likely hit it to far. Double bogey.

 

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Hole 15 par 3

15th has been copied many times on other courses and is a difficult par 3 where you can hardly see the pin. The ball has to carry to get on the green. I hit a 5 iron into the middle of the green and was happy to walk away with a par.

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Hole 16, par 4

There is water running across the fairway, which you can carry from the tee, but the green is difficult.

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16th green

Above gives an idea of the elevation around this green and you just have to hit the perfect shot to stay on the green. I didn’t and rolled of left side, but hit a really good putt to make par.

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Hole 17, par 4

A good drive on this hole will definitely make it a lot easier, but that goes for most holes. However the approach shot is blind and preferably you want a shorter iron for the second shot. One of my playing partners carried the ball onto the green and was long which leaves a tricky chip. You can play it quite short of the green and roll it down the hill on the green which I did and made par.

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Hole 18, par 4

Very similar to 18th on St. Andrews which also is a risk/reward hole. There is plenty of space left and I went for the driver and hit a draw (lefthanded) just short of the green. 2 putts and a really nice birdie to finish of my round of 78.

I did leave a few shots out there, but overall pleased with the round. I really enjoyed the course and it was a great test of golf. Many really good and well designed holes. The condition was not 100%, with slightly slow greens and some very dry fairways due to lack of rain. But nothing that impacted the experience and I will certainly be back one day to play it again.

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looking back the 18th green

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