The Glen golf course in North Berwick certainly should not be overlooked on a trip to play some of Lothians finest. Nestled within a hotbed of some of Scotland’s greatest links courses the Glen cannot rival these courses for design but does surpass for scenery and the spectacular views.
Barring the badly designed first hole (the worst hole i’ve played at a top 100 course) the course is played from high ground with sumptuous vistas of the North Sea and Bass Rock. Although not as testing as its neighbours it offers players a chance to score well, with many holes having wide fairways and not too penal rough. Playing in late October the course overall was in good condition showing only a few signs of wear. Greens were quick and had subtle undulations and bunkers were nice if a little friendlier than I’d expected.
The stand out was the thirteenth and rightly described as the signature hole. It’s a world class short par 3 with the sea in play and nowhere to bail out. I noted that a bad shot could see you playing your second from the adjacent beach, which wouldn’t be too disastrous as it was one of the most beautiful scenic holes i’ve had the pleasure of playing.
Overall the Glen isn’t going to challenge your Gullanes, NB’s or Muirfields. Its just not as well designed, nor is it difficult enough for better golfers. It doesn’t have the history, course conditioning or gravitas that these courses have in abundance. For me though it is one of the most enjoyable places to play. Perfect for travelling parties and societies looking to add a cheaper round to a golf trip. A round at the Glen would certainly compliment rounds at its more heralded neighbours. Sometimes absurd (hole 18), sometimes mediocre, but in many parts as good as anywhere in the UK.
I think I have to rate the course in the 4.5 ball category. It’s a 4 ball course but it is laid out in a 6 ball setting. Yes it comes up short in quality of design but for visual appeal and enjoyment it’s as good as any.
Date: November 05, 2020