One of my all-time favorites. Played here during The Open week late on Tuesday afternoon and thank you North Berwick for allowing my son and myself to be members for the day. We ate lunch in the clubhouse bar before the round where the views overlooking the 18th green and the Firth of Forth are stunning.
On the first tee the starter said we could play the blue tees and I asked him how we could use the tees just behind the blue and he said North Berwick has a policy you had to be top 10 in the world. He did say a player ahead of us just played those tees. I asked him who it was and he said Matt Kuchar. He then said Bubba Watson has played here 3 times and Luke Donald also played. Pretty cool to see those Open players made the trip to play this classic championship links.
Played here three years ago during The Open week when the condition was nearly drought like and the wind was with us on the first nine. This time the weather was cooler, the wind was in the opposite direction, North Berwick again was in excellent condition (greener this time), and playing it again was another great experience that would highly recommend others to play. A highlight for me was to play a match against my son on this seaside links where many legendary challenge matches have been contested. I did birdie the 18th hole to tie the match which I must say does not happen very often.
All of the holes are memorable and look forward to the day when can play here again. On this day we were joined on the 11th hole by a young golfer from California and his dad. The son is a fine young player who drove the short 18th and made the putt to finish his North Berwick experience with an eagle. He had a very knowledgeable caddy that helped us as well. When we finished the round and had a drink in the clubhouse bar her framed picture was above us as Scottish Amateur Champion. Pretty cool.
While all 18 holes are outstanding, holes 1 through 3 and 13 through 18 are some of my favorites. Having the beach and the Firth of Forth with the large water hazard to the right is a great way to start. Watching my son play the 362 yard par 4 13th (Pit) the way it should be played was also a highlight. A truly unique golf hole that Golf Digest ranks as one of the 18 undisputed, unchallenged, scientifically factual best golf holes in the world. Number 14 (Perfection) is just perfect. Number 15 (Redan) is the original and not sure how it could be copied. The green at number 16 (Gate) is incredible. Not many better holes than number 17 Point Garry (in) and is nice to finish on the drivable 18th (home).
The North Berwick Golf Club was truly memorable and would highly recommend it to any golfer that enjoys a classic championship links. Click below to see a You Tube slideshow of some pictures I took during my visit. Jim Brady
Date: August 22, 2016