This club is famous for... the world's most copied hole?February 28, 2017
This par 3 at North Berwick has proved an inspiration for course designers all over the globe...
The third at Ocean Links, the sixth at Fox Chapel, the 15th at Prospector. Just three of the courses that have taken inspiration from 190 yards of brilliance at North Berwick.
Redan, named after a fortress that’s largely constructed from earthworks, could be the most copied hole on the globe.
At least 16 other well renowned courses are said to have mimicked the design of the West Links original – the par 3 15th that was designed by North Berwick’s greenkeeper David Strath in the late 19th century.
So what is it about the hole that has had designers slavering over the past 100-plus years?
It has a green that sits on something of a hill and slopes strongly from right to left. Tee shots can’t be short. They must carry all the way to the hole.
You hit your shot diagonally and the green is guarded by bunkers in front and beyond. You can see the top of the flag, but you can’t see any of the green. Yes, just to make it more difficult, it’s a blind shot.
Don’t think you can bail out long, either.
Add in the wind and you can see that a hole that has a stroke index of 14 is actually much more of a problem than you’d expect.
Other courses that have Redan holes also include Shinnecock Hills and the famous seventh that damaged the prospects of many during the 2004 US Open.
Redan might be the signature hole at North Berwick but it’s far from the only reason to tee it up at this Scottish links sanctuary.
Indeed, the 15th merely brings to an end an outstanding stretch of holes – with the 13th, “Pit”, also an enduring highlight.
Be careful when you approach the green here. A stone wall blocks your way and you must make sure you clear it.
An approach that lies tight to the ancient structure surely spells the end of any thoughts of a par.
Everything about North Berwick is an experience. Not just the amazing views of the Firth of Forth and the surrounding islands but also beginning your round in the old town itself.
Golf’s been placed on this stretch of land since the 17th century. You should make sure you tread those steps.