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Top 20 Quirky Golf Courses of Great Britain & Ireland

Top Quirky Golf in the United Kingdom

"Quirky" is a word that is often used when describing a golf course. But what does it actually mean?

A couple of dictionary definitions state "unusual in an attractive and interesting way" and "characterised by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects".

In a golfing sense, for us anyway, it is something that swerves from the norm, has elements of eccentricity, is unique and is often found in unconventional natural landforms. Most importantly quirk promotes good and stimulating golf without ever crossing the line to become too outlandish, nonsensical and gimmicky.

Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, has played extensively throughout Great Britain & Ireland and below he gives his top 20 in order of quirkiness.... but don't pay too much attention to the actual order, they're all a bit off-the-wall!

All of the venues also have a full golf course review.

Top 20 Quirky Golf Courses of the United Kingdom

1. Shiskine

Shiskine Golf Club

"Shiskine Golf (& Tennis) Club, set in a truly stunning location at Blackwaterfoot on the Isle of Arran, may only have 12 holes but there is nothing lacking in terms of the enjoyment or test of golf that is presented when playing this wonderfully captivating links."

Read the full review

2. Cruit Island

Cruit Island Golf Club

"If there are golf courses in heaven I suspect they will be very much in the spirit of Cruit Island. Reaching this remote course, set above the wild and rugged Atlantic ocean on the very edge of Ireland, is almost as dramatic as the course itself. A single-lane track, with minimal passing points, is used for the last several miles of your journey to reach this unbelievably beautiful and unspoilt part of the country. "

Read the full review

3. Cruden Bay (Championship)

Cruden Bay Golf Club

"Cruden Bay is a golf course that dances to its own beat. It’s gripping, riveting, absorbing and most importantly its individuality shines through. Cruden Bay is one of very few courses that has a real personality. It’s laid out over a unique, special and infinitely fascinating piece of land."

Read the full review

4. Royal West Norfolk (Brancaster)

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club

"Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, often referred to as Brancaster, is a course that time has forgotten about. And it’s much the better for that. It’s an atmospheric old fashioned links, laid out on a thin parcel of land, close to the North Sea where the 18 holes are wedged between the sandy beach on one side and acres of marshland on the other."

Read the full review

5. North Berwick

North Berwick Golf Club

"If Muirfield is regarded as the King of East Lothian then North Berwick is undoubtedly Queen. Sometimes words cannot accurately describe a course and do it total justice, you just have to go and experience it for yourself in order to get a proper flavour of the place. The West Links at North Berwick is one of those."

Read the full review

6. Prestwick

Prestwick Golf Club

"Prestwick has been on my hit list of golf courses to play for quite some time and I’m ashamed to say it has taken me far too long to visit this iconic links. From everything I’d read and heard I was expecting it to be ‘my type’ of golf."

Read the full review

7. Covesea

Covesea Golf Club

"Tucked away on the Moray Firth between Lossiemouth and Hopeman the nine-hole layout at Covesea Golf Links remains a true hidden gem. Nestled in a cove between spectacular rock formations there is a natural stretch of traditional Scottish linksland where the golf course is situated."

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8. Painswick

Painswick Golf Club

"On a recent drive from West Yorkshire to South Wales we decided to jump off the M5 and play a quick round at the highly unusual Painswick Golf Club. It proved to be one of the best decisions we’ve made."

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9. Dunaverty

Dunaverty Golf Club

"I heard the squelch first. The gentle sinking sensation soon followed. However, it was a few seconds before I felt the warm, moist trickling sensation around my ankle. The smell came shortly afterwards."

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10. Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle Golf Club

"Bamburgh Castle most definitely falls into the ‘odd sock drawer’ of golf courses… and that’s a good thing! Sporty in nature this entertaining course was in fantastic condition towards the end of February 2015."

Read the full review

10. Glencruitten

11. Kinton

12. Strandhill

13. Halifax (Ogden)

14. Silloth on Solway

15. Bude & North Cornwall

16. Perranporth

17. Pennard

18. Royal Cinque Ports

19. Bull Bay

20. Tenby

The Contenders

Boat of Garten

Royal St. George's

Enniscrone

Carne

The Addington

Moray (Old)

Church Stretton

Cardigan

St. Andrews (Old)

Balnagask

Askernish

Cleeve Cloud

Holyhead

Huntercombe

Traigh

Royal North Devon

Rye

Crosland Heath

Welshpool

Anstruther

Cullen

Durness

Portstewart (Strand)

Castlerock (Bann)

Royal County Down (Annesley)


We would love to hear if you agree or disagree with our selections. You can do so in the comments box below or tweet us.