Top 20 Quirky Golf Courses of the United Kingdom

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 the United Kingdom 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. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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."

Read the full review

7. 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."

Read the full review

8. 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

9. Glencruitten

Glencruitten Golf Club

"Glencruitten is a fascinating golf course I whole-heartedly recommend anyone should play. It’s certainly not a course for the faint-hearted, in more ways than one, but will give you the chance to manufacture an infinite amount of different shots unlike you will get to experience anywhere else, especially on your ‘run of the mill’ type course."

Read the full review

10. Kington

Kington Golf Club

"There’s something quite remarkable about Kington. It has what I call the “Double Q” factor; Quirk and Quality. It has a similar eccentric personality to many other hilltop layouts as well as good turf, natural contours, kooky features and plenty of undulation."

Read the full review

11. Halifax (Ogden)

12. Silloth on Solway

13. Bude & North Cornwall

14. Perranporth

15. Pennard

16. Royal Cinque Ports

17. Royal St. George's

18. Bull Bay

19. Tenby

20. Boat of Garten

The Contenders

The Addington

Moray (Old)

Church Stretton


St. Andrews (Old)



Cleeve Cloud




Royal North Devon


Crosland Heath





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.