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. Corballis Links

Corballis Links Golf Club

"Corballis Links is a real head-spinner of a golf course around a 30 minute drive north of Dublin. I make no apology for absolutely loving golf courses like Corballis. It is small in stature but packs an amazing amount of mind-blowing golf into its par 66, 4,624-metre layout played over a wild landscape and where fun abounds."

Read the full review

3. 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

4. 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

5. Kinghorn

Kinghorn Golf Club

"Every now and again you stumble across a golf course that takes your breath away. Kinghorn is certainly one of those! Maybe it’s because you are not quite prepared for what you are about to experience or perhaps we just become too accustomed to the conventional."

Read the full review

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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."

Read the full review

10. Bamburgh Castle

11. Glencruitten

12. Kington

13. Strandhill

14. Halifax (Ogden)

15. Silloth on Solway

16. Bude & North Cornwall

17. Perranporth

18. Pennard

19. Royal Cinque Ports

20. Bull Bay

The Contenders

Royal West Norfolk (Brancaster)




Boat of Garten

Royal St. George's



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.