The best hole I ever played: The quirky par-4 13th at North Berwick is a linksland gem
Our knowledgeable crew of course raters have stuck pegs in the ground just about everywhere. But which holes stand out as the greatest they’ve ever played? We asked them, and they replied with love letters about their faves. This offering comes from course architect Brian Curley.
I would imagine that one’s favorite anything would be a combination of comfort, inspiration, admiration and joy, be it a book, movie, song or golf hole.
That said, I’m going to add another requirement and insist that it be a “true” golf hole (not one of those pretty boy, garden-variety parkland holes) and, therefore, a links hole where the ball tumbles along the terrain, falling victim to or benefiting from the effects of gravity.
There are many to choose from but one of the best is the 13th at North Berwick,“The Pit.”
This short, quirky par-4 plays along the shoreline and features an ancient stone wall that runs on a straight line for most of the hole, dividing the fairway from the green.
Avoiding a couple of pot bunkers and playing close to the wall leaves the best angle of approach but also can impede the shot. Play away from the wall and you are left with a precarious drop shot over the wall to a tiny green set into a punchbowl backed by gorse.
The green surface is within a footstep of touching the stone wall. It’s one of those holes you think about and look forward to while standing on the first tee.