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 quirky courses.
There’s very little that hasn’t been written about the golfing mecca that is St. Andrews.
Following a 4:00am alarm call we’d already driven for more than six hours and covered over 350 road miles before boarding a ferry at Oban sailing to Lochboisdale.
If Muirfield is regarded as the King of East Lothian then North Berwick is undoubtedly Queen.
In my mind Royal St. George’s at Sandwich is a championship links golf course with few, if any, superiors.
Carne is a free spirit of the golfing world which has 27 holes of adventurous big dune golf. It is vast and mind-blowing with each hole providing the golfer with a puzzle that must be solved. It’s immense fun trying to do so.
Enniscrone manages to tread the tricky line between quirk and championship golf perfectly. The blend it creates produces a catalogue of unique, enthralling and funky holes.
The championship Strand course at Portstewart in County Londonderry is one of the finest links in all of Ireland.
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.
I always enjoy my visits to play Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club at Deal, the Kentish town that the course is often referred to by name.
In my eyes Silloth is a golf course that has the ability to transcend your typical ‘championship links’.
The members of Moray Golf Club, founded in 1889, must rightly be very proud of their two fine links courses laid out on some fabulous tight and sandy golfing terrain to the south of the Moray Firth.
Royal North Devon, or Westward Ho! as it is often fondly referred to, is a very special place. Perhaps it should be called Royal North Heaven!
Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, often referred to as Brancaster, is a quirky course that time has forgotten about. And it’s much the better for that.
It’s safe to say there’s a lot more to Rye Golf Club than the actual golf course.
Golf courses such as Tenby are very few and far between. For me they capture the absolute essence of links golf.
Pennard is one of those fantastic links golf courses that has a little bit of everything.
If you like your links golf a little bit on the extreme side (I do) then you will love Perranporth. It not only has a ‘wow’ factor, it has several of them!
Strandhill Golf Club is a links course that often lives in the shadow of its GB&I Top 100 near neighbour, County Sligo, and that is doing it a real disservice because this befuddling good golf course delivers with a bang and offers great value at the same time.
With around 3,000 golf clubs in the UK it’s inevitable that courses will get bracketed by style and character.
I can’t imagine many reviews for Royal County Down – one of the world’s great golf courses – beginning with mention of the Annesley Links…. but that is exactly where I’m going to start.
The Addington is a golf course that divides opinion. Some say it is one of England's finest courses. Others regard it amongst the World's best!
There is uniqueness about Bude & North Cornwall that lovers of true and natural links golf will find not only alluring but extremely exciting.
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 arrived shortly afterwards.
The Halifax Golf Club, often better known as Ogden, is a course that divides opinion.
There’s something quite remarkable about Kington. It has what I call the “Double Q” factor; Quirk and Quality.
Bull Bay is not only the best golf course on the Isle of Anglesey but it can rightly claim to be one of Wales’ finest.
Castlerock also has a superb relief 9-hole layout called the Bann Links, designed by Frank Pennick in 1986.
Cleeve Hill in Gloucestershire was selected as a stop-off course to break up the five hour journey down from West Yorkshire to Devon.
Corballis Links is a real head-spinner of a golf course around a 30 minute drive north of Dublin.
If there are golf courses in heaven I suspect they will be very much in the spirit of Cruit Island.
They say that life’s all about the journey and not the destination but playing golf at Durness is without doubt both a journey and a destination.
After playing 36 holes in an open competition at Frilford Heath I decided to quickly dash across the Oxfordshire countryside to Huntercombe for an evening round rather than sit in what mostly likely would have been rush hour traffic on the M40.
Located in the very heart of the Lake District, Windermere Golf Club must be one of the most adventurous golf courses I know and I make no apology for loving bamboozling layouts like this.
Bamburgh Castle most definitely falls into the ‘odd sock drawer’ of golf courses… and that’s a good thing!
It’s a long time since I have walked off a golf course with as big of a smile on my face as I did at Rosehearty!
The guy behind the bar who I handed my £12 twilight green-fee to simply laughed after he asked if I had played the course before and I replied, “No, Why?”.
Cardigan is not a golf course that is easy to build into a golfing itinerary of Wales. It is a bit of an outlier in terms of location tucked away in the south-west corner of the Principality.
Church Stretton Golf Club sits atop the stunning Shropshire Hills above the historic market town of the same name. Please believe me when I say the panoramic views from the summit of the course are as good as you’ll find anywhere in England.
Glencruitten is a fascinating golf course I whole-heartedly recommend anyone should play.
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.
Tucked away on the Moray Firth between Lossiemouth and Hopeman the nine-hole layout at Covesea Golf Links remains a true hidden gem.
I’m not quite sure where to start when writing a review for Cullen. It’s probably the craziest course I’ve ever played. In truth I’m still a bit bamboozled by it all.
Holyhead is a cracking little golf course located close to Trearddur Bay on Holy Island, Anglesey.
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.
Balnagask is very much a case of what could be… and at one time probably was! The property has so much potential but I fear this is no longer being realised.