Bamburgh Castle Golf Club Course Review

For views, charm and fun, the elevated seaside course at Bamburgh Castle Golf Club is up there with the very best

Bamburgh Castle Golf Club - Feature
There are fabulous coastal views from every part of the course including here on the seventh green
(Image credit: Rob Smith)

Bamburgh Castle Golf Club Course Review
GF
Round: £65; Day: £75 - all week
Par 68, 5,604 yards
Slope 111
GM Verdict A short but incredibly sporty course packed with fun holes and fabulous views
Favourite Hole The dogleg, short par-4 16th for its sublime green site nestled between two slopes with the castle beyond

The club at Bamburgh Castle was founded in 1904, and little has changed since the great Bernard Darwin sung its praises very highly in the 1920s. Indeed little has needed to change, or could be changed, as the course is defined by its fabulous, craggy topography and still presents a good test for all golfers despite its modest length.

Bamburgh Castle - Hole 2

The second hole plays inland and is part of a very rare opening of consecutive short holes

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

There is a quite possibly unique par configuration to open the course - 3,3,5,5 - meaning that the first par 4 doesn’t arrive until the 5th! The 1st is immediately full of drama, over the cliff-edge, the 2nd a healthy blow away from the sea, and the par 5s at 3 and 4, the only two on the course, are a pair of rollercoasters heading west.

Bamburgh Castle - Hole 4

The green on the par-5 fourth with views up to Holy Island

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

If you are blessed with a blue-sky day, this is a joyous place to play and the views up the coast are the best on the course.

Bamburgh Castle - Hole 7

Looking back down to the tee at the short par-4 seventh, The Rockies

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The demanding par-3 6th, SI1, and then a short par 4 lead you up the slope towards the higher part of the course.

Bamburgh Castle - Hole 8

The short eighth is a lovely hole played to a beautifully-sited green

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The par-3 8th is an excellent one-shotter, played over a severe dip to its ‘island’ green. The front nine concludes with a welcoming par 4 played from an elevated tee down to a double green.

Bamburgh Castle - Hole 13

The green at the tough par-4 thirteenth with the castle in the distance

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The next three are all great fun despite being fraught with danger with the 12th returning to the green shared with the 9th. The 13th, the Whins, is a long par 4, and the 14th is the final short hole played to an implausibly shallow green with yet more sensational views.

Bamburgh Castle - Hole 17

Best not to leak right at the driveable par-4 seventeenth, Kittling Hill

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The approach to the 15th calls for a carry over a dip, the 16th is a short but very sweet dogleg left and the 17th a thrilling short par 4 from an elevated tee. An absorbing round ends with a drive and pitch par 4 back to the charming clubhouse.

Just minutes from perhaps the loveliest castle in the country, this unusual and very much one-off design is packed with character and interest. With its far-reaching views, its glorious scenery internally, its birdie opportunities and its unfussy welcome, this is simply one of the most likeable clubs and courses. Right up there among the best courses in Northumberland, Bamburgh Castle is somewhere of which no golfer should ever tire.

Rob Smith
Rob Smith

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played 1,150 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions last year, he still managed to play 80 different courses during 2021, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.