Goswick Links Golf Club Course Review
GF £65-£85; £50 after 3.30pm; Winter rates: £45-£60
Par 72, 6,631 yards
GM Verdict – A Northumberland links that ranks among the most natural you’ll play, occupying a slender strip between railway and rolling duneland.
Favourite Hole – The par-5 6th is a splendid hole that asks you to avoid OOB all the way up the right before safely negotiating its raised, two-tier green.
James Braid’s Goswick Links is widely felt to sit at the top of any list of the best golf courses in Northumberland ahead of more recent inland hotel courses and tour venues such as Slaley Hall and Close House. It's about as natural a test as you will find, laid out over a slender links strip between dunes and railway six miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. After the 1st, which doglegs sharply right past a copse up to a plateau green, you turn left for a largely anti-clockwise front-nine loop, with many excellent holes to test your mettle, including the magnificent rollercoaster par-5 6th with out of bounds right all the way up to its raised, two-tier green.
The back nine heads out in the other direction, with the memorable par-3 15th the visual highlight as it tumbles down from the dunes to an interestingly angled green. It feels as though little has changed here since James Braid laid out the original nine in 1890, though it does now have nine more holes and some extra yardage courtesy of Frank Pennink nearly 60 years ago. But it remains unadulterated links golf at its natural best.
From that dogleg-right opener to the sometimes reachable par-4 finale, the variety and test never let up, with mischievously placed fairway bunkers ensuring shrewd strategy is a key requirement. There are some cracking holes to be enjoyed but the finish to both nines will linger in the memory for different reasons.
The 9th is a 198-yard par 3, where the ideal line is the clubhouse window, and that risk-reward 18th at 268 yards will be easily reachable some days, bringing hopes of a closing birdie – maybe even one better – into the equation, despite the final approaches being liberally festooned with bunkers.
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Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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