Goswick Links Golf Club Course Review

Goswick Links' wonderfully natural course plays over a slender strip not far south of Berwick-upon-Tweed and the Scottish border

Goswick Links - front nine
The front nine at Goswick Links follows an essentially anti-clockwise route back to the clubhouse
(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Goswick Links Golf Club Course Review

GF £65-£85; £50 after 3.30pm; Winter rates: £45-£60
Par 72, 6,631 yards
Slope 129
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.

Goswick Links - 16th hole

Looking across the 16th green on the final run for home

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

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.

Goswick Links - 1st hole

The par-4 opener doglegs sharply right before climbing to a plateau green

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

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.

Goswick Links - early bunker

A vast Braid bunker in Goswick's more formative years

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

Goswick Links - 7th hole

The raised 7th green boasts a string of bunkers along the left

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

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.

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 across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf