The northernmost county in England, Northumberland is also one of the least densely populated regions. It’s a largely rural area that was once at the heart of the industrial revolution when its coal mines fuelled the many emerging industries in other parts of the country.

The Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs oversees the activities of 41 member clubs located between Magdalene Fields in the north and Allendale in the south. Members at three of these clubs – Slaley Hall, Longhirst Hall and Close House – are fortunate enough to have two courses at their disposal.

Northumberland Ladies’ County Golf Association was founded thirteen years after the inauguration of the county union for male golfers, in 1920. Its aim is to promote and encourage golf throughout the county within the framework of the R&A’s rules of golf, the Ladies’ Golf Union and England Golf. Currently, there are 42 clubs affiliated to the association.

Because the county is bounded by the North Sea on its eastern flank, there are a number of fine seaside courses to be found in Northumberland, the best of which is Goswick Links at Berwick-on-Tweed. Inland, the Colt course at Close House and the Hunting course at Slaley Hall are the pick of the parkland layouts.

Our Northumberland Best in County golf course rankings were updated in 2015. Click here to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Northumberland

Close House (Lee Westwood Colt)

1st Northumberland - Best in Area

The Colt golf course at Close House Hotel opened in the Spring of 2011 and its fairways are laid out over 160 acres of the Tyne Valley with many of the holes sympathetically fitted around existing trees and lakes.


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Berwick-upon-Tweed - Goswick Links

2nd Northumberland - Best in Area

Founded in 1890 on links land named Goswick (Goose Farm) by the Romans, Berwick-upon-Tweed Golf Club boasts views of the North Sea and to the south, Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle.


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Slaley Hall (Hunting)

3rd Northumberland - Best in Area

Dave Thomas is renowned for designing unique and interesting holes and he’s done himself proud at Slaley Hall. His bunkering design on the Hunting course is masterful.


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4th Northumberland - Best in Area

Renowned for its firm, fast greens, strategic bunkering and racecourse setting, Northumberland Golf Club has played host to the Dunlop Masters and the English Amateur Championship.


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Bamburgh Castle

5th Northumberland - Best in Area

"There is surely no lovelier view from any golf course" wrote Darwin. Bamburgh Castle Golf Club, whilst not long, is fun with a capital F.


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6th Northumberland - Best in Area

Located close to the North Sea, the historic Alnmouth Golf Club is the fourth oldest in England. The current course is routed in two nine-hole loops that were laid out by Harry Colt.


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7th Northumberland - Best in Area

Additional land on the Spital estate in Hexham was acquired in the early 1950s, allowing C K Cotton to fashion a new course for Hexham Golf Club on 150 acres of prime parkland.


8th Northumberland - Best in Area

Featuring a good number of strong par four holes, the 18-hole layout at Ponteland Golf Club presents a stiffer golfing test than you might imagine.

Burgham Park

9th Northumberland - Best in Area

With generously proportioned fairways set out on rolling countryside, the course at Burgham Park Golf & Leisure Club is a Mark James design from 1994.

Whitley Bay

10th Northumberland - Best in Area

Formed in 1890, Whitley Bay Golf Club moved several times before settling at the current site in 1954. Although the 18 holes are not hard on the coast, the lighthouse at St Mary’s Island can be viewed from several points on the course.