Review for Bamburgh Castle

Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Review:

This is a truly unique golf course on an elevated cliff site to the north of the small town of Bamburgh. In fact, on a sunny day as we enjoyed, the 360 degree views from the higher vantage points on the course can probably not be bettered in the whole British Isles, a point proudly asserted by the Club in its Course Planner. To the North across a low-lying coastal estuary lies Lindisfarne and the Holy Island, to the West the scenic Cheviot Hills, to the South Bamburgh with it’s own majestic castle and to the East the North Sea. Splendour indeed!

But it was the golf course we came to play and we were not disappointed. It is short and very quirky and definitely not for the purist, but if it is excitement you’re after you’ll get it here in bucket loads. However on a less good day with strong winds and rain, the exposed nature of the course would make it a difficult proposition.

Golf was never meant to be fair and at Bamburgh Castle you get huge swings of fortune, but isn’t that life? My best shot of the day at the short 8th got a wicked bounce and led to a double bogey, my worst shot a hooked drive at 17 which I thought was lost was sitting pretty a full 50 yards left of the driveable green to where I pitched on and holed the putt for a birdie!

Every hole had its features and few were out of the golfing textbook. I loved the start of two par 3s followed by two par 5s and after that there were many memorable holes. My favourites were:

1. Number 6 named Plateau, a 200 yard strongly uphill par 3, this is Stroke Index 1. Against the wind, even Driver may not be sufficient.

2. Number 14 named Farne Islands, another par 3 this time of only 140 yards. The similarly uphill tee shot over impenetrable rough to a sunken green is aimed at only the tip of the flag.

3. Number 16 named Castle Keep, a 270 yard par 4 across a dip to a dogleg- left fairway, located half way up the next hill. From this fairway the view of Bamburgh Castle through the hills is purely magical, and there below is the glistening green awaiting your best efforts to make par or better.

One reporter on this site said of his visit back in 2014 that the course is off the charts on a ‘good to be alive scale’, a view with which I totally agree. And this is why golfing travellers come to isolated outposts such as Bamburgh Castle in their daft pursuit of striking a little ball into a little hole in the ground. When it’s good like this, it can be brilliant fun!

Date: September 26, 2020


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