Founded in 1890 as Berwick-upon-Tweed Golf Club on links land named Goswick (Goose Farm) by the Romans, Goswick Golf Club, as it's now known, lies six miles south of the Border Town of Berwick, and boasts views of the North Sea and to the south, Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle. It's not known who laid out the club's original course but Willie Park Junior (1903), James Braid (1930) and F.W. Hawtree (1964) have all helped to shape the course that's in play today.
A twisting lane between arable fields reaches Goswick Links between the railway and the dune-lined coastline. The links lie either side of the clubhouse, front nine to the north, back nine to the south. There is little to choose between the two nines, both being equally varied in terrain and challenge.
The 1st rises uphill as a dogleg and is followed by a short 2nd across a chasm. The 3rd is now the longest par four on the course at 437 yards. Exposed to the elements, the challenge on the front nine is variously dunes, out of bounds on 6th and 7th and contoured greens, most notably on the medium length par four 8th.
A long par four – 425 yards – opens the second half, before a par five and the 12th, Pilgrim's Way with a narrow landing area off the tee and a blind second shot.
The mid point of the second half is the most scenic and follows a climb from the 14th green which is surrounded by hills on both sides. A par three follows, and while the finish is only medium length, 16 can deceive after a blind tee shot, 17 requires care, and the fairly short 18th is tempting, but a wayward shot can bring penalty from slope or bunker.
Add the variable of the winds of the East Coast, and quite an experience awaits on a course, which now measures 6,800 yards from the championship tees. In 2018 Goswick Golf Club hosted Open Championship Regional Qualifying for the first time since 2012. In 2019, for the second consecutive year, Open Championship hopefuls battled it out at Goswick.
Ranking of just inside the top 100 links is about correct although it is vulnerable to dropping out with Dumbarnie Links definitely and possibly others being included. It has a good mix of holes (notwithstanding the first 3 par 4s and 5s were palpably left to right). Particularly enjoyed the variety of the par 3s. Best non par 3 holes were the par 5, 6th hole which had a strong defence in front of the green, par 4, 7th which although dead straight was attractive, no frills, and the slight dog leg par 4, 14th where the green sat in a bowl with dunes both sides. Great views from the elevated par 3, 15th tee. Worth the trek to play Goswick
Played Goswick on the excellent twilight green fee offering great value at £40 each. The course was presented in fine condition, with the greens rolling very true and at a wonderful pace; not too quick but certainly not slow.
The course opens with an interesting dogleg, requiring good placement off the tee and with out of bounds right. I also enjoyed the second, an attractive par three played over sand dunes and providing the first view of the sea.
The front nine continues with a good mix of par fours and par fives; I felt that the elevation changes really made the holes. My favourite among these was the sixth, a great par five, not short but again placing a premium on accuracy. Personally I found that taking driver was probably not the best play due to the increased risk associated with this. Strategically this is a fantastic tee shot, for one must decide how far right they wish to aim with out of bounds lurking close to the fairway's edge. However, the brave and skilled player is rewarded with an easier approach into the green. On that note, I thought that this was a delightful green complex with interesting borrows. Seven and eight are quality par fours, the eighth in particular proving a tough test into the wind.
The only disappointment on the front nine was the ninth; although there was nothing inherently wrong with it and played a tough hole into the wind, it just wasn't as special as the other holes in this set.
The back nine commences with a solid par four; I felt that the hole emphasised the approach over the drive. This nine continues with many impressive holes. I enjoyed the eleventh with a somewhat intimidating tee shot and a beautiful green, the thirteenth with another great green complex and heading out towards the sea, and the short par five seventeenth.
Another contender for my favourite hole was the fourteenth, the fairway littered with bunkers; I feel that the best play for most would be to lay up short of the bunkers. The approach is largely concealed from the fairway but this is a fine green complex and blends beautifully into its surroundings. This gives the hole a wonderful sense of isolation.
Perhaps the one thing holding Goswick back from higher ranking are the final holes of each nine; again I found the closing hole to be something of a disappointment. It is a very reachable par four, but for me there is insufficient penalty for missing the green. I think that on most occasions one would be slightly disappointed to walk off here with a four. The hole also contributes to a busy area around the first tee and this felt a bit chaotic, something which is in contrast with most of the other holes.
The putting green near the first tee was in excellent condition, and although we didn't use the driving range bordering the railway, it looked like a first class facility.
The course reminded me of Seaton Carew somewhat, and I really enjoyed the course. I feel that one could certainly argue that the course should feature higher up in the rankings.
Stopped off at Goswick on the way to Scotland, this is almost an insult because the course is good enough for the journey itself, and throw in the Town of Berwick-on-Tweed as well, its a brilliant place to play.
The course is a mixture of Dune & Flat Links land, and I particularly enjoyed the almost figure 8 routing that meant you never had to 'slog' in the same direction too long into the wind, as the courses takes you up and down, towards and away from the towering dunes.
I can honestly say there isn't a week hole on the course, the design is a full & stern test of golf, without being overly penal, and means you have to play all the shots to get round.
It's also great value, so well worth a trip in itself.
Can there be anything better in our great sport than a beautiful day on a championship links?
The opening round of our two-week 2021 summer holiday was on the Northumberland coast where we stopped over en route to Scotland.
We played Goswick, a day after its club championship, and the course was in stunning condition.
So much so that a chap playing in front of us asked if we were members because he visits annually and wanted to ensure that people knew it has never been in better shape.
Situated six miles south of Berwick, Goswick is unpretentious with a one-level clubhouse and basic but tasty food with friendly staff.
I had already been in correspondence with its secretary who had arranged a double-header deal which the club has with Muirfield and the club professional matched his bonhomie.
After we had warmed up on the excellent driving range, he warned us that the course was in good nick but ‘difficult’.
I backed up his wise words on the first, a rising bending par four, and the second, a downward tricky par three, by sliding into deep greenside bunkers because I had been too greedy with my approaches.
The elevated second tee is one of several which has dramatic views across the beach and out to the North Sea.
The vista in the opposite direction across the Northumberland countryside is equally exhilarating.
Anyway, early lessons showed that Goswick is a course where accurate drives are rewarded because it is not overly long.
Pot bunkers, long rough, bushes and out of bounds can punish wayward shots but plotters may engineer good scores.
Mrs W yielded juicy fruit from the SEVEN par fives on the women’s card. Men have four on theirs but none are beasts when the wind is gentle, although I suspect it isn’t very often.
Every hole at Goswick is interesting and many have twists and turns, although in the front nine I would plump for the straight eighth as a favourite.
It is deceiving because of a slope of heavy rough to the right of the green and a bunker waiting to gobble up balls to the left. Weaving between them was a bit of a thrill.
The run-in at Goswick also had our pulses racing. The dogleg 14th which rises to a hidden green elicits possibilities of birdies and the picturesque, steep downhill part-three 15th requires a shot over a hump to the front left of the green. I know this because Mrs W and I both landed ours within four feet of the pin.
The 17th is a short part five into one of the many large putting surfaces and the 18th is a comfortable par four for men from an elevated tee – although those who go for the green may find themselves in one of the bunkers which protect it.
The women start from halfway down the hole and play it as a par three,
Goswick is an unusual experience for the ladies because there are only six pars fours but Mrs W scored well and we proclaimed that it was probably the course we had jointly enjoyed the most so far on the top100 quest.
Sure, there are others which we both prefer individually but we both thought this was well above expectation and had a brilliant start to our holiday.
On arrival you are greeted with an old twee clubhouse, land wrapped by yellow whispy grass and rolling pastel green fairways. With only the passing trains to remind you of urban life a feeling of isolation surrounds you as you prepare for your round. As tranquil and bohemian a setting as you can play golf in.
On the day we played the rough was cut back and there was barely a breath of wind, the course however still held a stern test for even the lowest handicappers in our group. Stand out holes were the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 12th and 14th with some stunning views of the sea on many of the back nine holes. The course has fantastic topography throughout from elevated tees to rolling fairway and was thoroughly enjoyed by all 10 of our group.
Conditions wise it was of the highest standard. The speed of the greens were electric for the time of year and some of the more undulating putting surfaces were very tricky. Major kudos to the green staff.
The course is very charming and exquisitely pretty. It’s a stern test and has a mixture of doglegs and elevations. Goswick rightly sits as the best course in Northumberland and is definitely a top 100 golf course in England. However I do take umbrage with other reviews saying it should be a top 100 Uk. It isn’t anywhere near that for me. The par 3s are a little bit of a mixed bag and it lacks the wow factor of some of the 5 ball reviews i’ve given. However I don’t want this to detract from what is a lovely links course in a fabulous setting and one that i’m excited to come back and play again.
Nobody who plays Goswick leaves unhappy no matter what the score.
Goswick represents links golf near its very best. An isolated coastal location and unusual holes with stacks of variety, the course is played over fairways with springy turf onto firm immaculate greens surrounded by quite penal bunkers. We were lucky to play on a warm sunny September afternoon where the moderate wind at the start was little more than a gentle breeze by the end of our round.
The golf course, just six miles south of Scottish border town Berwick-upon-Tweed, carried the town’s name until recently and is 2 miles off the A1 motorway. It is separated from civilisation by farmland and the London to Edinburgh express train line with about 8 fast-moving trains an hour. The facilities are homespun and comforting, but must not detract from a golf course which is, in my view, correctly regarded as the best in Northumberland.
After a strange start with a dogleg right around a small corpse of trees to a steep-sloping green, and a testing par 3 into a bowl, the next 6 holes are a breath-taking mix of longer holes, all of which are challenging, the highlight being the long 6th with OOB down the right. The back nine was fun from the ‘top drawer’ with a very special stretch from 12 to 15, and two excellent, more conventional, challenges at 16 and 17. The 18th, a downhill very short par 4 surrounded by bunkers was an interesting risk-and-reward finish, and should leave most golfers with a smile on their face and a desire to return.
Goswick Golf Club - What a course!! When ever I travel up to Scotland to golf up the A1 we always stop to play Goswick. Course has a mixture of scoreable holes, and some demanding holes. Recently has being hosting Regional Open Qualifying which is a credit to the club and an indication to the quality of the course. Some stunning holes on the land, and I personally believe if should be ranked much higher than it currently is. If this course was in a better location, over Southport, I believe you would see this course ranked in the top 50 UK Course.
Somehow have managed to end up playing golf on the other side of England but it was totally worth it. This is a great links course and I'm glad I've been able to play there. It was very windy but thankfully stayed dry. The greens were fantastic and the condition of the course was very good. Some holes were absolutely stunning as they overlooked the north sea. Its a great club with an equally great golf course.
The first hole seemed to be one of the few trees that were on the course. A downwind par 4 dog leg right where you either lay up with a 5 wood or try to hit a massive drive over the out of bounds onto the fairway. I can confirm the second idea was a bit over ambitious but at least I gave it a go, The 2nd hole is a great looking par 3, From the tee you can see out to the sea and it actually reminded me a lot of Portrush with the dunes that there were. I thought the par 5 4th was also a good looking hole, with almost a bowled green where the ball feeds in from anywhere hit up the right. The back 9 seemed a bit better and more exciting in my opinion. The 12th is a blind par 4 where playing for position is very important. A 200 yard shot is ideal off the tee and then followed up with an approach shot from 120 yards where the pin is not in sight. The 14th is also a great par 4 where everything from the right of the green feeds down towards the hole. The approach shot is lovely, however it's normally into the wind which makes it quite a long 2nd shot. The 15th hole has to be my favourite on the course, a 145 yard downhill par 3 with the sea all behind you, a truly magnificent looking golf hole.
This is a fantastic experience and the long journey is definitely worth it, classic links golf, in my opinion should be ranked a bit higher in the England rankings.
A stone’s throw short of the border near the holy island of Lindisfarne lies Goswick, a tremendous little links course that warrants a stop-off if you’re making the long drive up to Scotland. Goswick is an open qualifying venue, surprising in some ways in that it maybe a little untidy in places around the fairways, but the course comes to life and has the championship feel when approaching the greens, for its bunkering and green sites are first-class.
A collection of dogleg holes come early in the round which seems a little repetitive early on, but there’s enough variation throughout the eighteen holes to keep this course in high regard. The fisherman’s hut beside the side of the tough 6th with a raised banked green adds character, whilst back to back punchbowl greens across 14 and 15 highlights the most enjoyable section of the course.
It’s a course that’s relatively straight forward from the tee with plenty of room available to hit driver, but the green approaches come complete with the full variety of humps, lumps, slopes and opportunities to play off backboards to manoeuvre your ball toward the hole. There are some quirks that I wasn’t a big fan of, the 9th feels like an odd bolt-on hole that’s hemmed in by the driving range, and the internal out of bounds between the 1st and 18th is a little untidy, but don’t let this put you off. Goswick is excellent value for money and plays like and feels like Silloth’s little brother. If only they were allowed the opportunity to expand the course across the dunes that appear nearer to the sea and come into view from the 2nd tee. What a delightful course this could be then.
I played Goswick as part of a stop gap in Berwick on a tour up the Open and, along with the rest of my group, was taken aback by how good it was! Along with Siloth on Solway on the fringes of Cumbria, it suffers far too harshly for its remote location and lack of prestige, and like Siloth deserves significantly better in these rankings.
The land itself is absolutely cracking golfing property, with acre upon acre of Northumberland coastline stretching into the horizon. It's a proper links course, with undulating sandy links turf, wispy links rough, gorgeous sea vistas and browned off fairways, using changes in elevation, sweeping doglegs, angled tee boxes and natural undulations to give it its character. Unlike similar style courses I have played - Hunstanton in Norfolk comes to mind - there is a real feeling of space and wilderness here as well, carved through isolated Northumberland duneland as it is.
I felt the front nine had the edge over the back, holes 3 through to 7 being really quite top drawer, though the back has its moments.
It does have its dips, most notably the short par 4 18th which seemed shoehorned in to make up the 18, but never enough to detract from what is clearly a 5 ball course.
Again, it is difficult to understand why this has the ranking it does, not least with the R&A recognising it as good enough for Open qualifying. There are some flaws that stop it being really top drawer, but I haven't played a course outside the England top 50 I would rate over it, and it's more than worth the effort to play.