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.
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.
Before writing this review I did have a browse back through past comments as far back as 2009 and I can now say I've picked myself up off the floor, applied some restorative cream to my aching ribs and I'm ready to go! I did say aching ribs and that is from the sheer jollity of the comment made back in time by a reviewer who claimed that the Glen was better than Goswick; Whitekirk closed down some two years ago and yet that course would still be rated as better than the Glen! But I digress.
Goswick: let's face it this course is a past Open qualifying venue and come 2018 it will be back on the R&A's roster for Open qualifying so let's be under no illusion, it is a serious track with a past history that lesser venues can only dream of. Okay, so Goswick isn't flashy with a slick clubhouse and a spot nestled along the East Lothian coastline but at not far off 7,000 yards from the tips this is unmistakably a brute of a course with wonderfully undulating terrain set within a natural tract of land that James Braid must have salivated over when asked to design. There are a couple of weak holes whereas the afore-mentioned Glen has only a couple of STRONG holes.
Goswick can more than hold its own alongside Gullane 1 and North Berwick within the East Lothian coast. In fact I'd say that the conditioning and layout can knock Dunbar into the proverbial cocked-hat. But of course, Goswick isn't a six-star/ball course but then where is? Royal St Georges and Turnberry, Royal Troon and Carnoustie, Sunningdale and perhaps Ganton but Goswick only suffers through a perception of being unfashionable set as it is in the golfing desert that is Northumberland; though it's also unfashionable because it's so difficult to find tucked as it is some three miles down a barely single-track road leading from the A1. To miss out on playing Goswick is to miss out on a seriously good course where winds from the North Sea are not required to defend the course's honour.
Make no mistake Goswick is a five-ball course up there with those better-known tracks, outside of The Open rota.
Played Goswick in August 2017. As per the majority of the earlier reviews this is an underrated course which should be challenging for a place in the Britain & Ireland top-100. For me it would rank higher than some courses that are well inside the top-100 i.e. Royal St Davids. The course was in excellent condition, particularly the greens which were outstanding. A great variety of holes with just the 18th a slight disappointment being squashed between the 17th green and 1st fairway. Goswick is an ideal stop-off point for anyone heading up to the east coast of Scotland and a must play for fans of serious links golf.
This is an outstanding links course. I played it recently as part of a two-week tour which included Gullane 1 and the west links at North Berwick. Purely as a golf course I would rank it at least as good, and maybe better than either of those more famous (and much more expensive) tracks, excellent though they undoubtedly are.
James Braid did an absolutely magical job of using the terrain, it's a wonderfully natural course. Virtually every hole is interesting and presents a real challenge - the more so if you play it in a 25kph wind, as I did. Under those conditions the 6800 yards off the medal tees makes it quite a brute, but there's nothing unfair about it. Altogether an unexpectedly rewarding experience that offers quite exceptional value for money. Well, well worth a visit.
On my first trip to Scotland, Goswick Links was my introduction to links golf. I picked Goswick because it was more or less half way up between Newcastle and North Berwick. How fortunate I turned out to be! I then liked the people, the simplicity of the lay-out and the absolute serenity that overtakes you when progressing into your round of golf.
We played two rounds on a day ticket that day, and I thought we had a nice day out, nothing more, nothing less.
Only when I played more (links) venues, I started to realise how good the Goswick Links really is as a true, classic links course. Always looked forward returning to Goswick Links ever since.
Although the lay-out is not overly dramatic, and most hazards are in sight, the dunes offer enough blind shots and elevation changes to test your club selection. If the wind starts blowing, better take your A game with you, since most of the holes are pretty exposed to the wind. Being far away from any buildings other than the clubhouse and some farmhouses, the course lies in splendid isolation. On the day we played, I think we met 8 people on the course and 3 others in the clubhouse. Since earlier reviews describe the course in more detail quiet accurate, I won't elaborate to much on the individual holes.
It's assuring that the R&A appreciates the quality of the venue by appointing Goswick Links as Open Qualifying Venue for 2018.
I wander what the ranking of this venue would be, would it have been one of the tracks that St Andrews Links Trusts offer. Rest assured, it would be as packed & jammed with golf tourists as their top venues.
So, if you want to muster the feeling of playing pure links golf at the end of the world, go to Goswick Links and enjoy.
If someone knows other links golf courses that evoke that same feeling, please let me know!