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.
I love everything about this course. I knew it was going to be good but I was elated when I rolled up and saw the landscape. The course weaves in and around the dunes in a very natural manner. Every fairway has its fair share of protections either via quite long rough, well placed bunkers, slopes and dog legs.
It is an honest course that is very unpretentious. No gimmicks just a gritty course that bites quickly if you stray. In the past I have been pleasantly surprised by a number of courses that were considerably better than I thought they were going to be(eg Panure, Monifieth, Skegness) and Goswick joins the list.
The first nine flows in all directions but finishes back at the club house whilst the inward nine is an out and back stretch and probably hold the best holes, especially around the turn of 12/13/14.
I had the course to myself and at 30 quid twilight is fantastic value. After getting around Dunbar yesterday in 36 pts I had hopes today but after scoring 11 pts on the outward nine I needed a strong start at 10 but wiped 10/11/12 as I got a case of the blocks. I regathered with a few pars and bogies to string a few points together and finished birdie, birdie to make me a very satisfied customer, despite scoring low 20s. Great finishing hole, short and a number of options.
This course has authentic charm in spades. Warren from Aust
Over the years I have played Goswick many many times but after a break of a year or two I played here early Dec 2016 with my son. I was struck by how much the course has improved in the interim. The course was bone dry and the greens immaculate. The continued refurbishment of bunkers (the riveting is a work of art) ensures these are kept in prime condition. Suffice to say I joined as a country member in January and feel pretty smug being a member at a top class course for a little over £300. The biggest compliment I can pay is, a round here is always a good day spent!!
This is a cracking course which, if it were nestled in amongst others in East Lothian or Lancashire, would be rated far higher I think. It is undoubtedly worthy of being in the English Top 100.
It's a course full of variety (and no little beauty), finishing with a cracking risk/reward short par 4, where many great rounds have been scuppered by greedy drivers no doubt, and was in superb condition. Friendly club and great value too.
Super links course in good condition with a great variety of holes and a great risk/reward par 4 18th (I risked, got out of the back bunker and 2 stabbed for a par !!).
REALLY enjoyed the visit which was a warm up for the week at Carnoustie after - and it worked as played OK all week.
Friendly bar - all round nice course and nice Club
The par five 6th will also give you plenty to think about. Out of bounds is on the right where there is a line of dunes. Closer to the green are fairway bunkers on the left side. There is a very big hollow in front of the green which is set in the side of a hill.
This is not a course you will enjoy if you are prone to slice. Very thick rough again features on the right on the par four 10th. The par five 11th can be diabolical if you don’t hit straight. Out of bounds runs along the right and there is a wet marshy area all down the left side.
Thirteen is the pick of four par threes. Although the tee is elevated, you are hitting uphill to a green with three bunkers in front and one either side. Fifteen is another good par three, hitting from high up down to a green with water and marshland at the rear.
This review is an edited extract from Another Journey through the Links, which has been reproduced with David Worley’s kind permission. The author has exclusively rated for us every English course featured in his book. Another Journey through the Links is available for Australian buyers via www.golfbooks.com.au and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.