Goswick - Northumberland - England

Goswick Golf Club,
Goswick,
Berwick-upon-Tweed,
Northumberland,
TD15 2RW,
England


  • +44 (0) 1289 387256

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.

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Reviews for Goswick

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Description: Founded in 1890 on land named Goswick (Goose Farm) by the Romans, Berwick-upon-Tweed Golf Club (now renamed Goswick Golf Club) boasts views of the North Sea and to the south, Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle. Rating: 7.9 out of 10 Reviews: 38
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Dan Hare
Played Goswick on a foggy day on the way back down south from two weeks of Scottish links golf, from Machrihanish to Wick. Thus it is no faint praise to say that Goswick was one of our favourite courses, very friendly and outstanding value. Good turf, some outstanding holes, and enough surrounding links land for another two great courses!
April 20, 2014
8 / 10
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Phil B
This is my second review of this course as I have been fortunate to play it on a number of occasions in the last few years.I played this course with a group of friends en route to Scotland on 19/10/2012 after several days of heavy rain. I assured everyone that the course would be in great condition despite standing water being present in almost every field either side of the A1 above Newcastle. The condition of the course was confirmed on arrival, very firm fairways and fast running and true greens, no water on fairways or in bunkers. The greenstaff deserve great credit for keeping this course in wonderful condition.The first thing I noticed was the new entrance and changing rooms which has really transformed the clubhouse. I liked the 'basic' feel of the previous changing rooms but could understand why some people commented on their condition. Not anymore, the improvements are very good and the lady behind the bar advised that other refurbishments are to follow.The course itself is excellent and everyone in our group of 8 golfers agreed that this was a great test of links golf. I don't think this course has a weak hole and every hole is different. The whole layout just seems to be how you would expect a links course to be, two loops of 9 returning to the clubhouse, high dunes and beach on one side and a railway line on the other.I listed my favourite holes on a previous entry so I am not going to go into them here. What I would say is this is a very friendly golf club with a genuine and challenging links course. It represents very good value for money and has a course that is always presented in outstanding condition.Play this course, you will not be disappointed.
October 30, 2012
10 / 10
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nicholas roy
played in March 2012 on a long weekend in the borders/lothians with the lads. played archerfield, muirfield, north berwick & goswick. Goswick is great fun..a super links...weather was sunny but 35 mph winds...goswick really is a special place & cannot recommend it enough. Ok there are perhaps 2 or 3 average holes but the rest of the course really makes up for them (especially the last 5 holes) and a £20 green makes it the best value course i have played. Am heading up there in late august for a week and have already reserved tee time at goswick!
July 29, 2012
6 / 10
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Derek Haswell
I once bought a bag of clubs from a charity shop for £20 and the bag contained a set of mid-size irons, 4 Adams “woods”, assorted drivers and an Odyssey putter. That was the golfing bargain of my life – or at least it WAS until yesterday when I played Goswick Links at the “twilight” rate of £19. I’ll say it again…£19!!! At the weekend!!! And we DIDN’T have to play in the dark!!! If weekend twilight rates are supposed to be an indicator of quality then The Glen is 1.47 times better than Goswick and Dunbar and Gullane No.2 are twice as good. In the humble(ish) opinion of this particular reviewer Goswick offers a more varied, interesting, thought-provoking, challenging and enjoyable game than all three. It is a stonking, genuine links with some cracking holes and very few, if any, poor ones. With areas of lush rough, lateral water hazards, out of bounds (boundary and internal), a number of gentle (and not quite so gentle) dog legs and a sprinkling of cunningly positioned, rivetted fairway bunkers there is plenty to focus the mind from the tee. Arguably the green “complexes” at Goswick aren’t quite complex enough to push the course into the six-ball category; in my experience the truly excellent, six-ball links generally have more dramatic greens with more steep fall-offs, plateaus, swails and hillocks and so on. There are some greens like that at Goswick, just possibly not enough for that elusive six-ball assessment – and Braid, unsurprisingly, made a spiffing job with the natural terrain he had to play with. The Goswick committee may not thank me for banging on about the “twilight” rate (they will want some people to pay the full rate, after all!) but if there is a better value round available in the UK I’ll eat my tartan bunnet. Finally, a quick “shout out” for my old man, with 2’s at the 2nd and 13th – not bad for (almost) 71! Derek, Edinburgh, September 2011.
September 25, 2011
8 / 10
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Phil B
I played this course on 21/6/2011 the day after Open Qualifying had been held there. Our visit also coincide with very heavy overnight and early morning rain. Fortunately this has passed over by the time we played and the course showed no signs of the rain we had just had, other than puddles on the course paths.This is the third time I have played this course and I have to say it gets better and more enjoyable every time I play it. This is a true links course, two loops of 9 going out and back to the clubhouse and using the terrain very well. Something you would expect from a course designed by James Briad.Highlights for me are the opening two holes, a tough dogleg par 4 to an elevated green with OB on the right and a prevailing head wind. Follow this with a lovely par 3 over a large dune and valley before the green and a tee with excellent views all round. Then the tough 7th hole which is SI14(so no shots for me) a par 5 of just under 500 yards with OB all down the right and a wonderful approach to a green that has a deep valley in front of it. Absolutely superb.The greens were not too fast (a result of the rain) but ran very true with some tough pin postions left from the previous days event.The clubhouse has received some disparaging comments but I think it is homely and very welcoming, like many on the Northumberland coast. The pro shop is also very well stocked.I would recommend this course to anyone. A tough but fair challenge, this links course does not beat you up on every hole as the rough is not as punishing as it could be.This is a must play course and is excellent value for money.
June 22, 2011
8 / 10
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Jim McCann

I returned to Goswick sixteen months after first playing here in the winter to see if my somewhat miserly rating of four balls was really justified. I know this visit was made when it was still early season but the course was playing to its full length and in very decent condition.

The holes from 3 to 8 are all pretty challenging, especially the 4th, where I think the narrow green is way too tight, even though I did scramble a par of 5 on it. The long par three 13th was a far better hole than I’d remembered the first time, and it comes in the middle of a delightful trio of strong holes at the most southerly part of the course.

Unfortunately, Berwick-Upon-Tweed Golf Course - photo by reviwerthe punchbowl green of the short 15th is maybe too generous, funnelling half decent tee shots to wherever the pin is placed, and this allowed all four in our group to register a relatively straightforward 3 on the scorecard.

I must say that bunkering throughout the course was exceptional (with obvious signs that a substantial revetting program had been carried out over the winter) and fine examples of these sand traps were found fronting the green of the risk/reward 18th hole.

A couple of maps with old course routings hang inside the clubhouse and they look very interesting indeed – I just wonder if it would profit a modern day committee to review the existing layout to see if the current design could be enhanced by the possible reintroduction of some of the old holes?

Then again, maybe modern day health and safety issues would prevent this happening as there might be too many blind shots brought into play.

I’m awarding 5 balls to average my score over two rounds at 4.5 because that’s the proper score I feel should be given to this course. As I stated before, Berwick-upon-Tweed offers excellent value for the green fee and it truly deserves wide recognition for this.

Jim McCann

April 28, 2011
8 / 10
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Andy-Webbo
I played this course on the 15th July 2010 and it was in good condition with fast running greens and fairways. I do have to agree with the previous review writer in that some of the tees were scruffy and needed attention but not quite as bad as he experienced five days later. The greens were certainly not slow and there had been regional qualifying for the Open there only a few weeks before.This was played in a high wind and the course was in fair condition. The opening hole is a risk and reward one with either a long iron to the side of the trees or a drive over the top of them leaving a short pitch to an elevated green. The second is a semi blind par 3. A tough start! This is one of Braid’s finest in my opinion and is a true links. The front nine finishes with a lengthy par 3 which is preceded by a narrow par 4 with a tough green. A lot of the greens on this course have tough approaches. All the holes have been carefully crafted and there are several semi blind shots into greens and from the tees. The back nine was tougher than the front with 17 and 18 card wreckers. This course if re-located to Scotland could easily command a £75 green fee due to its quality. It however is in Northumberland and is an absolute bargain and so easy to get to being so close to the A1. It has everything a links course should have, blind shots, well placed punishing pot bunkers, fast greens, (when I played it!), panoramic views and even a railway line close by. I would rate it a lot higher than its current 65, go and enjoy it!....AW
August 01, 2010
8 / 10
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Rob Rees
Played yesterday after a stunning July golfing week in Angus and Fife and after a round at Dunbar was rained off. I have had Goswick on my must play list for 20+ years but was sorely disappointed. A very friendly welcome was not matched by the condition of the course. The layout is magnificent with no poor holes at all but the greens were the worst and slowest I have putted all season and the tee boxes were a mess. There is a truly brilliant seaside course here waiting to burst out-let's face it James Braid has rarely designed a bad one- and this really is a classic links test with the normal gentle Braid start and a lively, challenging finish with tough holes around the turn. It looks like they are short of money, green staff or both. I was told there had not been a competition for the last two weeks so the green staff had 'let it grow a bit'. I don't buy that and for the sake of our golfing heritage, please either raise your subscriptions and/or green fees and get working on this gem. I know times are very tough for all golf clubs, but July is when the course should be at its very best. It needs some serious TLC and then it would probably be right up there in my top 25...and I have played over 300 courses around the world and written on golf travel for several golf magazines and national papers over the last 30 years.
July 20, 2010
6 / 10
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Jim Robertson
Made a cross-border raid last week tempted by the excellent winter offer and the good reports I had read about Goswick. I was not disappointed! I found this an intriguing and unusual links course with more dog-legs and changes of elevation than one usually finds on a links course. After a quiet start there is a fine run of holes from the 6th culminating in the delightful short 15th. The last three holes are not quite so special as the rest of the back nine but played into a strong wind they were very tough. Easily reachable in a couple of hours from Glasgow, Goswick is now firmly on my 'must play every year' list.
March 14, 2010
8 / 10
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Martin Jordan
We really enjoyed our day at Goswick. It is an enchanting, homely and welcoming track and you can understand why the members are very proud and protective of the place. To be honest, Goswick was not our first choice for a December golf outing but after being let down, for various reasons for Carnoustie, we decided that it was time that we made the long trip down to Berwick as, it had been on our hit list for quite some time.

Berwick-upon-Tweed 3rd - Photo by MPPJThere is no gentle opening here as the first is a right – left dog leg with OB right (as I found out to my cost after my opening tee shot) ending at a pulpit green. The short 2nd follows, leading to a stretch of challenging holes the pick of which, being the superb 6th. I thought the 10th the weakest on the course but I found the 12th-14th delightful. I have to disagree with some of the reviewers as I didn’t enjoy the shortened 15th one bit and I would have loved the chance to play the 18th as a par 4 from its proper tee.

As you can see from the responses to Jim’s review some think his ranking of the course too low and he hasn’t taken into consideration the time of the year etc. I have to let you know that we discuss every aspect of every course we play from the first drive to the final putt and I think that Jim’s marking is spot on for Goswick. Goswick was well worth the 6 hour round trip it is beguiling and challenging gem and although not, in my opinion, a 6 baller it is a course that I would readily recommend to any golfer and I would be more than delighted to return here in the future. MPPJ
December 22, 2009
6 / 10
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Response
ADR
December 22, 2009
MPPJ, I'll say it again, a fairly stupid time of year (mind you,you were maybe down because there was nowhere else open to play!) to review the course as just about every hole plays totally different to the Summer full course! To say 10 is the weakest hole on the course is utterly ludicrous, the tee is 40 yards in front in the Winter of where it is situated in the Summer! Also 15 is 40 yards difference! Play it again please in the Summer and you will realise why your two reviews have caused the responses...
MPPJ
December 24, 2009

Dear ADR. Thank you for your feedback. Believe me, all feedback is appreciated good or bad. Firstly, we chose to undertake the 6 hour round trip to Berwick on the basis of the good reviews on the website. If you think that I have thrown the golfing rattle from the golfing pram because our game fell through at Carnoustie then you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, we had chances to play at Turnberry Kintyre and Kilmarnock Barassie, both Scottish top 50 courses, both a lot closer to home but we chose Goswick, and we were not disappointed. Secondly, I agree playing golf in December can be like the curates egg however In recent years I have played December golf at Gullane 2, Western Gailes and Machrihanish in worse conditions than I played at Goswick but I rated them higher and enjoyed them more than Goswick. I also played at Muirfield less than 7 days before I played at Goswick and my yet to be published review will be for 6 balls because, IN MY OPINION it is a 6 ball track and Goswick isn't however, I will concede that your experience and knowledge of Goswick is far greater than mine ever will be. Kindest Regards MPPJ