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
TaylorMade
Jim McCann
Cold winter's day at Goswick - photo by Jim McCannI indicated in a response to a review back in April that I would be making a foray across the border to see what this 6-ball rated course was all about. Well, on a cold, windy December day when I finally got to play here, it was never going to look its very best but it held up very well, nevertheless. The winter layout plays just over a thousand yards shorter than the normal 6803-yard course with several holes shortened, including the par five 4th and 17th but this reduction in length hardly diminishes the challenge, believe me.

After a quirky start doglegging right over a small copse of trees to a green perched in the dunes - followed by a blind shot at the par three second - the round settles into a lovely stretch of par fours and fives between holes 3 and 8. The best of these six is the majestic par five 6th “Cocklaw,” played to a pneumatically raised green on the northernmost point of the property. The second nine from the clubhouse begins with probably the weakest hole so far but then the dipping, twisting terrain over the next couple of holes make up for that blip. I had issues with the par threes at 13 and 15, unfortunately. Maybe the bleak backdrop of marshy/boggy ground behind the hole at the former put me off it, I don’t know. The drop in elevation at the latter (a mini version of the 7th at Ballyliffin’s Glashedy, which I love) didn’t seem to work properly, somehow. Holes 16 and 17 were very tough, played into the wind again and they preceded a fine finishing hole, a short par four (squeezed in between the 1st and 17th) played as a par three for some reason at this time of year. Greens were very good throughout, even though they’d been hollow tined so they must be really fantastic to putt on in the summer.

The green fees are astonishingly good value when you consider they even offer twilight late afternoon fees in the summer (more clubs should take note of this, actually) but I’m afraid that my rating is a very solid 4 balls. When you bear in mind that as of today there are only five other 6-ball rated courses within the 152 ranked courses listed for England (Birkdale, Sunningdale (Old), Delamere Forest, Beau Desert and Sherwood Forest) on this website, the reviewers here have been blowing the trumpet for Goswick just a wee bit too loudly in my opinion! It’s not a great course but a good course that offers outstanding value for the green fee charged. Not UK Top50 but could be English Top 50 which would be no small measure of achievement for such a homely, down-to-earth club. Jim McCann
December 15, 2009
6 / 10
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ADR
December 15, 2009
Jim,I have a couple of issues with your rating/review.I have read many of your reviews which rate above Goswick and many of these courses in my opinion are not in the same class as this superb links.Secondly you really havn't given the track the fairest crack at the whip by playing it in December after many heavy heavy rainfalls have you?Come back and play in the summer and and play the course from the back tees to see just what a tremendous track this really is...in fact I'll even give you a game myself!
Ian Smith
December 16, 2009
Jim, Glad to hear you finally made the trip down to Goswick but I'm going to have to urge you to make a return visit one day. I can't help but think your review has been influenced by the cold and wind! Goswick may not be a 6-ball course but it's miles better than other 4-ball rated courses on this website. It is almost guaranteed to be in good condition all year round. I agree with many of your comments on the course, particularly thr par 5 6th which is probably the pick of the front nine. I have to disagree, however, with your verdict of the 10th which I think is a good honest par 4, really tough into the wind. The par 3 13th is well bunkered and offers lovely views to Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle - at least on a good day. The bowl shaped 15th green is a bit quirky for my liking too in that you don't necessarily have to hit a good shot to end up close but that's the way links golf is sometimes. Try to come back when the course is back to its full length, I'm sure you'll upgrade your rating.
Jim McCann
December 16, 2009
I had a suspicion my rating would cause a bit of a stir in the north east of England!!! I DID take into account the time of year when marking and I DID consult with my playing partner (who has played 87 of the Scottish Top100 with me) who also agreed a strong four ball mark. I'd love to return in the summer to reappraise the course in all its finery (suitably armed with my ceremonial claymore to fend off my native detractors) and be proved wrong (for not the first time). Maybe such a flurry of contrasting opinion will encourage others to find out what all the fuss is about at Goswick...
MPPJ
December 16, 2009
Even though my chum is more than capable in sticking up for himself I feel compelled to jump to his defence. I will pen my own review in the coming days but it will be more of the same I am afraid. After all the 6 ball reviews I was expecting a wee bit more from the course, that being said, Goswick is a fine fine track but not, in my opinion, a 6 ball one. As I always say in my reviews it is all about opinions and it is not my intention to offend, as everyone is entitled to his/her opinion but, I don’t think that Goswick is as good as Elie, Gullane 2, Dunbar or The Glen for that matter. I would however love to come back and play the course again and I would happily recommend it to anyone. MPPJ
ADR
December 16, 2009
Not as good as Dunbar, Elie or The Glen??!! Come on, give me a break or let me give some in depth reviews because I question if you fellas are competent to do such reviews if that is your findings! Gullane 2 I would have on a par but certainly no better than Goswick...
MPPJ
December 23, 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 Machrinhanish 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
Tim Gorman
February 17, 2010
I love Goswick and play it frequently but I quite agree Goswick is not a 6-baller - I suggest it is a high 4/low 5. Any course has to be measured against the best. However, to state Goswick is behind The Glen will bring whoops of laughter from all those who have played them. Perhaps it was said to provoke comment!!
Jim Robertson
March 14, 2010
To throw my tuppenceworth into this debate I rate Goswick as a solid five-baller - the same as excellent Scottish links such as Gullane 2, Montrose and Dunbar. It is much better than the Glen but not as good as Carnoustie, Muirfield, Turnberry or Cruden Bay. Six-ball courses are few and far between!
C J Y Lawrence
November 22, 2013
It's quite a few years since I last had the opportunity to be in this neck of the woods and I'd have to say it remains clear why the R&A had this as an Open qualifying course until a couple of years ago. It''s a very good layout with no more than a couple of less-memorable holes even although it''s a bit remote from the sea at times(if remote is the right word to use). As for a rating I''d say its a 4.9 bordering on a 5 but no-way (unless you''re a member) could you rank it as a 6 as it clearly just doesn''t have that magic of the top-drawer tracks such as Turnberry, Muirfield, Carnoustie, Troon and all those ''royals'' such as Aberdeen, Liverpool, St Georges, Portrush etc etc. I''d rate it alongside Gullane 1 and 2 and a touch behind Dunbar, Elie, Panmure, North Berwick, Nairn and Old Moray who all fall into my 5 to 5.25 star/ball category north of the border and (Princes, Hillside, Porthcawl, Ganton, Sunningdale and Walton Heath amongst others in the south , oh, as well as Doonbeg and Ballybunion over the Irish Channel). But there''s no doubt it''s a gem for sure and wrongly overlooked by many as just being (geographically)in the wrong place for great courses ie: Northumberland isn''t revered as an area for stunning top-class courses. However Goswick is a clear #1 in the county of Northumberland even if not able to quite mix it with all those classic tracks mentioned earlier; I can only speak as I find from personal experience of those mentioned. Nevertheless I''d love to return soon since it is fabulous value and by the way I love the first two holes; as tough a start to a round as many visitors can handle of that I''m sure. CJYL
Warren
May 22, 2017

You are definitely cracking jokes to suggest The Glen and Elie are better than Goswick. Glen 7/10, Elie 7, Gullane 2 8, Dunbar 8.4, Goswick 8.5.

David Bostock
Played this course in June, they were preparing for the regional open qualifiers. What a fantastic course, true links with all the difficulties and funny bounces that make links golf so enjoyable. Pro very helpful, members very friendly. Clubhouse functional (just as it should be). All in all a great course to play and a reasonable green fee. Make the trip, it's well worth it.
July 05, 2009
10 / 10
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Ian Wise
Played Goswick last week and was amazed! I had heard that it was a really good course, but I absolutely loved it. The course is links golf at it's best, set amongst some fantastic dunes. The course has the traditional 2 loops of 9 holes, with the front 9 probably the slightly tougher. People have already highlighted the standout holes below, but I must mention the par 3 15th. Downhill to a bowl green with a large bunker covered mound protecting the front of the green, and bushes behind to catch any long shots. Probably one of of the best par 3's I have played. This is definitely the best course in the North East, and way better than Bamburgh Castle. It is also better than Seaton Carew (a course I love), but lies 40 places below Seaton in the rankings! In the past year, I have played Crail (Balcomie) and Gullane No.2 & Gullane No.3, and I can honestly say that Goswick is a much better course than them. I paid £17 for a twilight rate after 3pm, and this has got to be the best value for money golf in the UK. IBW
April 28, 2009
10 / 10
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Jim McCann
April 30, 2009
I rate the Scottish courses you mention (all three are currently ranked in the top 50 of Scotland on this sitee) so I think it's time I set off on a raid across the border to sample the delights of what appears to be a very under rated links course...
Ian Wise
April 30, 2009
Jim, I look forward to your review once you have played it! I am sure you will agree with me that it is an fantastic course.
Jake Thomas
Played this course in October 2007 - 36 holes with a fantastic lunch for just £35. An absolute bargain. Definitely come back - the course is an old-fashioned honest links lay-out- with some cracking holes. Lovely closing stretch with perhaps the 18th being the weakest hole on the course- but very much under-rated. This is a miles better golf course than Bamburgh with friendly bar and catering staff. This should be higher up in the rankings.
October 07, 2007
8 / 10
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patrick wassel
I can only agree with reports written before. More than that I have to say, that Goswick is a real Gem rights besides the other great courses north of it.We played Goswick among 14 other courses in the east Lothian area in April. It was voted No. one of the trip and all this for 15 GBP (evening tarif).The Course lays rights behind a massive Beach and the bordering Dunes about 1h Drive from the North Bwerick area. It has all the aspects a great course needs. The Mantainance of the greens, fairways, roughs and tee-areas is excellent. The quality, variety and challenge of the holes is difficult to find elsewhere and the course as a whole has an excellent rhythm and makes you thinking the whole rounde along.Play it and you will see that it is possible to play a top class course for the price of a municipal something.
May 01, 2007
10 / 10
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Brilliant golf course, remote and massively underrated. Up there with all the Muirfield qualifying courses further up the coast. Undoubtably tougher than most of them as well.
December 02, 2005
8 / 10
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iaincmccoll
A gem! An old fashioned tough links, with 2 loops of out and back in. Hard fast running turf, devious bunkers and true greens. Some lovely shortish par 4s which have to be planned rather than battering with a driver.Although out of the way and having a poor club house, is well worth a visit and for the course alone should be in top 100 UK courses.
September 20, 2005
8 / 10
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CA
A cracking links with much to commend it.
October 26, 2004
6 / 10
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