You’ll find Linden Hall Golf & Country Club just outside the village of Longhorsley, less than half an hour from Newcastle, the heartland of England’s northeast. Built in 1812, the elegant Linden Hall is a beautiful former manor house, which has been transformed into a tasteful hotel. There’s also a traditional onsite pub, called the Linden Tree. Be careful not to have one drink too many before your game.
The course is set in the most serene surroundings with panoramic views of the rugged Cheviot Hills, the steely North Sea and Coquet Island with its bird sanctuary and famous Victorian lighthouse. The layout is a unique and undulating mixture of 19th century parkland, mature woodland and open countryside. Linden Hall opened for play to a standing ovation in 1997. Designed by Jonathan Gaunt in four loops, with each loop finishing close to the hotel. Perfect for a few holes after dinner.
It’s a course to be enjoyed by golfers of all handicaps. Numerous teeing positions cater for all levels. But a word of warning, Linden Hall stretches out to 6,846 yards from the back tees. So, if you’re seeking enjoyment, be careful with your choice of tee. Key to scoring well is to be in the right position off the tee; a number of the holes are huge sweeping doglegs. There’s even a challenging double dogleg… the par five 13th, with its green surrounded by water.
But it’s the one shot holes at Linden Hall that will remain lodged in the mind for a very long time. Each of the four par threes are quite stunning, framed by mature trees and featuring plenty of do-or-die carries across water. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but the 7th is a gem. The tee is elevated, providing a clear view of the surrounding trees and the task in hand. The green is protected by a lake on the left and, to make matters worse, the green slopes towards the water.
If you are seeking amusement and pleasant surprises then look no further than Linden Hall. This is a course to put a smile on your face.
Linden Hall is a picturesque and relatively modern course set in the grounds of an attractive manor house, now transformed into a luxurious hotel and spa. The course is built on easy walking parkland complete with many mature trees including ancient cedars and redwoods which create a tranquil and relaxed environment in which to play. With the possible exception of the long walk between the 5th green and 6th tee, the layout is well routed and boasts a particularly strong collection of par-3's, all of which have water in play.
There are over 60 well positioned fairway and greenside bunkers in total which requires some semblance of strategy and numerous areas of ball swallowing dense rough which demand more than a modicum of accuracy. As many as nine holes have water hazards, including the excellent 13th, a double dog-leg par-5 which concludes with a snaking burn wrapping around much of the green.
Some of the teeing areas are quite small and were in poor condition at the end of a busy summer, as were many of the paths but the fairways and greens could not be faulted which is likely to be of greater importance to most golfers.
I really enjoyed the challenge of Linden Hall and with a little more investment from the hotel group it could comfortably sit amongst Northumberland's current Top 10. Brian W
This a very nice parkland course and as of 2011 is rated number 4 in Northumberland. Having played all but three of the courses in the county and a couple of hundered worldwide that seems about right to me. Goswick, Bamburgh and Slaley (Hunting) are probably better but I can't think of others I'd play ahead of Linden Hall. Maybe Dunstanburgh for classic links golf, or Hexham for another parkland course but 4 to 5 balls seems correct. It's certainly better than the plethora of other similar style courses in the area such as Longhirst, Arcot, Burgham and the parkland members courses. In time, the new Colt course at Close House will probably move ahead.
I played Linden Hall late in 2010 and enjoyed the at times open layout but other holes where accuracy was at a premium. The par 3 4th over a pond and sweeping downhill were excellent; 6th a bit of a filler and then the par 3 7th again needing an accurate iron. The conditioning was consistently solid and there are all the extraneous facilities on site if you need more than just an enjoyable golf course.