Northumberland - Northumberland - England

Northumberland Golf Club,
High Gosforth Park,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
Tyne & Wear,
NE3 5HT,
England


  • +44 (0) 191 236 2498

  • Jamie Forteath

  • Harry Colt, James Braid

  • Not known

Northumberland Golf Club was formed in 1898 when disaffected members of another local club decided to set up their own course at High Gosforth Park, adjacent to the Newcastle racecourse, and a small clubhouse was constructed close to the start of the mile-long straight to cater for the new membership.

Sometime after 1905, when another clubhouse was built in a more commanding position to the west of the property, Harry Colt was called in to redesign the existing layout. Unfortunately, World War II intervened during the rebuild, and this work was never completed.

According to the book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses, by John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming, “James Braid went there in 1919. He made various suggestions which included filling in a burn, levelling certain areas of fairway and lengthening some holes. Not much of his work appears to survive”.

Today, the fairways weave in and out of the racecourse, starting at the par five 3rd. Holes 4 to 12 are then routed inside the rails before the tough par four 13th (stroke index 1 on the scorecard) leads golfers back outside the track for three holes. The 16th and 17th (formerly named “Paddock” and “Grandstand”) are played inside the track, ahead of a tee shot back to the clubhouse at the 408-yard 18th.

The club has hosted a number of notable tournaments down the years, including the Dunlop Masters in 1972, which New Zealand's Bob Charles won by two shots from England's Tony Jacklin. More recently, the club staged Open Regional Qualifying for the R&A over a five-year period from 2013.
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Reviews for Northumberland

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Description: Renowned for its firm, fast greens, strategic bunkering and racecourse setting, Northumberland Golf Club has played host to the Dunlop Masters and the English Amateur Championship. Rating: 4.1 out of 6 Reviews: 8

North-East England is not widely regarded as an area with an abundance of top quality golf courses. However, The Northumberland Golf Club stands proudly as a fine exception.

Strategic bunkers, fast running fairways and immaculate greens make it stand out as a real Angel of the North when it comes to inland golf in this region.

It is no surprise that the R&A have chosen The Northumberland Golf Club to host regional qualifying for The Open Championship until at least 2017 and its rich history also includes the staging of several professional and national amateur tournaments.

Indeed I recently enjoyed golfing here on three consecutive days in the English Mid-Amateur Championship (Logan Trophy) where the course was set up superbly.

Two famous course designers from the Golden Age of golf architecture were influential in the layout; first Harry Shapland Colt and then, following the first World War, James Braid. They have helped shape an excellent course which continues to stand the test of time and modern equipment.

It may surprise you to learn that most of these holes are played within the Newcastle Racecourse at High Gosforth Park! Naturally some of the holes border the track but it never really interferes with play. The only exception to this is at the par five third hole and par four 13th where you must drive over the running rails which obscure what would otherwise be superb views down the holes, the third in particular with strategic bunkers to contend with all the way down its 497 yards.

Nicknamed 'The Park' this is probably something of a misnomer because it implies a parkland layout and this is anything but the case. You won't find any tree-lined holes, pretty ponds or lush green fairways here. Target golf, this is not. In fact there is very much a 'linksy' feel to most of the holes, especially around the greens.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

4 / 6
Northumberland
April 24, 2017


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I can only assume that the previous review was submitted by a bitter member of a local club. His comments simply do not reflect the reality that you will find when you visit this course. Unfortunately Northumberland GC has a bit of a historic PR problem locally, with the primary focus less on golf and more on the social standing/calibre of the membership in days gone by. That has all but disappeared now with a younger, more diverse membership but unfortunately the long-held reputation locally is harder to change. In terms of the course itself it is immaculate and in my view there is only one course in the region that provides the same quality on the course and that is the inordinately expensive Colt course at Close House. Northumberland is a much tougher test of golf than the Colt course though, with narrower fairways, less forgiving rough and faster, more undulating greens. The bunkering at Northumberland is also very impressive, both in terms of positioning, sand quality and maintenance. Close House provides visitors with the full bells and whistles visitor experience, but in terms of a golfing test on a quality layout, in my view, Northumberland has no equal in the region. This is evident when Northumberland members play other courses – a handicap from Northumberland travels very well. My own top three standings in this region would be Northumberland, Goswick, Colt in that order.

6 / 6
Northumberland
July 26, 2016


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Hugh
July 27, 2016

Clearly this review was written by a Northumberland member, a 6-ball rating suggests the reviewer hasn’t played any world class courses. What rating would you give Dornoch, Sunningdale or RCD?

Sorry,probably one of the most overrated courses i've ever played,a touch of the "emperors new clothes"going on...1st and 18th look fab as you pull up,cannot fault how well manicured it is...but ,sadly a boring,underwhelming experience to play...couple this with stuffy staff and members...Playing the Newcastle area?...avoid the city altogether,travel to the coast and play Goswick/Dunstanburgh Castle/Bamburgh...fantastic
2 / 6
Northumberland
May 11, 2014


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Played last weekend as a members guest. It's been a couple of years since I last played and the course was very green and lush after the wet spring and 'summer' so far. It played very long, but the greens were in excellent condition. There have been a number of changes to the green surrounds and bunkers following the arrival of a new greenkeeper which have really improved the play around the greens. there are now several new tightly mown run off areas on a few holes as well as a number of bunkers which have been revetted. All in all a deserving course for Open Qualifying next year.
4 / 6
Northumberland
July 28, 2012


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Well I think it is understandable that members should stand up for their own course but perhaps they.will also admit they may not be completely objective. The cachet of The Park is being a member, not the quality of the course. It is very private and perhaps not as welcoming to one and all as one may wish. We are not well-served with very good golf courses in the north-east, but the Park is certainly not the premier course in the north-east rather, one of the second-tier behind Slaley and Goswick. By way of a reality check, the chances of the Park being used as an Open Qualifier (cf Goswick, Carlisle or Silloth) in the near (or distant) future. Answer, zero.
4 / 6
Northumberland
February 25, 2009


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John Peart
August 27, 2010
Northumberland is an Open Qualifying course from 2013!
Joe Ireland
July 27, 2011
Is Open Qualifying status anything to do with the fact that Peter Dawson (R&A Chief Executive) is a Member? The Course is a Good enough Members Course but I think OQ status is a little bit OTT.
Keith Baxter
July 27, 2011
To clarify, in August 2010, the R&A announced five new venues to host 2013 Open Regional Qualifying: Little Aston, Luffenham Heath, Northumberland, Remedy Oak and The Island. Again, this is Regional Qualifying whereby successful golfers will progress to the Local Final Qualifying stages. The 2013 Open is at Muirfield. I cannot comment (because I don’t know) whether or not Peter Dawson is directly involved with Qualifying course selection or not.
Joe Ireland
July 28, 2011
From your list I have played The Island and it is a Gem of a links course, in a different class from The Northumberland but the R&A must feel it poses a good challenge and after all one of the original open venues, the Old Links at Musselburgh is inside a racecourse. I think the above reviewer is fair in his assessment of teh course. I played well the day I played there and enjoyed it but was surprised it was granted OQ status. I thought it was a long way short of that status - Good luck to them.
This is a superb parkland course and without doubt has the finest presentation of any of the Newcastle courses. The best part about the course is the classic Baird design input with strategically placed bunkers, many of which are 100 yards from the green, forcing the golfer to take gambles. Golf courses just are rarely designed with such ingenuity these days.The greens were very quick and true and the rough was punishing.The welcome from the members and in the clubhouse was very warm and friendly.The clubhouse has recently undergone major refurbishment and whilst I do not know what it was like before, it is excellent now,. The changing facilities are very modern (perhaps a little too modern for a club with such tradition) and the new lounge with a huge window overlooking the 18th is beautiful.It is very quirky the way the course winds around the racecourse, and I'm not sure what I think about the constant ducking under the racecourse fences. I suppose it isn't ideal, but in a strange way the interaction between the golf and racing is part of the character of the club.The biggest shame is the proliferation of oak 'shrubs' around the course where according to history there used to be heather. The course would without doubt be even more special if the heather were once again allowed to dominate, as nature intended it.
5 / 6
Northumberland
July 25, 2008


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The best inland course in Northumberland, the "Park" is a true test of all of your golf game. Playing into, around and out of the Gosforth Park racecourse, the course is in play on several holes and provides an unusual hazard. Starting with a strategic short per 4, where only the very bravest and most accurate driver of the ball will take Driver, whilst the more sensible golfer will play a long iron or fairway wood to the bottom of a valley and a short iron up to a green set at a tangent to the fairway, the course starts to bare its teeth at the second. Not overly long at 420 yards this requires a long, straight tee shot to leave a chance of hitting a well defended green. Two par 5s follow, both in range for long hitters if the right wind is blowing. Both the 3rd and 4th, however, have the racecourse and its rough hard along the right hand side. Other strong holes include the 6th, a dogleg par 4 requiring an accurate tee shot to offer a shaot at the green, the short par 4 8th, the heavily bunkered 12th, the 13th a monster par 4 at 470 yards, with a bank stopping many attempts to run up an approach shot and the 16th, where the racecourse again grabs any tee shot hit right of target. The course finishes with a drive back into the valley that crosses the 1st, with a rather longer iron uphill to the well protected 18th green. Almost always in excellent condition the Park requires accuracy and power off the tee and tests both long and short irons. Any connoiseur of cousre design will prefer the test that Colt and Braid set here to the unattractive slog that the Hunting Course at Slaley Hall provides. With two days to play in Northumberland visit here, then Goswick.
5 / 6
Northumberland
October 04, 2006


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moreski
July 25, 2008
You are absolutely right. If you can appreciate great course design then this is the sort of course for you. And as for your recommendation of Goswick, it is a beauty of a little links course and seriously tough! Not to be missed and a bargain at the moment at under £40.
Yes I am a member but it is stil the 2nd best course in Northumberland (by a long way).
3 / 6
Northumberland
January 14, 2006


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moreski
July 25, 2008
How about some justification for your comments!It is a cracking course, and in my book, any decent member of a golf club should be proud of their club or alternatively leave!