Located in the heart of the Scottish Borders, the Roxburghe course is set within a 50,000-acre estate formerly owned by the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe. A charming Jacobean mansion doubles up as a clubhouse and a stylish hotel. Within the estate, some three miles away, lies the Duke and Duchess's home, Floors Castle, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. It's truly an exquisite setting.
The Duke, a keen golfer, commissioned former Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas to design the course and it opened for play following an exhibition match between Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie in 1997. The course bears Thomas's hallmarks, large, well-shaped greens and deep bunkers. The Roxburghe is certainly one of his best designs, sitting nicely alongside the Belfry and San Roque. The Scottish Seniors Open was staged at the Roxburghe from 2001 to 2005: David Oakley, Denis Durnian, Nick Job, Terry Gale and Bill Longmuir proved worthy Roxburghe winners.
Scoring well requires stout driving from the numerous elevated tees to the generous fairways. We suggest that you select your tee box carefully. There are four positions, ranging from 7,111 yards at the back, to a more leisurely 5,660 yards from the forward tees. The course makes good use of the natural features of the land, including the various elevation changes and the salmon rich River Teviot. The signature hole is undoubtedly the 14th, a stunning par five, aptly named "Viaduct". The river and a steep bank run along the left, guarding the full length of the hole, whilst the imposing viaduct watches silently on. It's a serious challenge, which belies its stroke index of 15.
The Roxburghe is certainly located at "The Gateway to Scottish Golf" and it will definitely provide a memorable test of golf for all standards. The setting is very special indeed - a delightful historic estate, with a fine golf course and a tasteful, understated hotel. Take the opportunity to visit Floors Castle and gardens, which are open to visitors. They're a real joy.
In 2018, a German property developer concluded a multi-million pound deal for the hotel and golf course. Dusseldorf-based 12.18. Investment said it planned to spend around £30 million in a redevelopment which would add fifty-seven more rooms, a spa and sixty lodges on the surrounding estate. The new facility reopened the following year as Schloss Roxburghe.
The Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course is located in the heart of the Scottish Borders in the estates of the Duke of Roxburghe.
The luxury hotel is surrounded by gardens, and sits adjacent to the golf course. The majestic old building was converted to a hotel by the Duke , and many of the 22 bedrooms were designed by the Duchess herself. Some have four poster beds, log fires, and glorious views of the surrounding gardens. The Duke has set up a comprehensive cellar, and the Chez Roux dining is impressive.
The Duke commissioned Dave Thomas to design a golf course in 1995, and he completed the job later that year. Thomas is known as a former Ryder Cup player, and designer of The Belfry Golf Course which has been a multiple host for The Ryder Cup.
Thomas has used the natural features of the site to good affect, with rolling fairways framed by woodlands, impressive large bunkering perfectly in scale with the site, and good variety of holes.
The course will always be associated with it's signature hole- the par 5, fourteenth hole named Viaduct. The hole plays off an elevated tee to a straightaway par 5 running parallel to the river Teviot which definitely makes a player nervous about hitting left! Throw in a few strategically placed bunkers along the way, and a dramatic old viaduct as a backdrop to the green, and you have a classic hole!
Other holes of note are:
Hole 1- Home Farm- a lovely way to start, demanding a straight tee shot, or the ability to shape your approach to a pretty green setting
Hole 10- Monument- An epic downhill twisitng par 4 with a green sitting on the river bank. Don't go long!
Hole 17- Floors- a short par 4 requiring a precise approach
Hole 18- Sunlaws- a strong closing par 4 with a burn to negotiate on the approach..
There are no weak holes here. It is quality parkland golf. In fact it is regarded by many as one of the top 5 inland courses in the U.K.
The Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course is a wonderful place to stay for a few days, and a perfect add on to a golfing trip into East Lothian. With plenty to see in the area, a top golf course, and a pretty swanky hotel it is a perfect getaway.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
I played the Roxburghe in January off the white tees. It is a fairly forgiving course, with wide fairways. However, with a few long par 4's and undulation, it has something to challenge better players too. While there were one or two uninspired holes, the majority had a nice layout with different aspects to overcome. I really enjoyed the 2 par 3's over water on 4 and 13. The long dogleg 10 down to the river was a nice hole and the drive on the scenic par 5 14th is fantastic from the back tees. The courses finishes strongly with 17, hitting a second over a ravine to a double tiered green and then 18, a long par 4 with another challenging 2nd shot up and over a stream. Overall, I thought it was a very nice course and I must commend them for such good conditions during the winter.
I played the roxburghe recently and absolutely loved it, the design was terrific, undulating but properly layed out using the slopes to add to the course rather than just following a route, the 13th I believe, the par 5 along the river with the railway arches is 1 of the most stunning holes I have played.
Superb Borders set up with fabulous clubhouse accommodation and an inconic viaduct hole.
Plenty of other great holes and all in all a supernpb experience visiting Roxburghe.
Discovered Hendricks Gin here !!!
I made the trip to Roxburghe on the recommendation of my father, who enjoys a yearly trip to the course with some friends. I was not disappointed, with anything on the day. The course lived up to the stories I had been told, it is grand lay out with some great holes. A classic modern parkland, I would go as far to say that it is my favourite parkland in Scotland, bettering the likes of the Kings and Queens. We played in late March, finding the course a little soft underfoot. We hired a buggy as my father is 73 and there is a fair walk between some holes, in the end I am very glad we did as I too might have struggled a bit as the course makes it up and down the hills several times. The signature hole has to be played from the back tee, with a stunning view of a large stone viaduct in the distance. I cannot wait to go back and that is praise indeed as I only have a small list of courses I want to play again, over playing something new. The course is a little out the way but it is well worth the drive, even a weekend away to get a couple of games in. Enjoy!
I played The Roxburghe on a nice sunny day in may 2018. I must say the course from start to finish was a delight. The opening tee shot is very tight and demands a well struck shot to find the narrow fairway. The course opens up after that and you can let loose a bit with the driver. Some very good holes throughout but in particular I would say holes, 4, 5, 7, 14 were the best. Cant wait to go back.
Beautiful peaceful country setting. Superbly conditioned course, not unexpected considering European Tour Q school about to start in a few days, but a nice surprise considering recent heavy rains. Reminded me a lot of Spey Valley, then read it was designed by the same guy. Excellent variety of holes. What you see is what you get - Only for a few holes did I feel my clubbing would change playing again. It's for those who like their golf straight up. There's none of the whimsy and chance of blind shots over marker poles onto severely sloped fairways or humpy bumpy fairways typical of many older courses. For a short-hitting mid-handicapper like me I recommend the forward tees. Low handicappers will prefer the back tees. Distance between greens and next tees adds 20-30 min if walking.
I returned to the Roxburghe almost a decade after last playing here, wondering if my original, rather downbeat, views of the place would still hold true - perhaps my expectations were too high on my last visit and that’s why I was so disappointed first time around? I’ve looked at a lot of golf courses since then and always hankered after a second look at this place so, at eight bells in the morning yesterday, it was onto the first tee and away we go.
The first thing that surprised me was the quality of the turf on the fairways, with crisp and springy lies instead of lush, over-irrigated playing conditions. There’s also a great deal of fairway width to be had so those nasty Dave Thomas trademark bunker complexes CAN be avoided if you take care by plotting your way around. Of course, the sand traps dominate on many of the holes, which is a real pity as there are so many other good things going on, such as the quality of the putting surfaces, with wonderful two-tiered greens at holes 8, 15 and 17.
The walks from one green to the next tee are long on some holes but that’s only to be expected on a course built to fit the scale of a vast property. In that regard, the Roxburghe is very similar to Spey Valley (another Thomas design) and the Duke’s, where you’ll see many golfers elect to drive a buggy instead of walking the course. For a modern layout, it’s been constructed to a very high specification with a wonderful routing that only ever allows the hole being played (and occasionally the next one ahead) to be viewed.
Raised greens at 3, 6 and 9 increase the degree of difficulty at those holes on the front nine before the inward half starts with a wonderful sequence of four holes, beginning with the downhill, doglegged 10th, which is ranked stroke index 1. This stretch ends at the long par three 13th, where a pond has to be carried off the tee, before the “signature hole” at the par five 14th is played towards the viaduct over the River Teviot. Bunkering on this hole is thankfully more constrained around a lie of the land green and it begins the push for the clubhouse, where three of the remaining four holes are played uphill from the tee, which can always cloud your appreciation of the layout as you step off the home green.
Our fourball took exactly four and a half hours to get round - going at a fair pace as we’d another course to play in the afternoon - so don’t expect to hurtle round here in double quick time as it’s just not built for speed. The Roxburghe is easily the best course in the Borders, not that there’s much competition, right enough. More importantly for me, it also fully deserves its place in the national Top 100 as it continues to mature into a big-scale modern classic.