Top 10 Golf Courses in Northumberland 2015
Northumberland Best In County rankings updated
The northernmost county in England, Northumberland is also one of the country's least densely populated regions, but there are plenty of golf courses to be enjoyed in the county (more than forty) and a number are well worth close inspection.
When we first started ranking Northumberland’s courses back in 2011, we featured a Top 15 for the county. Having reassessed the situation, we decided to reduce our Northumberland ranking table to a Top 10, which roughly represents the county’s best twenty percent.
Magdalene Fields (which didn’t make the cut) lies closest to Hadrian’s Wall and the border with Scotland, but a little further down the North Sea coast sits one of the premier courses in Northumberland, Berwick-upon-Tweed Golf Club. Goswick Links, as it is commonly known, has featured in our English Top 100 since 2006 when we became the first publication to rank England’s golf courses. However, there’s a new Northumberland upstart that has overtaken Goswick.
Newcastle University sold the Close House mansion and Estate in 2004 to local entrepreneur Graham Wylie, who lovingly redeveloped the property into a luxurious golfing retreat. He then commissioned Scott Macpherson, of design company Turner Macpherson, to lay out a course over 170 acres of new land. Macpherson spent eighteen months researching designs by architect Harry Colt and developed a plan to create a modern course for Close House that doffs the hat to the Golden Age of golf course architecture.
Opened by Lee Westwood – Close House’s ‘Attached Tour Professional’ – in May 2011 and measuring a respectable 6,850 yards from the tips, the Colt course has matured into a thoroughly engaging layout that incorporates many of the site’s historical features in its routing, including a Roman Fort, ha-ha walls, ancient woodland and Ice Lake.
Slaley Hall continues to be a popular golfing destination with its Hunting course moving up to third position, swapping places with Northumberland Golf Club, which drops one spot. Bamburgh Castle stays in 5th position and is one of the most popular golfing locations, thanks in no small part to its breathtaking coastal site.
Unfortunately, due to cutting back our table from fifteen to ten, we’ve had to say farewell to some courses, including Newbiggin and Dunstanburgh Castle. However, we’ve kept Linden Hall alive as a GEM and we’ve included the Filly course at Close House as a new GEM due to the 2013 upgrade of the old Newcastle University course by Lee Westwood, who collaborated with Scott Macpherson adding forty new bunkers, half a dozen new tees and a couple of lakes.
To see our new 2015 Northumberland Top 10, click the link. If you have played golf extensively across any English county and would like to have your say, please contact me ([email protected]). In the meanwhile a big thank you to everyone who contributed to our Northumberland Best In County ranking process.
23 April 2015 Respond to this article