Played by NCG: Bamburgh CastleOctober 4, 2017 Courses and Travel
If you don't enjoy yourself at Bamburgh then links golf, or any form of the game, probably isn't for you writes James Savage
Reason for a Bamburgh Castle Golf Club review
A family holiday in Seahouses where golf clubs were not forbidden.
For me, links golf is all about having a knock when on a holiday by the seaside.
It’s not necessarily an area famed for its golfing riches but there is a handful of excellent courses in this neck of the woods – Alnwick, Alnmouth, Alnmouth Village, Dunstanburgh Castle and Seahouses to name a few.
If you’re planning a golfing trip then Goswick is very much in-range too.
Where is Bamburgh Castle Golf Club?
Both the castle and the golf course are in Bamburgh – a small village on the Northumberland Coast. It’s a few miles north of Seahouses in an area home to some of the most picturesque beaches in England.
For those looking for the nearest big city, it sits roughly inbetween Newcastle and Edinburgh.
— National Club Golfer (@NCGmagazine) May 27, 2014
What to expect?
Bamburgh Castle proudly refers to itself as the most scenic golf course in England. “Where only the views rival the golf”, screams the club’s website. And I’m not going to argue.
Views aside, it’s a really enjoyable place to play golf which a fun mix of holes that run alongside the coast and other that weave through the cliffs.
There are a couple of par 3s to start, followed by two par 5s, with the first requiring a shot over the cliff’s edge.
But that’s about as daunting and intimidating as it gets. It’s a fun course with an interesting mix of holes, fantastic views and the smell of the sea in the air – everything a good links course should be.
It has a tiny and cosy clubhouse which resembles a converted holiday bungalow and adds to the charm of the club.
Hard to pick one. The 4th offers some of the best panoramic views, the 8th is a delightful short par 3 with a postage stamp-esque target to aim for and the 17th is a drivable par 4 from an elevated tee with the castle itself in full view.
Judging on how I performed on each, the 8th is my favourite.
My best bit
Getting my tee shot safely over the cliff’s edge and on to the green on the 1st.
I drove down for a look two days before playing and spend the following two nights mulling over club selection for the 180-yard hole. It turns out 4-iron was spot on.
I don’t think I’ve ever rehearsed a shot so much in my head.
What to look out for
The 17th looks very enticing from the tee and it’s hard not to pull out the driver. But there’s out of bounds all down the right side and it’s just not worth the risk of ruining one of the best holes on the course by having to re-load.
It’s a relatively short course with six par 3s and two par 5s so solid iron play should definitely be the focus.
And make sure you have a pint in the clubhouse afterwards.
When I go back
I’d be tempted to leave the driver at home. Maybe just take a moon bag with five irons a strong hybrid, wedge and a putter.
And I’d try and play at first light and then play at twilight. It’d be amazing to feel like you had the place to yourself.
I can’t think of anywhere else I’d be as happy just heading out for a quick knock on my own.
For more information, visit the Bamburgh Castle Golf Club website.