Played by NCG: Bedlingtonshire
Reason for a Bedlingtonshire Golf Club review
I’m biased, Bedlingtonshire is my home club. I’ve been a member there for more than six years.
Where is Bedlingtonshire Golf Club?
It’s only a five-minute drive from the town centre and easily accessed by all routes.
What to expect
Bedlingtonshire hosted the Northumberland County Championships in 2011 and has since held numerous other county and regional competitions.
The course, which is built on top of an opencast mine, offers a stern challenge to those who play it.
The first two holes are par 5 which gives players a rare chance to start a course with back-to-back birdies.
You can think again though, a course that measures just over 6,800 yards of the whites, you’re straight back down to reality with the tough 460-yard par-4 3rd.
The front nine doesn’t get any easier, a tricky stretch of tight tee shots from the 5th to the 7th, followed by a 230-yard par 3 ahead of the turn.
The importance of being accurate at Bedlingtonshire is made known to you when the back nine hits, with most holes punishing errant tee shots.
One piece of advice: Don’t hit it left at 15 (like I always do).
Many will disagree with me, but it has to be the 18th.
It’s one that always creates drama when you’re sitting on a good score, but it’s your typical risk and reward hole.
Get that ball turning right to left off the fairway bunker and you’re in business. Over draw it though, and the trees await.
Once you get up into the fairway it’s relatively straightforward, with a sloping right to left fairway you have to go for the green – unless you can’t get there of course.
There’s no better feeling than going for a par 5 in two. It’s exciting, isn’t it?
But if I’m being honest, I normally block it right and struggle to make par so what do I know?
My best bit
I made an albatross on the par-5 2nd.
My drive found the right-hand side of the fairway and I went for it with my 3-wood. I really put the laces through it and it came off the club face like a rocket, turning over right to left and heading for the pin. It looked nice but I never dreamed it might go in. It ran for probably 50 yards before sidling up to the cup and dropping in. I calmly slotted my 3-wood back into my bag before running down the fairway in pure excitement, throwing my arms in the air.
I know what you’re thinking: Did I buy the drinks? Well, I was only 14 at the time…
What to look for
Bedlington has made a conscious effort over the last few years to re-model the layout of certain bunkers, making them narrower and adding more to catch out the longer players.
So, don’t be caught out on 12 and 18, where the front fairway bunker has a hidden one just behind it.
The theme is generally not to go left round here, and certain holes it’s an a necessity not to.
Holes like 11, 13 and 15, if you go left on those then it’s safe to say you’re probably saying the dreaded “provisional ball”.
There are plans to upgrade all of the facilities at Bedlington, with rumours that there could be a public driving range being built in the next few years.