Played by NGG: Berwick-upon-Tweed (Goswick)
Where is Goswick?
Just off the A1, six miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Reason for going?
We were on the way to Archerfield for the Paul Lawrie event and got stuck in loads of traffic. Was then reminded of a conversation a few years ago with someone who has worked in golf for 40 years who couldn’t speak highly enough about the course.
So we made a quick call to the club, they couldn’t have been more welcoming and 10 minutes later we were tucking into a sportman’s lunch (burger and chips).
What to expect
I had mentally banked this as a ‘fun course’ with lots of short 4s and 5s, the chance to rack up 40 points beside the seaside. I’m not sure where I had formed this impression as I had never been before though I got the bit about the seaside right.
Instead it was a blowy, 6500-yard proper challenge as you might expect from an Open qualifier, it’s back on the rota in a couple of years.
And it’s brilliant, both course wise and the stunning surrounds. You’ll see pine trees on the 1st hole and get the wrong impression, this is a linksy links with dunes and the North Sea on one side and a railway on the other, two loops that return to the clubhouse, fast and bouncy with brilliant greens and plenty of humps and hollows to keep you guessing.
My best bit
The front nine is pretty tremendous all the way through, particularly the approaches to the two par 5s at the 4th and 6th. In between there is the Stroke Index 1 par 4 which takes some finding into the wind. Favourite hole would have to be the 6th (pictured below), juicy drive, a chance to get up ad then an imaginative chip/pitch to a tiered green when you have failed the second bit. Favourite approach, knowing what I know now, would be the blind second to the 14th (main pic) and favourite drive was attempting (and failing) to drive the 18th.
What to look out for
The greens; just the right pace and true and with plenty of slopes on occasion. Get the shot right and you could see your ball edging its way down to the hole side, get it wrong and it could start drifting off towards a sandy grave. On much of the holes the real challenge starts within 50 yards of the green.
When I go back…
I’d go for the day; this is exactly the type of place where you will want to have another go at it. You can get 36 holes here for around £50 and the course is obviously playable all year.