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Magdalene Fields Golf Club

This club is famous for… being the first, or last, course in England

The scenic Magdalene Fields is either the opening or the final stop on your border journey. Confused? Read on
 

Depending on the way you are travelling, the first – or last – course you will find in England is Magdalene Fields.

If you’ve never stopped at the Berwick-upon-Tweed layout, designed by Willie Park, before crossing the border, then you are missing out on a treat.

Particularly at the Northumberland course’s 8th hole.

Rather appropriately known as Good Luck, this is 160 yards of adrenaline-fuelled drama.

You hit your tee shot over the ‘cove’, but this isn’t really an adequate description of the chasm that lies between your ball and the well-guarded green.

At around 120 feet, it’s the kind of drop that would terrify anyone with even the slightest fear of heights – although it’s probably a treasure chest for anyone with a rope that’s short of a few golf balls.

Probably, though, in this case, out of bounds will mean exactly that.

Trying to clear a mini-canyon, with its views of the cliffs along the North Sea towards Scotland, isn’t the only reason why Magdalene Fields is noteworthy. There are many others.

There is the challenge of the 16th, known as Destroyer, for the way the hole, which is played from the beach to a raised fairway with out of bounds ever present, has the capacity to ruin scorecards.

That drive is only yards away from a shelter, which was made famous in a painting by LS Lowry. He was a regular visitor to Berwick throughout his life.

You begin your round only yards away from famous Elizabethan walls and, at the turn, the stunning Northumberland vista reveals the glory of both Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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