Another early Sunday start, another great Northumbrian links course ahead of us. This week we were at Bamburgh Castle Golf Course, located in the shadows of the impressive Bamburgh Castle, you can't help but feel a little rush of anticipation whilst approaching along the windy roads from the A1.
Bamburgh is not the longest course by any means, but it certainly should not be underestimated, playing just under 5300 yards from the yellow tess and with more par 3’s than you might be used to, the course offers an exciting challenge with many interesting risk/reward holes that require a lot of thought.
The exposed, cliff top location meant we were dealing with a constant 40+mph wind coming straight in from the North Sea, making it a tricky round for all of us. With the wind in play this is easily one of the most challenging links courses in the region with thick gorse, rough, heather, large sloping greens and well placed sand traps. Accuracy, not distance from the tee is crucial!
Despite what feels like weeks of rain the course was in great condition, with almost no water logging. Superby maintained fairways, fast greens and only a couple of tee box mats for the par 3s. This course really does hold up well to the worst weather the North East has to offer, a great winter course.
The par 3s at Bamburgh are excellent, every one offering a unique challenge. You will be playing shots to greens perched on the edge of cliffs, small tight greens to large/sloping island greens, varying levels of elevation and distance, all of them offer something different.
The last three holes offer an enjoyable end to the round, 3 relatively short par 4s offer a good chance to finish your round on a high. Teeing off from the raised tee box on the 17th again allows for a superb view of the coast line and the imposing Bamburgh Castle in the background. This hole also offers the enticing opportunity to drive the green on a par 4, a short one at 235 yards, a really decent birdie opportunity before going down the last
One of the standout features of this course is undoubtedly the views. Every hole has simply great views, be it the beaches and North Sea coastline, Bamburgh Castle, the Lindisfarne or even the snowy peaks of the Cheviots in the distance, our pictures really couldn’t do it justice. I often found myself scanning the view as I wondered from shot to shot, it never got boring, it has to be the best course in the region for its views.
There are a few blind tee shots and approach shots to play but they are well posted and we were able to navigate these with little issue. Also, a few of the tee boxes are housed right up next to the previous green, which could be a problem especially in strong winds but it’s nothing to be too concerned about if you are aware of what’s going on around you.
The clubhouse is an old pavillion style building which is perfect for the setting of the course, with a friendly atmosphere and again excellent views out over the bay. I can only imagine how good it would be in the summer! We are told the food is great too!
Overall the layout is excellent, the variety in every hole allows for a thoroughly enjoyable round, a truly unique challenge, we will be back.