Bellingham Golf Club
Bellingham Golf Club was founded in 1893 and is located in the small, fairly remote village of Bellingham in Northumberland, about 30 minutes from Hexham and a little further from Newcastle.The course has a very welcoming feel to it with a small club house, driving range and superb views of the Northumberland countryside await.
We were given a warm welcome to the venue and got chatting to some members who gave us a few bits of advice before we took advantage of the driving range before teeing off down the first. We found the course to be very well looked after, with good, fast greens and well maintained fairways. There is a lot of elevation to deal with, the course is quite hilly but it adds to the charm and challenge of the course and helps to keep things interesting.
You will encounter a nice mix of tricky but very fair, playable holes. Tree lined fairways, a few blind tee shots and the natural elevation of the land are your main challenges, so shot/club selection and accuracy from the tee box is essential.
We loved the Par 3's, in particular the 4th and the 14th teeing down to the green which is perfectly set on the banks of the river and surrounded by trees, they are fantastic holes. The drivable par 4 2nd is also a very fun risk/reward hole and the par 4 12th is a cracking hole.
The last 3 holes are a bit tight, with the par 3 17th overlapping slightly with 18 and the greens of 16 and the 5th very close. It certainly brings a few pressure shots into play with watching spectators, but it adds to the challenge!
The 18th though is a great hole to close, your drive down the middle will hit a steep run off to the left, trying to avoid the run off seemed crucial to us. There's an opportunity to play for the green which is raised up high on a second tier of the hole. The club house looks dangerously close depending on your angle, but the windows are well protected, so go for it! Nice fun hole to close a great round.
After our round we enjoyed a pint in the sunshine and a portion of chips, the menu looked great but we were pushed for time, hopefully we are back soon to sample it.
Bellingham is in a fairly remote location for most, but we would recommend you make the trip for a friendly welcome and a great round of golf around a very interesting course.