This GCMA club is famous for… Bamburgh Castle

This Northumberland course, run by manager Barry Walker, could well be Britain’s most scenic

Bold claim this, but from which other course in these fair isles can you see four castles on a good day? Bamburgh Castle may well be one of the most beautiful courses in Britain – never mind Northumberland.

With views of Lindisfarne, the Farne Islands, the Cheviots and, naturally, Bamburgh Castle itself, it’s a pretty stunning links track to play.
Stand on the 14th tee and you can bask in an exhilarating view of the sea on three sides, alongside miles and miles of unspoiled beaches.

The castle, the core of which dates to Norman times, has a longer history that dates back to the 5th century. It’s more famous these days for its depiction on screen.

Bamburgh-Castle-golfIvanhoe, El Cid, Elizabeth and the latest incarnation of Macbeth are among the blockbusters that have used the castle and its grounds for

But even those illustrious feats take second billing to the course, which isn’t just stunning to look at. It’s fun to play.  There can’t be too many layouts that start with back-to-back par 3s and are followed immediately by two par 5s. You’ll hear the usual things about a par 68 that’s 5,645

yards off the back tees. Don’t listen.  Thought provoking and fun, there are six par 3s in all, and you’d hope to celebrate a clutch of birdies. Wander off the beaten track, though, and trouble awaits.

Take the 17th, for example. At 257 yards off the back tees, this par 4 is as much about keeping it in play as entertaining thoughts of driving the green.  Played from an elevated tee – a lot of the holes are but why wouldn’t you show off the views? – you have to negotiate a path between out of bounds tight down the right and a small mountain on the left.

The charm doesn’t end on the course. The century old clubhouse has a wood panelled bar and, of course, those epic views of Lindisfarne. Bamburgh Castle is a true links experience that must be enjoyed.

By Marie J. Taylor

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