Sporty in nature this entertaining course was in fantastic condition towards the end of February 2015. It’s an unusual course, with lots of blind shots, and whilst I don’t think I would personally wish to play it ‘week-in and week out’ my first round here was highly enjoyable and I would return to play again without any hesitation.
It is very much what I would class as ‘old fashioned’ golf. The terrain is undulating which requires a lot of shot-making and the course boasts exceptionally fine turf; although not a true links it certainly walks and talks like one on many of the holes. The views along the Northumberland Coast and across the sandy beaches out to the North Sea are simply breathtaking too.
The quirky oddities start from the off as you commence the round with two par three’s followed immediately by two par fives! I only found this out for sure after my round because it was a windy day and the scorecard I picked up from the recently refurbished clubhouse was already drifting out to sea by the time I had reached the first green. As a result of this, and the fact that the tee markers had been removed for the winter, meant I didn’t know the yardage and par of the holes and it was very difficult to determine many of them during the round. I loved the fact I didn’t know if I was playing a long par three or a short par four, likewise, if I was playing a tough two-shotter or a reachable par five! I therefore couldn’t be disappointed if I’d just missed a great birdie opportunity or actually made a double bogey…. golf as it should be!
There are a number of fantastic holes and shots to be played at Bamburgh. The teeing ground at the first is rather special whilst I particularly enjoyed the third and fourth along the coastline and also the tee-shot to the ‘island’ green eighth, where a protrusion of rocks protects the right-hand-side of the putting surface. In my opinion the back-nine excelled between the 13th and 16th holes where literally every shot in your armoury is likely to be required.
The par-68 course has a yardage of 5604 yards.
Playing here was so much better than trudging round your run of the mill parkland course where repetition and the aerial game dominate. My advice would be; get to Bamburgh, don’t pick up a scorecard, forget about your score and just play golf! You’ll have a ball of a time and whatever you do… don’t forget your camera for the views.
Copt Heath is a very fine parkland golf course that requires precision, plotting and a deft touch around the slick greens.
The Blue is a mix of American-style design and traditional English parkland. It's an unusual combination which makes the most of the terrain available. It was designed by Simon Gidman and opened in 1994.