As was the case at many of the golf clubs that arose during the game’s boom in England at the turn of the 20th century, Goswick struggled to survive during the Great War when over a third of its members were on active military service. But by 1930, it had recovered sufficiently to proceed with an ambitious plan to once again lengthen and strengthen the layout. The powers that be engaged James Braid, whose reputation as a course designer now rivalled that of his playing prowess, to guide the transformation. In exchange for his fee of £8.80 per day plus expenses, Braid produced a detailed plan with recommendations for improvements to each of the holes, including extensive revision of 13 of them. The work was started without delay and was completed within two years. Braid’s masterful imprint on Goswick Links remains largely intact to this day.
As the turmoil of World War II receded, membership once again increased, inter-club matches resumed, more visitors started to appear and incremental improvements to the course moved ahead. The most significant of these changes were implemented in the 1960s. For example, in 1962, the 18th tee was moved eastward by 100 yards to its current location, making for a more challenging finishing hole. Similarly, the tee on the 12th was taken back 36 yards and improved drainage removed the threat of flooding near the green.
Below: James Braid