Flyover Tour

Set foot on the first tee at Goswick Links and you’ll have embarked upon on a journey where you can lose yourself (and hopefully not your golf ball!) amid a vast natural canvas of tumbling fairways, rippled greens, natural bunkers, sweeping shorelines and panoramic views.

The numbers on the scorecard say this par 72 layout stretches from 5,678 yards from the forward tees to 6,790 from the tips, with two other sets of tees to choose from in between. But a round on this championship track is far more qualitative than quantitative. It really must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Take a video flyover tour that, we’re quite certain, will whet your golfing appetite.

Take a video flyover tour that, we’re quite certain, will whet your golfing appetite.

Until then, you can take a video flyover tour that, we’re quite certain, will whet your golfing appetite. Just click on an image to view that specific hole, narrated by our pro, Paul Terras. Or, better yet, start with the 1st and ‘play’ a virtual round all the way to the 18th. It’s the next best thing to being here.

Have a good game!

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THE 1ST — COPSE CORNER

The opening hole runs eastward to the sea, bending sharply left to right around a copse of trees – an exception to the rule on this true links course. The second shot is to an elevated green guarded by a mound and bunker on the front left side. Come up short and your ball could roll all the way to the bottom of the hill and into a bunker that awaits on the right.

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THE 2ND — CRATER

At all costs, clear the large and deep chasm in front of the green which gives the hole its name. Aim left of centre to account for the prevailing left-to-right wind and to guard against out of bounds on the right. But a pulled tee shot on that line could find its way into the lone greenside bunker back left. Try to stay below the hole on this large and sloped green.

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THE 3RD — SHIELING

From an elevated tee this demanding hole calls for a brave drive close to a bunker and mound before turning right towards the green. Shorter hitters should approach the putting surface from the left to avoid a string of bunkers on the right, leaving instead a bump-and-run shot to the pin. The more aggressive player will look to carry the front right greenside bunker to reach the deep and undulating green.

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THE 4TH — STILE

A strong par 5 that bends gently left to right. Favour the left side of the fairway to avoid the bunkers that wait to catch an errant drive on the right. Playing your second shot to the left of the fairway affords the best line into this small and narrow green, guarded by a deep bunker on the left and a pronounced mound and gorse bushes on the right.

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THE 5TH — PENNINK’S WAY

Named after Frank Pennink, a top British amateur player and course architect who modified the hole in 1964. This long par 4 turns left and slightly uphill toward the green, but the off-camber terrain tends to push your drive to the right. Your approach must be precise to avoid a cavernous bunker on the right and a rough-and-tumble trough on the left.  The multi-tiered green slopes from back to front.

 
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THE 6TH — COCKLAW

This Pennink creation is a cracking par 5. It opens with a challenging tee shot with the prevailing wind pushing hard toward the out-of-bounds fence on the right. The second shot needs to split the difference between two fairway bunkers on the left and the OB fence that continues the full length of the hole. An elevated two-tier green awaits a well struck pitch that, in most cases, must carry all the way onto the putting surface.

 
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THE 7TH — VALLEY

An aggressive drive on this par 4 must thread the needle between a high ridge covered in fierce rough on the right and a perfectly placed bunker on the left. A lay-up short of the bunker is the safer alternative, but leaves a longer approach shot. The deep green is elevated and well-guarded by a large mound and four bunkers on the left and deep marram grass on the right. A par here is well earned.

 
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THE 8TH — CHESWICK

Named after the farm to the north. There’s more room to the right on this challenging right-to-left par 4 than it would appear from the tee. That’s helpful as favouring the right hand side gives you the best approach to the green. That shot, too, should bear right to compensate for the likely right-to-left bounce of your ball and to steer well clear of the green-side pot bunker on the left.

 
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The 9th — Cheviot View

As its name suggests, this long par 3 looks toward the Cheviots. But don’t be distracted. There’s out-of-bounds as well as a copse of trees along the right, but both must be challenged from the large elevated tee if the prevailing right-to-left wind is in force. Three green-side bunkers and a cluster of small mounds protect the green. A difficult three but, if you keep your ball in play, a relatively easy four.

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THE 10TH — LANG WHANG

The ideal drive on this long par 4 threatens but avoids the fairway bunker on the left. That opens up an approach back to the right over a bunker well short of the green that’s actually less of a threat than the small green-side bunker on the left. The massive green may be difficult to hold if the wind is up and the ground conditions are fiery.

 
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THE 11TH — GOSWICK

Another fine three-shotter, with out of bounds right and a rough-and-ditch combo on the left. A centre-cut tee shot, into an inverted saddle fairway, sets up a second shot that needs to stay left of a cross bunker about 70 yards from a tiered green that slopes front to back. The approach must negotiate three green-side bunkers, one on the left and two on the right. Birdie awaits the bold.

 
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THE 12TH — PILGRIM’S WAY

This short but tricky par 4 brings Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle into view. But your concern off the tee is finding a fairway that’s banked sharply left-to-right. The approach is blind, unless you’re brave enough to hug the extreme left side that’s guarded by deep rough. There’s more than enough here to keep you occupied, even if this classic links hole has no bunkers.

 
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THE 13TH — LOUGH

From an elevated tee you can just see the small river which gives this hole its name. The green rises from front to back and is protected by bunkers on both sides. A cross bunker short of the green needs to be carried to reach the putting surface. But overdo it, especially with the prevailing tailwind, and you’ll struggle to hold the green. Selecting the right club is paramount.

 
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THE 14TH — DUNE

A pure links hole and a true James Braid classic. The undulating fairway leads to a large dune on the left. A tee shot toward the left of three fairway bunkers affords the best line into a hidden green that’s guarded by a deep sleeper bunker on the left. Play a low trajectory running shot to the right of the pin and the natural contours of the ground will feed your ball nicely back to the heart of a very deep green.

 
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THE 15TH — BIDE-A-WEE

A quirky one-off that could only exist on a true links layout. This short par 3 starts with stunning coastal views from an elevated tee and ends with a bowl-shaped green which is protected on three sides by five bunkers. The stronger the wind, the sterner the test. Too much club and you’ll be left with a tough up-and-down from a grassy depression three feet below the back of the putting surface.

 
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THE 16TH — DOWIE

A deceptively difficult par 4. There’s more room off the tee, especially to the right, than it would appear. But shorter hitters will get more bounce and roll if they catch the left side of the fairway. Once past the ridge that runs halfway across the fairway from the right, the approach must avoid a large deep bunker short and left of the green and a green-side bunker front right.

 
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THE 17TH — STONEHENGE

The last of the par 5s. Its three deep cross bunkers catch your eye from an elevated tee, but thankfully they’re out of range to all but the biggest of hitters. Aim for the left hand bunker to set up the best line to the hole. On the second shot, the safe play is a lay up short of the two bunkers guarding the entryway to the putting surface. Another undulating green with raised front and back. So an approach that favours the centre is the prudent choice.

 
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THE 18TH — WESTWARD HO!

A short par 4 from an elevated tee. A drive down the right-hand side avoids the cross bunkers but likely makes for a more difficult approach. Get past that first wave of sand off the tee and you could be putting for eagle – or facing an awkward escape from one of the four green-side bunkers. With a bit of luck, though, you could end your round with a bang…and a birdie.

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