I was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and I’ve spent a lot of my life exploring the place.
This time, I’ve putt my incredible and understated knowledge to good use to bring you this… a collection of the 7 best golf courses near Newcastle.
Polish those clubs, get teed up, and come nab yourself a hole-in-one!
1. Matfen Hall
For sheer size, this is among the best golf courses in Newcastle.
It features a hefty 27 holes made up of various challenges. You get riverside stretches, hallside stretches, flat greens, tricky woods, and a whole lot more. Expect to use every club in your bag.
It’s a routinely-used championship course, and it sits in a sprawling estate measuring in at 300 acres.
Also included among the fun, you get a putting green, a driving range, a golf school, a par-3 short course, and a welcoming clubhouse.
A grade-2-listed building in a pocket of rural Northumberland, Matfen Hall sits between Hexham and Ponteland. It’s majestic without being pretentious, and classy without being aloof.
Aside from the golf, lots of people also come to Matfen Hall for its indulgent spa and excellent overnight stays. It’s also a popular wedding spot—one of my friends got married here (hi Tom).
2. Alnmouth Golf Club
For outrageously good views, I reckon this is the best golf course near Newcastle.
The 4th-oldest golf club in England, it’s set just back from the beach, with incredible panoramas of the shore. You also get views of fields, farmland, and the River Aln—and the greens themselves are pretty and well-maintained.
The course sits just northeast of the charming little coastal town of Alnmouth (one of the prettiest towns in Northumberland). On-site, you’ll find beautiful Foxton Hall, a historic home with two bars, a lounge, and a dining room.
For getting some practice in before you tackle the 18 holes, they also have an indoor golf studio. You’ll need it—some of the par-4s here are super long and challenging.
And as a nice bonus, the clubhouse has on-site accommodation, which can fit more than 20 golfers. Perfect for making a weekend of your trip!
3. Bamburgh Castle
If Alnmouth Golf Club doesn’t have the best views of any course near Newcastle, then the one at Bamburgh does.
Another shoreline option (the area northeast of Newcastle is home to a ridiculous number of beautiful coastlines), this course sits right underneath the looming behemoth of Bamburgh Castle (the most impressive and iconic castle in this part of the world).
Aside from views of Bamburgh Castle and the beach, the course also offers panoramas of Lindisfarne, the Farne Islands, and the Cheviots.
The course itself is relatively short, with nothing over a par-5. But it’s home to 18 holes, there are some fun tricky features, and the greens are very well-maintained. Challenges include false fronts, deceptively-deep bunkers, fierce winds, uphill putts, and lots of distracting vistas.
The clubhouse has an old-school wood-paneled bar, a big dining room, and surprisingly affordable food.
4. Dunstanburgh Castle
Next up, another castley course.
But while Bamburgh Castle sits on a perched plateau rising above the region, ruinous Dunstanburgh Castle sits in the middle of some otherwise-desolate farmland.
The course is set just north of the castle, wrapping around nearby Embleton Bay—from the greens, you get excellent views of the castle, and Embleton’s sands.
This links course is made up of 18 holes, and it runs in a narrow strip of land along the coast. For getting close to the sea, this is one of the best golf courses near Newcastle.
The greens are zippy and well-maintained, there are some challenging par-3s, and the old-school clubhouse is a lovely retro throwback. Best of all, the place serves up some of the best clubhouse fayre in the region.
It’s a blustery course, which can be frustrating. But consider the unpredictable winds just another challenge, and it all becomes part of the fun.
5. Slaley Hall
Another hall-based course in rural Northumberland, this place isn’t just known for offering some of the best golf courses near Newcastle… it’s known for offering some of the best golf courses in the UK.
It sits south of Hexham, and just north of the barren and brilliant North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty.
Slaley Hall is home to two different championship golf courses. They’re both par-72s, and they’re both made up of 18 holes. Among them, you get valley views, criss-crossing streams, little lakes, forested areas, and plenty more. Both courses have played host to several European Tours. For varied and rewarding challenges, you won’t find better than this.
The hall is also home to a putting green, a driving range, some practice bunkers, and other great facilities.
Like Matfen Hall, Slaley Hall is also a spa and a hotel, and it’s super elegant and upmarket. Overnight here if you can, for an insanely-indulgent experience.
6. Hexham Golf Club
Sitting just north of Hexham, Hexham Golf Club runs very close to a rural part of the Tyne River. During play, you get great views of the pretty Tyne Valley.
Made up of 18 holes, the course features some tricky par-3s, lots of obstructive trees, pockets of high wind, deceptive slopes, endless bunkers, and lots of hidden traps. And because the course often plays long, lots of shots are much more difficult than they first look.
All in all, this is an excellent course with some excellent challenges—and it has a great reputation in the area. Nearly every hole is different, so you get plenty of interesting variety.
If you like a nice clubhouse, you’ll think this is one of the best golf courses near Newcastle. The mansion-style building is elegant, and the high-end food is outstanding.
7. Gosforth Golf Club
Okay, compared to some of our other options, this isn’t necessarily one of the best golf courses near Newcastle. But it’s only a 10-minute drive from the center of the city (and it’s also accessible by public transport), so it’s a great option if you’re looking for something convenient.
Although it’s in a largely residential area, the place feels surprisingly peaceful and remote.
Made up of 18 holes, you get undulating greens, challenging bunkers and basins, and some tricky streams and ponds. The greens run very fast and true, and you sometimes get wild deer running about the place.
There’s a path which divides the course in half, and the 18th hole is notorious for being one of the most difficult finishing holes in all of the Newcastle area.
Because this place is so central, it gets very busy very quickly—so get there early if you can.
Before You Go
And just like that, we’ve putted and pitched our way to the end of our guide on the 7 best golf courses near Newcastle.
For more information on my green-stuffed hometown, check out our guides on the top reasons you should visit the place, the 22 best things you can do there, and why you’ll have absolutely no idea what anyone’s talking about.
Thanks for reading, thanks for choosing Travelness, and thanks for being so lovely.