Alnmouth Village Golf Club – A lasting legacy

Alnmouth Village Golf Club Marine Road, Alnmouth, NE66 2RZ
White tees 6,090 yards, par 71
Yellow tees 5,654 yards, par 70
Red tees 5,188, par 70
-19th Century clubhouse with excellent catering
-Practice area
-New 27-hole, one day event with Warkworth and Wooler on June 24, 2024 – bookings open online

Dean Bailey visits Alnmouth Village Golf Club – site of one of the region’s oldest courses, and once home to one of the game’s great champions

While many clubs in the region have celebrated centenaries in recent years, or are counting down a short run to their 100th birthday, the course at Alnmouth Village Golf Club is already more than 150 years old – with a golfing legacy unlike any other in this part of the world.

In 2024 the club will mark the 150 years since the course’s designer, and first greenkeeper and professional, Mungo Park won The Open Championship in 1874 at Musselburgh. It will also continue to evolve under the supervision of its latest head greenkeeper, John Scurfield, who arrived in late-2023. As well as investing more than £30,000 in machinery, the club has plans to restore elements such as scrape-style fairway bunkers on the third hole as well as several revetted traps in the near future. The highly praised course continues to attract attention from leading players as well, as host of both the Northumberland boys’ winter programme and the finals of this season’s Northumberland & Durham Inter County Foursomes.

Opened in 1869, the course remains true to its original layout – set alongside the beach of Alnmouth Bay and wrapped around Bracken Hill. Its 19th Century clubhouse, though renovated recently to create a lighter, more welcoming space which today can accommodate more than 150 people indoors and outside in the summer sunshine, also remains largely as Mungo would have experienced it – with the first tee and 18th green just yards from the front door.

The links – England’s oldest nine-hole coastal course, which has played host to greats including Mungo’s nephew Willie Park Jr and six-time Open champion Harry Vardon – are as blessed as any of the stunning landscapes for golf along the Northumberland coast. One of the shortest courses in the region, imagination when chipping and pitching the golf ball into the small, tricky greens with their many swales and steep drop-offs is key to good scoring here.

The opening stretch of five holes, just yards from the North Sea, are the most challenging if the wind blows. They also feature the most undulating ground.

The only par three in the nine, the first measures 199 yards from the back tee and presents an incredibly tough opening shot. A carry of 190 yards is required to reach the green, which is perched atop of steep slope at the front edge. There may be no bunkers to contend with, but the ball will run off the upturned green should it flirt with its edges.

The short par four second and third holes – 350 and 312 yards respectively – are good scoring chances. The beach and out of bounds border the right sides of both fairways. Two large bunkers guard the left of the bowl-shaped green at the second, while the first third of the green is higher than the rest of the putting surface. At the third, many shots will gather towards the middle of the green – though anything left of centre will risk running off the green towards the bunker, or down the slope and away from the flag.

The 386-yard par four fourth is one of the toughest holes. The back tee is just inches from the beach and your tee shot must avoid the rough and out of bounds right. The approach is played over a steep rise to a long green. Anything left here will run away from the flag, while one firm bounce on the right side will send your ball out of bounds.

The final outward hole, the fifth measures just 294 yards and may be in reach for some, though the beach is closer than you think. The green is small and brilliantly contoured with a spectacular North Sea backdrop. A steep slope at the front edge will stop shots from running up onto the putting surface, while anything that misses the green right or long will almost certainly end up out of bounds.

At 309 yards, the sixth looks a pushover on paper with no bunkers and a large green. However, those who’ve climbed Bracken Hill before will tell you this one is no gimme. The tee shot is steeply uphill to a blind landing area – the left side of which is flanked by the hill and bracken, while out of bounds – and Alnmouth Golf Club – lie to the right. Finding the fairway is key to controlling your second shot, which is played uphill once more to a plateau green with steep drops left and right.

The seventh, played back down the hill, is the signature hole.

The view from the seventh tee is one of the best golfing views in our region – and one of the most-photographed. Standing high above the bay with the coastline stretching for miles into the distance, a well-struck tee shot at this 385-yard par four will possibly be your longest of the season given how far the fairway sits below the tee. The double fairway is generous, and the second shot is played to a green which falls away at its edges. A spectacular reward for the climb up the hill.

Back on the shoreline section of the linksland, the tee shot at the 473-yard par four eighth must avoid the car park to the right and be long enough to give you a chance of reaching the green in two (note that this hole is played as a 486-yard par five on the back nine). The road crosses the fairway at some 280 yards and drives which reach this area will leave a long iron or wood to one of the biggest greens on the course. The kidney-shaped green slopes left-to-right with bunkers at the front left and middle right.

The ninth, a 333-yard par four with no bunkers and a flat green beside the first tee with the village beyond – not dissimilar from the closing hole of The Old Course – offers a great chance to make a closing birdie. Avoid the thick rough and out of bounds right and you should have just a short wedge shot left, with plenty of spectators to impress on a sunny day.


One of the oldest, and most fun, courses to play in the region – The Village remains one of our favourite places to return to time and time again.