course layout

course layout

There is a pleasing mixture of testing par threes, long par fives and a memorable collection of tricky par fours. The overriding memory of Bellingham will be the natural beauty of aspect and the unstinting challenge ensuring continued enthusiasm to the very last putt.

The variety of golf holes offered is enhanced with each change of direction and by a balance of design not out of place in more celebrated surroundings. The designer has utilised the abundance of natural features to their fullest.

 
The “average” Golfer’s Guide to a Successful Round..
Hole 1 – Diggle’s Rough
A tough opening par 4 which demands a good drive to start. Men should follow the marker post as trouble lies on the left and right of the fairway. Ladies should be wary of the ditch that lines almost the whole right hand of the semi rough. Golfers will normally be left with a long to medium length approach shot in to a tricky green guarded by two bunkers. Out of bounds lies beyond the wall covering the back of the green, and anything slightly to the left of the green will see your ball disappear down a slope leaving a tricky pitch back up to the green. As far as opening holes go, many golfers would be happy to escape the hole with as little damage to the card as possible.
1st Tee
Hole 2 – Leazes Syke
An inviting hole and the shortest par 4 on the course. The green can be reached from the tee, but golfers need to be aware of the burn running down the left hand side. The slope of the fairway means any drive left of centre will undoubtedly end up in the water. The burn is approximately 200 yards to carry from the tee, and hugs the left hand rough all the way to the green. Laying-up short/left isn’t a bad idea, and would only leave a short iron approach. Its a scoreable hole for many golfers, but has the potential to sneak up on you and bite back. How risky are you feeling early on?..
Golf Club Open Competitions
2nd Green
Hole 3 – Old Pavilion
Bunkers on the right hand side of the fairway are very much in play from the tee, and anything to the right of those trundles towards the out of bounds bordering the course. The fairway itself slopes left to right, so golfers should try and keep tee shots down the left side of the fairway, hugging the tree-line that shapes the hole. The green is accessible for anything running from the front, however bunkers short left and right mean any approach must be accurate. The green is a simple one to read due to its bowl like shape. Get out of here with no damage and you’ll be in a positive frame of mind going into the tricky 4th hole.
3rd Tee
Hole 4 – Button’s Tumble
From the tee his looks like a relatively easy par 3, but many golfers would snap your hand off for a par! Playing anything from 100-120, the wind always plays a role so choose your club carefully. The green is protected at the front by an expansive bunker, sitting on top of a bank that prevents anyone taking the low approach. Getting the tee shot to come down softly here is paramount, as the green slopes downhill from front to back, with a boundary fence sitting a couple paces from the back of the green. You could play this hole 10 times and results would vary massively, make sure you make your visit count!
4th Green
Hole 5 – Low Dam
This hole is all about the approach shot. A solid drive up the middle of the fairway should leave anything from 150-180 yards. The shot to the green is blind so follow the marker post and be aware of trouble all along the right hand side and a green side bunker protecting the front left of the green. Left is a much better side to miss, as a hazard awaits to catch anything bending to the right. The change in elevation calls for at least 1 or 2 extra clubs, and going long is never usually too much trouble. The green is raised up but plays relatively flat, no worse than a bogey here and you’d be more than content.
Golf Field - Bellingham Golf Club
5th Green
Hole 6 – Tucker’s Oak
This is a blind tee shot for Men, dropping downhill and peeling slightly to the right. All golfers need to avoid the dense tree area and hazard hugging the right hand side of the rough, however left is by no means safe. A long line of tall, thick trees shape the hole. Confidence is key off the tee, golfers should look to play their ‘go-to’ shot, whatever would allow them to keep the ball in play. Once down onto the flat the hole is relatively simple, the green slopes all the way up from front to back. Golfers should aim to keep approach shots short of the pin, allowing for a makeable putt up the hill. Hopefully you’ve started to get a score going, now it’s time to hold on..
6th Fairway
Hole 7 – The Badger
A long par 4 for both men and women, and a justified stroke index 2. For the average golfer, you get what you see off the tee. 2 cavernous bunkers wait to gather balls travelling 200-230 yards slightly left of the fairway. Given the length of the hole, all golfers should aim to get the ball as far up as possible. The green is protected front-left by a bunker, placed to gather a poorly struck approach. It is accessible at the front-right, and will allow anyone to run the ball up the front of the green. A slight ridge cuts through the green, and makes this one of the trickier greens to read. Nothing worse than a 5 here and you’re happy, onto the next.
7th Green
Hole 8 – Pinch-me-near
The first of two par 5s and the longest at 574 yards for the Men. From the blind tee, hitting straight over the black and white marker won’t cause any problems. After a straight first 270 yards, the fairway breaks to the right before bending back round to the left. Most members aim to play their second shot just inside the right fairway bunker, and allow the shape of the hole to sweep the ball back into the fairway. Beware of the small water hazard, tucked behind the trees down the left rough. The approach shot is straight forward, the bunkers left and right should allow golfers to visualise a passage through the middle, running up a very deep green. 2 putts and get out of here unscathed, you’re almost half way through..
8th Fairway
Hole 9 – Flagpole
The second par 3, where wind direction can often dictate what shot you hit. From the tee this large, flattish green can be tricky to find and players will often visit the bunkers left and front-right of the green. Anything turning to the left will tumble towards to boundary wall separating the hole from the driving range.  The green’s narrow entrance means anything turning in the air wont find it. The safe shot is playing down the right side, making sure you have enough club to carry the bunker. This will leave you either on the fringe or maybe trickling onto the right side of the green. From there it’s down to the flat stick, couple of putts and time to evaluate after a rollercoaster 9 holes.
9th Green
Hole 10 – Fernwood
From the tee this is a very narrow drive. Anything drifting to the left or right could find small clusters of trees. The hole plays incredibly long, so maybe accepting that and playing it as such is the sensible choice. 3 straight shots will see you putting, 2 wayward shots would be a disaster to start the back nine. Leaving a short pitch up the green would also take the two greenside bunkers out of play. The green slopes uphill from front to back and should hold any approach shots. This is a sneakily tough par 4, so keep it as simple as possible, wherever possible.
10th Tee
Hole 11 – Willie’s Well
For the men, the second and last par 5, it’s not as long as the 8th hole, but it’s just as much of a headache. For the women, this is just about as brutal as it gets. Avoid the bunker on the right from the tee. Players should try to get to the top of the second hill in as fewer shots as possible. This will give golfers a good view of what awaits next. An elevated green, with a steep slope to repel anything short, and a gaping pot bunker short right to gobble up any shot under-committed. The approach shot should be played to land at the back of the green, where a back-stop will keep you close to the dancefloor. Play both these par 5’s in bogey or less and you’re laughing at the others. 
11th Green Looking Into Valley - Bellingham Golf Club
11th Green
Hole 12 – Dormouse
A gorgeous looking hole from an elevated tee. A drive left of centre will still find its way back to the middle of the fairway. But anything too far left will likely never be seen again. Once down the bottom of the fairway, you’re looking at anything around 140-160 yards to the middle of the green. For peace of mind, walk to the crest of the hill, and see what troubles lie ahead. A narrow burn swallows anything short, while left and right are no-go areas. Commit to the approach, and swing through, The green is probably the trickiest on the course to read, so study your putt and make a good stroke. Climb up to the 13th tee, and get ready for a strong final third.
Golf Field - Bellingham Golf Club
12th Green
Hole 13 – Wagonway
From the tee, all of the hole is in front of you. Out of bounds hugs the left rough, and a large fairway bunker is placed down the right to gather those playing overly safe. The hole itself is short, so get yourself in position first, then we can attack the green next. Greenside bunkers left and right are hugely popular, made more so by the slope under your feet affecting your approach. The green is accessible from the front so a straight approach is fundamental. If played well, you may have a birdie putt here, and the narrow green means you’re never too far away. A good chance to get your card back on track, or will number 13 be unlucky for some?..
13th Green
Hole 14 – The Foundation
Where do we even start? This is one of the most beautiful par 3’s in Northumberland, it’s our signature hole, and incredibly popular among our visitors. Once you’ve had a moment to cherish the view, you then have to pick the club. Even our top players have hit anything from a wedge to a 5 iron here. Exposed on the top of the hill, you’ll have a good feel on what the wind is doing. If it’s doing nothing, you’re lucky. If its gusting, be wary to not have anything riding on it going left. A deep grass bunker on the right collects the safe shot, while bunkers front-left and back devour the rest. Find the green however possible, and enjoy the walk down knowing the hard work is done. That enjoyment is short lived, it’s the hardest hole on the course next…
Current Weather
14th Tee
Hole 15 – Old Len’s House
This is a testing stroke index 1 hole for the Men, and a brute of a par 4 for the Ladies.  The shape of the hole is that of a double dog-leg, climbing from the tee, before sweeping down to the left, to then straighten out towards the green. Anything left off the tee is essentially game over . The ideal line is slightly right of the marker pole, allowing the contours of the fairway to bring the ball back into position. It’s a large green with a slope going uphill from front to back. Once again keep the approach short of the pin, leaving an easier uphill putt. Most members play this hole as a par 5, so keep putting yourself in the correct position and you’ll be able to walk off more than pleased. 
15th Fairway
Hole 16 – The Pond
A good testing par 4 for the Men but a scoreable par 5 for the Ladies. The large pond in between tee box and fairway causes more issues mentally than anything else, so forget it’s even there. The tee shot suits a slight draw, as the fairway doglegs slightly at 230 yards from right to left. A well hit drive should leave you with around 150 -200 yards. Anything right will make it difficult to reach the green in two. It is a fairly large green but be aware of the shallow green side bunkers on the left and right. Anything hit over the left bunker should meander it’s way onto the putting surface. The green slopes severely in places, so be careful to avoid 3-putting. 
Bugles 1st April 2021 – RESULT
16th Tee
Hole 17 – Harry’s Luck
The last of our par 3s. The prevailing wind can easily add one or two clubs to the tee shot, so club selection can be key. The green is sat perched a few paces on from a steep bank that must be cleared. A bunker sits front right ready and waiting to catch the balls from the tired golfer. The bail out shot is right hand fringe, as anything slightly pulled will only bound further away from the green. Leaving yourself here or better will mean nothing other than a simple chip/putt down the fringe and onto the green. If you have time, take a slight look down the 18th fairway and get a visual for the upcoming blind tee shot.
17th Tee
Hole 18 – Boggle Hole
An excellent finishing hole which has been known to ruin many a good card ! A blind tee shot for the Men is best hit slightly to the right as the steep right to left slope of the fairway will allow the ball to run on. Golfers have the choice of playing towards the bottom of the fairway for a flatter stance but longer approach, or playing to the top of the fairway, a sight of the green but a potentially awkward stance. The approach is all carry, as 2 ravines lie between you and the green. A small gully waits to catch the poor approach, before a 2nd much deeper abyss waits to gobble up those shots who haven’t made the distance. A sloping green awaits, as golfers from the clubhouse watch on, give them something to cheer!
Golf Field - Bellingham Golf Club
18th Green