Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club Course Review
In the restaurant trade they say that good service can save a bad meal. Is that the case with golf courses, can good customer interaction in the Clubhouse or Pro-shop save an average course from a bad review or vice versa? Does bad customer service ruin a good golf course? The answer is yes, Dunstanburgh Castle is the proof.
Dunstanburgh Castle is a James Braid designed course in the small Northumberland coastal village of Embleton. Running on a narrow strip of land right on the coast it offers fantastic views of the 14th century castle as well as the rugged North Sea coastline and beaches. The challenge of the layout comes from the penal thick rough. If you are slightly offline from the tee or your approach, the first cut of rough gobbles your ball with faint hope of finding it. In our group of 19 players there was a prize for the most balls lost, the winner lost 10 balls! Accuracy is critical.
The course has some great holes such as the signature par 3 13th, playing in full view of the castle, 105 yards from a raised tee over the beach to a small green with OOB on right and the beach to the left. Who says par 3’s need to be 200 yards plus to be a challenge? The 7th is a short par 4 with the second shot playing uphill to a raised green. Birdie chances are available on many of the holes if you can get your tee shot onto the fairway.
After the long hot summer, some of the fairways were showing some battle scars and a few of the bunkers could do with some attention, but in general, the course was well set up and the greens ran true. Not much to fault the course, some minor quibbles but nothing serious.
The Clubhouse is a small chalet style building which caters for both golfers and passing tourists visiting the area. Do not be surprised to see families on the way to and from the beach, ramblers stopping for quick coffee on the way up the coast or locals walking their dogs and calling in for a drink. The facilities in the Clubhouse are basic but functional, with a large bar and a private dinning room, however, there are no designated changing facilities and the toilets were poor to be polite. Quality of the food offer was good and the prices could not be faulted.
Unfortunately, all of the positives aspects of the day; the course, good weather, food and company were spoilt by the customer experience with one member of staff in particular. It is amazing how one person can ruin 19 peoples’ day! Quote of the day to finish our review:
“11 years wasn’t long enough to wait between visits”
Dunstanburgh Castle GC: One to play if in the area or on the way to Goswick, but not a destination.
Ratings: Course 3, Staff 0.5, Facilities 2
Price: From £27-39 depending on time of year.