Located in the heart of the Scottish Borders, the Roxburghe course is set within a 50,000-acre estate owned by the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe. A charming Jacobean mansion doubles up as a clubhouse and a stylish hotel. Within the grounds, some three miles away, lies the Duke and Duchess's home, Floors Castle, the largest inhabited castle in Scotland. It's truly an exquisite setting.
The Duke, a keen golfer, commissioned former Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas to design the course and it opened for play following an exhibition match between Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie in 1997. The course bears Thomas's hallmarks, large, well-shaped greens and deep bunkers. The Roxburghe is certainly one of his best designs, sitting nicely alongside the Belfry and San Roque. The Scottish Seniors Open has been staged at the Roxburghe since 2001: David Oakley, Brian Jones, Terry Gale and Bill Longmuir proved worthy Roxburghe winners.
Scoring well requires stout driving from the numerous elevated tees to the generous fairways. We suggest that you select your tee box carefully. There are four positions, ranging from 7,111 yards at the back, to a more leisurely 5,660 yards from the forward tees. The course makes good use of the natural features of the land, including the various elevation changes and the salmon rich River Teviot. The signature hole is undoubtedly the 14th, a stunning par five, aptly named "Viaduct". The river and a steep bank run along the left, guarding the full length of the hole, whilst the imposing viaduct watches silently on. It's a serious challenge, which belies its stroke index of 15.
The Roxburghe is certainly located at "The Gateway to Scottish Golf" and it will definitely provide a memorable test of golf for all standards. The setting is very special indeed - a delightful historic estate, with a fine golf course and a tasteful, understated hotel. Take the opportunity to visit Floors Castle and gardens, which are open to visitors. They're a real joy.
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I returned to the Roxburghe almost a decade after last playing here, wondering if my original, rather downbeat, views of the place would still hold true - perhaps my expectations were too high on my last visit and that’s why I was so disappointed first time around? I’ve looked at a lot of golf courses since then and always hankered after a second look at this place so, at eight bells in the morning yesterday, it was onto the first tee and away we go. The first thing that surprised me was the quality of the turf on the fairways, with crisp and springy lies instead of lush, over-irrigated playing conditions. There’s also a great deal of playing corridor width to be had so those nasty Dave Thomas trademark bunker complexes CAN be avoided if you take care by plotting your way around. Of course, the sand traps dominate on many of the holes, which is a real pity as there are so many other good things going on, such as the quality of the putting surfaces, with wonderful two-tiered greens at holes 8, 15 and 17. The walks from one green to the next tee are long on some holes but that’s only to be expected on a course built to fit the scale of a vast property. In that regard, the Roxburghe is very similar to Spey Valley (another Thomas design) and the Duke’s, where you’ll see many golfers elect to drive a buggy instead of walking the course. For a modern layout, it’s been constructed to a very high specification with a wonderful routing that only ever allows the hole being played (and occasionally the next one ahead) to be viewed. Raised greens at 3, 6 and 9 increase the degree of difficulty at those holes on the front nine before the inward half begins with a wonderful sequence of four holes, beginning with the downhill, doglegged 10th, which is ranked stroke index 1. This stretch ends at the long par three 13th, where a pond has to be carried off the tee, before the “signature hole” at the par five 14th is played towards the viaduct over the River Teviot. Bunkering on this hole is thankfully more constrained around a lie of the land green and it begins the push for the clubhouse, where three of the remaining four holes are played uphill from the tee, which can always cloud your appreciation of the layout as you step off the home green. Our fourball took exactly four and a half hours to get round - going at a fair pace as we’d another course to play in the afternoon - so don’t expect to hurtle round here in double quick time as it’s just not built for speed. The Roxburghe is easily the best course in the Borders, not that there’s much competition for it. More importantly for me, it also fully deserves its place in the national Top 100 as it continues to mature into a big scale modern classic. Jim McCann.
Have just visted this course today, 13th August. Have to say it is one of the best courses i have ever played. We played it using our Bunkered vouchers and from the moment we arrived we got nothing but great hospitality and a very warm welcome. The course itself was in great condition with lovely, quick, true rolling greens. We played off a variety of handicaps from scratch up to 14 and all agreed it was a tough but fair test of golf. We will most certainly be returning in the very near future. Thanks for a great day.
This course has a great lay out out in a beautiful part of Sctoland. A1 condition and a really strong test but play well and you can score.
Clubhouse and staff really welcoming and freindly....i would not hesitate to return
This is a great golf course with great people in the clubhouse and shop. This was my 191st golf course so I've seen a few. I cannot see any creditability for any of the negative reviews here. On the 1st of November the tees, fairways and greens were all in excellent condition. Despite the recent rain there was run on the fairways and the pitchmarks on the greens were usually minor indentations. This is an undulating course with longish walks from greens to tees so we chose a buggy. The holes were all excellent designs, the views off the course were superb. I will without any doubtful reservations play this superb course again.
I found the golf course to be long and challenging. Beautiful views of surrounding area on a nice day made it a lovely place to be. The course was in great condition very well presented and the greens were brilliant very quick a bit patchy in places but running great. I found the bunkers well placed and demanding accurate tee shots and the short holes , although not so short difficult but interesting. Long walks between many of the greens and tees added to the fact they couldn't provide a buggy spoiled it for me - age taking it's toll therefore I would not play here again unless buggies were available.liked the course though and the condition of it . Heavy rough adds to the examination and raised greens makes your approach shots hard all in all a stern test of golf.
not sure about the buggy issue. ive played here several times and always had no problem getting a buggy..its a long slog of a walk otherwise. I hear the course is in fantastic condition in the build up to a European Tour Q school tournament in mid september. maybe thats why you could not use a buggy - usually you can
played it this weekend and have to say good range and really nice layout, its a good course and mix of good holes. really nice views too. the course greens are beautiful designed and nice speed and condition, really happy with them, bunkers had perfect amount of sand in them. now the tees could have had more grass on them on par 3's also the fairways are cut so tight and grass a bit sparse in places meaning lies you get are a bit dodgy in the fairway, so played preferred lies in summer and was good. only thing is due to being in scotland and weather it gets the grass should be cut a bit longer on fairways and tees and would be fine. otherwise its fantastic course and great greens, was impressed and would play again...only playing preferred lies thou.
I would have to agree with others who have commented (members bias excepted) about the 'greatness' of the Roxburghe. I've played in many times (father a member) but I'm not alone in considering it vastly over-rated. Sure it stands out in the Borders where Cardona aside there's little to get proper golfers excited but how they get away with the 'Gateway to Scottish Golf' nonsense is beyond me; the Borders is not an area that real golfers bother about - East Lothian (Scotland's Golf Coast as it's officially called with Muirfield, North Berwick, Dunbar and Gullane) or Ayrshire with Troon, Turnberry and Western Gailes, the north with Old Moray, Royal Dornoch, Balgownie etc and of course Fife and Tayside with St Andrews, Elie, Crail, Carnoustie and Panmure are the REAL deal. The Roxburghe with its pseudo country-club set up but long, tedious and unattractive layout (save for the railway viaduct which of course the designers had no hand in!) just doesn't cut it. Save your money if you're tempted to take a trip to the Borders and instead head an hour's dive across to East Lothian; that's proper golf. CJYL
agree in part with your review of the roxburghe, does not compare with East lothian, ayrshire...but its not terrible. its worth giving it a go if you havent played it before...for choice try goswick which is only about 40 minutes from kelso...its a terrific links just south of berwick upon tweed.
It's been a few years since I played the Roxburghe and it would not bother me were I never to return. Long, uninteresting holes separated by long, uninteresting walks. Oh, and I must mention the long, uninteresting bunkers that dominate the layout. There are a couple of bright spots : the downhill 10th is a fine challenge and the signature 14th a work of golfing art. A course has to be something special to justify both the expense and the time you will spend at the Roxburghe. Something special it ain't.
I've played the Roxburghe twice now, both times in summer and would class this as an excellent track for society golf, plus the view from the 14th is awesome (hit a wayward shot there, think I hit a salmon). I like the layout in that so many of the holes are secluded which makes you feel that your the only person on the course.
It may not be upto the standard of some of the great courses, but it is challenging enough that it is a course I could happily play every week as a member
The Roxburghe is very much a course to be played in the summer. We played it on 25/4/10 and although the fairways and tees were fine, the greens were slow, spongy and looked dreadful with large brown and orange patches. It's clearly suffering from the harsh winter and needs some warm weather. There are some good holes (1,2,4,10,11,14) but too many poor ones (3,8,12,15,17). It's also long, even from the yellow tees, with lots of lengthy walks between holes. Our group were all shattered by the end. It's a good course to play in mid-summer but I won't be rushing back at this time of year. IS