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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Average Reviewers Score:
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
Stayed at the hotel in June and played the course on consecutive days, once from the yellow tees and once from the white. It's long from the white tees and unless your tee shots are right out of the meat you will be hitting lots of fairway woods. That said, from the yellows it's a very playable and very enjoyable course with some excellent holes (not just the 14th). A buggy is advisable unfortunately because there are several long walks from green to tee. Pro and staff very helpful and course in fantastic condition.
I have been a member here for a couple of years now and really enjoy playing this course. You can play from any tee, but you will enjoy yourself more if you are realsitic about your abilities! There are loads of great holes, the 10th hole particularly stands out, a very long par four, with the river just behind the green. I am especially fond of playing the front nine, which is very secluded and has great views (plus it is easier!!).
I'm sorry, but of all the 100+ Scottish courses I've played in recent years, The Roxburghe has been BY FAR the most disappointing - maybe I've overlooked something here but to my mind it just does doesn't deserve such a high ranking for such an ordinary, slightly contrived, run-of-the-mill layout!
played in 2006. Did not play well but this is an impressive inland course with much to commend all handicap levels. Facilities bascs but worth it for the course and its condition. It will develop into a major venue.
Would have to agree with Jim McCann, have played several inland courses better than this one, mainly they are better because they are established and don't rely on length as their defence. Felt the Roxburghe was a bit one dimensional in that it was all long holes without a break and lacking the finishing touches of good greens etc, we played in late July and the greens were average then. Worth a visit perhaps but not in preference to plenty of others, namely West Linton, Duddingston, Mortonhall etc
What a disappointment! The Roxburghe was listed in the ‘Golf World’ magazine top 100 (at no.93) in November 2002 - making it supposedly the 5th best inland course in Scotland. Sadly, it failed miserably to live up to high expectations. OK, as a confirmed links golfer it was going to take something to convince me that this parkland track was worth the two hour journey from Glasgow to play but it didn’t even come close to feeling like a course with such a former high ranking. Plus points were the fact that they take discounted green fee vouchers, have lovely little ball markers for sale in the small pro shop, allow you to play off whatever tee you think suits your handicap and the fairway markers on every hole were both plentiful and well sited. Minus points were the treks from green to tees (hiking boots and thermos not quite required, but not far off), very furry, slow greens (I know it was early season in April but still no excuse for a place purporting to be top drawer) and the feeling that this place still has a lot of bedding in to do after nearly 10 years – how they have managed to attract the Scottish Seniors tournament in recent years beats me. Oh, and the overstated Dave Thomas bunkering does get on your nerves after you’ve been in several of them and not even played six holes yet! The signature 14th hole from the back tee (at 571 yards) IS a memorable hole but too many of the others have a very contrived feel to them. Take my advice if you must have a round in the Borders; try the other Thomas creation which is at nearby Cardrona, by Peebles where you will love both the more sympathetic layout and putting on USGA standard greens. Jim McCann
Played this course in very favourable conditions but found it most disapointing.Two outstanding holes, the 13th and 14th, the rest just ok.
Make sure you have your Sand Wedge with you as you are bound to need it. I spent so much time in the sand I am thinking of changing my name to Rommel.
Oh and be prepared to walk between greens and the next tee some of which are quite a hike
I loved this place. A couple of average holes, but if this course matures I really think it is worthy of a place in the Top 100. Miles better than St Pierre and the Belfry for instance. Condition and manicuring of the fairways was great and I didn't feel it was that pricey to play somewhere of Championship calibre.
One of the best new courses in Scotland. It's not a Kingsbarns or a Southern Gailes, but it's one of my favourites. There's nothing stuffy about this place - OK it's a bit pricey, but it's got bags of style and class...and the genuinely warm welcome is refreshing. Well worth playing.
I would have to call this the Belfry of Scotland, no great clubhouse and a lot of holes the same (ie every hole has large bunkers at driving distance and large bunkers around the greens). Please note there is a lot of walking from greens to the next tee. Rather man made and still very new - perhaps in time it will get better.