100. Roxburghe. 1st Feb 2020.

Well worth a detour to play this very well designed course

Round £60. Par 72. Value (out of 5) – 4.5

Hotel Schloss Roxburghe, operated by the Berlin based 18.12 Group, is not far from Kelso in the Scottish Borders. It was formerly owned as a hotel by the Duke of Roxburghe, one of the wealthiest UK landowners. The golf course, on the hotel grounds, is called Schloss Roxburghe Golf and it was opened in 1997; at over 7100 yards from the championship blue tees, it was clearly designed by Dave Thomas (1934 – 2013) with the intention of hosting professional tournaments.

Moly driving at the signature “Viaduct” 14th hole at ‘The Roxburghe’

With top quality hotel facilities, this is a great short golfing break destination, but with limited high quality golf in the area, 1 or 2 nights is more than enough for just golf.

Playing in a strong wind on a chilly 1st February, the course was, not surprisingly, very quiet! Even from the yellow tees, it was well over 6500 yards, and I struggled to a 103 despite having been only 2 over after 5 holes! This poor display was not helped by me trying to carry my own clubs.

The aesthetic par 4 2nd tee, either a straight forward slight dog leg left, or the direct “tiger line” across the tree line. A typically good Dave Thomas hole.

Although not scoring well, it was very enjoyable due to the great design; Thomas’ philosophy states “I believe all golfers must be presented with a visual challenge and the opportunity to determine a strategy for playing the course depending upon individual ability.” There were indeed many holes very pleasing on the eye.

The magnificent 11th, with superbly placed bunkers for the stronger player.

Furthermore, with front and back nines each with two par 3s and two par 5s, this classic layout had great variety from hole to hole. Throw in the superb bunkering, nice use of water hazards, sculped with mature trees, all in all this was great golfing value. Indeed, with offers available on golfnow.com this represents some of the best golfing value around.

The 13th at The Roxburghe, the longest of the 4 par 3s, take 2 more clubs than you think to clear the water with a long green to receive it.

The course was in very good condition, especially for an early February day. The greens were fully playable with no winter greens in sight, a great testimony to the build quality and the greenkeeping.

The approach to the par 4 17th hole, with very reasonably priced houses overlooking the course.

The are many great holes at The Roxburgh. Although the 14th “viaduct” hole gains all the plaudits that’s only really for the view. The 10th, stoke index 1, is a magnificent dog leg right par 4, and the run of holes from 10th through 14th, encapsulate the variety and strength of Thomas’ design.

I would strongly recommend a short break at Schloss Roxburgh, but I would suggest to play it twice, it was just one of those courses that you need to play more than once to fully appreciate I guess. It was a nice way to bring up my 100th blog on my journey.


Course Type: Parkland

Par 72 (4 par 5, 10 par 4s, 4 par 3s)

Distance: 6546

Moly’s Gross score103

Moly’s scorecard, 103, which was a struggle in high winds.

About Moly McMillan

Moly McMillan lives in Broughty Ferry on the east coast of Scotland. He is a self employed business consultant and devotes some of his time to achieving his life long ambition - to play every golf hole in Scotland, every single one!
This entry was posted in 18 holes, 1946 - 1999, 4 star, 4 star, Commercial, Course Architech, Course Owned By, Course Quality, Course Type, Dave Thomas, Holes, Overall Value, Parkland, Price, Region, The Scottish Borders, When Course Established, £60 - £79. Bookmark the permalink.