Bearwood Lakes is a baby of a course, opening in 1996, but built through the mature and vast Bearwood Estate. This gives it a feel of maturity beyond its years and the course blends seamlessly into its surroundings. 18 varied holes winds and undulates through a large variety of trees and 50 acres of natural lakes. To compliment this, the whole course is manufactured within an inch of its life. On the tee boxes, fairways and greens you will be hard pressed to find a blade of grass out of place. It is a club that members can happily show off to their guests and that really starts from the moment you arrive. The modern clubhouse whets the appetite with views of 3 complete holes. You’re never short of action.
There are number of good holes throughout. The 6th is a lovely short hole with limited views of the fairway from the tee and a tree guarding the green from any tee shots left of centre. The 7th is the best driving hole on the course, especially from the tips. Even if you aren’t playing from the blacks, you should walk back there to see just how narrow the drive is. This hole favours a draw from the tee before heading back uphill towards the clubhouse.
The next set of holes that run from 8 - 14 all take in the lakes and are superb. A risk/reward driveable Par 4 at 8 and a short Par 3 back across the lake at 9. 10 offers the best approach shot on the course across a small flowered lake. The 11th is another hole that one should drive from the black tees as it changes the hole completely. 12 is a lovely downhill Par 3, guarded by an army of bunkers and 13 is the best hole on the course. An elevated drive on a dogleg right Par 4, with a stream intersecting the fairway twice. Finally, the 14th is the best Par 3 on the course, cutting the corner of a lake to a large undulating green.
The next set of holes from 15 - 17 are weaker and not in keeping with the rest of the course, although as always, well maintained and the final hole is a lovely Par 4 where balcony watchers can watch approach shots over a lake to the final green.
Parkland courses are not always my cup of tea but Bearwood is up there with the best that England has to offer. It’s beautiful, superbly maintained, varied and extremely fun to play. If you are invited by the one of the lucky members, do snap up the chance to play here!
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Date: May 18, 2021