Bearwood Lakes - Berkshire - England

Bearwood Lakes Golf Club,
Bearwood Road,
Sindlesham,
Nr. Wokingham,
Berkshire,
RG41 4SJ,
England


  • +44 (0) 118 979 7900


The beautiful Jacobean-style mansion in the Bearwood Estate reminds us what it must have been like to be a wealthy 19th century English aristocrat. The fabulous Victorian house was built for the man behind The Times newspaper, John Walter. The course at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club first opened for play in 1996 and Martin Hawtree designed it to look mature beyond its years, just as John Walter did with his mansion house.

Bearwood Lakes is a thrilling layout, which wends its way through the mature trees of the former Bearwood Estate. This is a golfer's golf course with skilfully designed and cleverly routed holes. This is certainly one of the very best new courses to have been built and, to quote Golf Links Magazine, Bearwood Lakes is "polished to perfection". Bearwood is immaculately maintained and the members benefit from stunning playing surfaces all year round.

Hawtree has skilfully blended the course into the natural surroundings and the beautiful specimen trees add to the many attractive features. There isn't a single weak hole at Bearwood Lakes – each and every one makes you think. The most memorable holes are the six sited around the natural lakes, which cover more than 50 acres.

The par four 13th is a stunner, which requires a long carry from the elevated tee across the corner of the lake to a distant fairway. The green is cut alarmingly close to the water's edge – this is not a hole for the faint-hearted. The 14th is probably Bearwood's signature hole – and it's a corking one-shotter, which requires an accurate mid iron across the corner of the lake.

To score well, especially from the back tees, you'll need to bring your 'A' game. The fairways are relatively generous in terms of width but if you stray off this carpeted surface, you'll be in all sorts of trouble – it's easy to lose a bucket load of balls in the rough at Bearwood Lakes.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Bearwood Lakes

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Bearwood Lakes is an oasis of calm and beauty with dramatic views of the whole Bearwood Estate. An exclusive golf club which appears mature beyond its age. Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Reviews: 61
TaylorMade
Paul Nash
I have read the flurry of new postings over the past few weeks with great interest. I completely agree with James and the majority of reviews except Mr 20th September – to say that Bearwood is forgettable is one of the strangest assessments I have ever heard, and I have read nearly all the reviews on this site and played many of the top courses in the South East and some further away – it feels memorable just going up the driveway, and even more so with the view from the clubhouse, and that is even before you start playing golf! I also agree with James that Bearwood is a better course than Wentworth West and Walton Heath which, despite being nice courses are, I feel, punching above their weight in the rankings due to history – I would prefer St Georges Hill to these two but am not sure if it as rounded overall as Bearwood. Unlike James, I must confess that I am a member and therefore could be accused of bias, but Bearwood is still one of my very favourite courses to play – even yesterday with the rough cut down and the greens not great after course-maintenance the week before, it was thoroughly enjoyable and it always makes you feel special – and there are not many other courses where I could say that about – Woodhall Spa and Hankley Common being two examples. There are 18 very good gold holes at Bearwood with several truly excellent ones (2-7, 10-14 and 18) and that is what elevates it above the good into the very good – the only main thing that I would say counts slightly against it, is that it is better with the rough up and therefore, maybe, too reliant on the rough – I would prefer to see slightly less rough and more gorse, heather, trees, rhododendrons, lakes, bunkers or other features to give a bit more definition through the autumn and winter. After closely following the rankings and the changes in the rankings over the past few years, it is nice to see Bearwood moving up the field. Ranking courses is a very hard, inexact and subjective measure and it is only through some of the more open schemes – such as this website and Golf Monthly, which uses lots of club golfers – that people can see more reflective, honest and unbiased reviews and a more accurate list of the best golf courses. It is not the difficulty, exclusivity or what tournaments you have held that should count; it is the overall package of course design, challenge, variety (only 1 par 5 on certain older heathland courses such as Swinley, for instance, will count against on this measure), aesthetic qualities, the piece of land itself and how well a course fits into the surrounding landscape, conditioning, and the overall enjoyment that golfers of all standards get out of the experience that need to be judged. On all measures, I think Bearwood scores highly – and Bearwood in the summer when the rough is up, the sun is out and the greens are running at up to 13 on the stimp takes a lot of beating! I also applaud the decision of the management to open up Bearwood for limited play to non members in the week as hopefully more people will get the opportunity to experience one of the country’s best courses. Paul, Wokingham
September 24, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Luke Chatham
I agree with James except for the bit about Walton Heath. A friend is a member of Bearwood Lakes so I get to play on a fairly regular basis and really love this course. I rate it in the top few courses I have played anywhere. If this course is not memorable you are playing it with your eyes closed. It has some stunning views and scenes. The view from the elevated tee on the 4th is breathtaking. As others have said it is an exciting course with lots and lots of variety but really nicely balanced. Nice variety in elevation of tees and greens. Nice combination of switches left/right up/down. Uses a good variety of different defences throughout. Good use of water that really comes in to play on a couple of holes but doesn’t over do it. Each hole has a different challenge and it tests the mind with some very nice strategic questions. I play here reasonably regularly and it still makes me think. The course is always in great condition though it is a pity they cut down the long grass for winter as it does alter the nature of the course.
September 23, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

SR1
Nice but by no means outstanding. Last 3 reviews are clearly by an existing member! Good trek but forgetable compared to the better heathland courses in Surrey, Berkshire.
September 20, 2007
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
James
September 22, 2007
Very strange review. I wrote the review below this one and for the record - I am not a member (not even a Brit). I do play at one of the top 15 American courses and have played a good number of the top US, Canadian, Australian, and now UK courses, so consider myself reasonably well qualified to have an opinion (which, by the way, seems to me to be pretty consistent with most of the other opinions on this page (including the top 100 review)). This time round I played Wentworth (I don't see what all the fuss is about: poor conditioning and unsubtle design that overly relies on length); Walton Heath and St Georges Hill (both of which I found to be alot of fun, but too inconsistent to be up there with the very best, some great holes mixed with too many ordinary ones). Couldn't play Sunningdale this time around as I couldn't get a tee time that fitted my schedule, but do look forward to it. In terms of Bearwood, I absolutely stand by my comments. The thing I appreciated most about it was the cleverness of the design (completely agree with the top 100 review above) on what is already a pretty special piece of land. I recently played Lahinch (Ireland) which is another Hawtree course (at least he modified it) and really enjoyed that as well.
Luke
September 23, 2007
Forgetable?? Really?? No way!! There ARE many fine courses in the Surrey and Berkshire area and this one IS at the top of the tree.
Nev Nerwich
September 24, 2007
I agree with the others. This is an outstanding course. Must be noted though that it is quite different in character to the heathland courses. Much more American in look and feel and probably more 'polished'. So it does make a nice contrast.
James Lonnard
Simply outstanding. I am not normally a big fan of British parkland/heathland course, though the links are of course world beating. I have played a number of the big name British inland courses this trip and have found most to be wildly over-rated (sorry). Bearwood Lakes however ranks with the very best of the American parkland courses in my opinion. Not overly long but has all the ingredients. Very picturesque, cleverly designed, variety right through the 18 holes, requires full range of shot making, great course conditioning. Alot of fun to play. 1st class facilities and the staff are very welcoming. One of the very very few truly world class inland courses in the UK.
September 15, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
pbt
September 30, 2007
This a response on a response...Bearwood Lakes close to Walton Heath and St George's Hill?? And the best American parkland course are better than the English heathland?? I don't think so.
SL
October 20, 2007
PBT has obviously not played Augusta, Shinnecock etc. Yes, they are better than the English heathland courses. Is Bearwood Lakes better than Walton Heath? Yes in my opinion, though it is a very different style of golf course. The reviews above have it pretty well nailed. Can't comment on St George's Hill as haven't played it.
Edward Nicholson
Last month I played Bearwood Lakes for the third time. It really is a pleasure to play this course. Each time the staff have been very friendly and welcoming. The clubhouse and facilities are spacious, modern and very impressive. These very positive feelings carry you on to the elevated 1st tee and a lovely panorama of three fairways. The greens were superb and the fairways, the best I have ever played on. There are lovely views from each and every tee and the lake at 13 and 14 is viewed from several other parts of the course. I played with my son-in-law. We both had a very memorable day. I have played Woodhall Spa , Alwoodley and Moortown several times each. They are great courses but playing at Bearwood Lakes gives me that extra, extra buzz. Edward Nicholson
September 14, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

kieran
I have played alot of good golf course's in my time but Bearwood Lakes rates up there with the best of them! I work for a golfbreak company so i get to see alot of great golf course's around the world but Bearwood is just down the road from my House and never thought you could see such a beautiful golf course around Reading!! Excellent condition in the summer and perfect for all golfers.
September 11, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

christopher clarke
It is hard to add much to the glowing reviews written by others lucky enough to play Bearwood Lakes. However one particular charm not yet mentioned is that the sensible variation in the different tees enables players of almost every standard to have a wonderful golfing experience. The setting and condition are quite magnificent and it is fully worthy of a professional tournament, particularly now with the wet early summer creating rough that is presumably far more punishing than normal for early September.
September 04, 2007
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Scott Sunderman
Possibly the most beautiful course that I have played (in a golfing career spanning three continents). It is an exquisitely designed course that takes full advantage of the natural landscape and surroundings – an intoxicating blend of heath, forest and lake. Also, bountiful wildlife and terrific views of the Bearwood estate. The course itself is a very thorough test; you will need brains, but you will also need brawn – long straight hitting over water is a requirement on a number of holes. The course is maintained in immaculate condition; terrific tees and fairways, very well bunkered, with lightening fast greens. World-class. I am amazed that I had never heard of it prior to being invited to play there.
August 04, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jim Huton
I have played this course numerous times with a friend who is a member. It is long, but relatively wide open. If you like American style courses then you will like this course.
April 24, 2006
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Kris Marshall
This course is quality. I have had the incredible pleasure of playing Bearwood five or six times and it is the best UK course I have played in recent times, and that includes The Oxfordshire, Slaley Hall, The Dukes at Woburn Abbey and Celtic Manor. You can't get on without a member and that is the only reason this course is not in the top 30 UK courses.
July 29, 2005
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful