Bedfordshire Golf Club was founded in 1891, when a 9-hole layout was established in Brickhill, near the centre of Bedford. Four years later, the club was on the move to Biddenham, where an 18-hole layout was brought into play.
For over a hundred years, the club operated here – enduring the loss of its clubhouse to fire in 1954 – before a new housing estate and the construction of a major road forced a move to the current Stagsden location at the end of the 1990s.
Designed by Cameron Sinclair, an architect attached to the reputable design firm of Cotton, Pennink, Lawrie & Steel in the 1980s, the new 18-hole layout was officially opened for play by Dame Laura Davies on 30th September 2000.
“In contrast with the old site at Biddenham,” said Cameron Sinclair, “the new site has much more movement in the ground. I spent a lot of time working out the most efficient layout that used the natural landforms and avoided the need for major earth movement.
That said, I did some alterations to the landforms but I set out to achieve an end product which flowed and appeared natural. The Bedfordshire is not an aquatic course. Water has been used only at the 14th and 15th, where lakes have been created.
My favourite hole is probably the 17th. The hole plays across a natural sweeping valley dog-legging slightly to the right with the flow of the ground. On the inside of the dogleg a natural fold in the ground has been used to provide a setting for some bold bunkering.”
Other holes of note on the Championship course include the par five 2nd (rated stroke index 1) veering sharply left from tee to green, the long par three 9th with its left to right sloping green, and the tough 12th which measures up as the longest par four on the scorecard.