Berkhamsted - Hertfordshire - England

Berkhamsted Golf Club,
The Common,
Berkhamsted,
Hertfordshire,
HP4 2QB,
England


  • +44 (0) 1442 865832

Around the time of the Domesday Book, Berkhamsted was one of the most important settlements in rural southeast England and Henry II once kept court in the town's Norman castle. So it's quite fitting that Berkhamsted Golf Club has a fair amount of history attached.

Berkhamsted Golf Club is set 600 feet up in the Chilterns, within one of the largest expanses of heathland in Hertfordshire and golf on this common land dates back to 1874. In the 1880s, a young schoolteacher called George Gowring, aided by Willie Park Jr., laid out a basic 9-hole golf course. A couple of years later, in 1890, the golf club was officially inaugurated, making it Hertfordshire's oldest golf club alongside Chorleywood, which was also founded in 1890.

As golf grew in popularity around the turn of the 20th century, the club commissioned Harry Colt in 1910 to extend the course to 18 holes. In 1926, the Great Revisionist, James Braid, was called in to redesign and extend the course. “Braid returned in 1931 to offer further advice,” commented authors John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming in James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses, including revising of the 16th [now the 7th] to prevent balls from being sliced into houses which were now bordering the course. His other instructions called for grass bunkers, more humps in the fairways and alterations to some of the greens.”

If you like golf as nature intended, or if sand bunker play is not a strong part of your game, you'll love it here. In the same vein as Royal Ashdown Forest, there is not one single sand trap at Berkhamsted. But don't be lulled into a false sense of security and assume that the golf here is easy. Nature's challenges are in abundance, waiting to test the most able golfer – heather, gorse, bracken and trees.

There's also one Iron Age obstacle that causes an unusual challenge – Grim's Dyke. We're not sure how to classify this Saxon ditch and embankment, which is six to eight feet high in places and comes into play at seven holes, sometimes as an obstacle from the tee and other times for the approach shot. One thing is for sure, it's a unique hazard.

Off the back tees, Berkhamsted measures a healthy 6,683 yards against a par of 71. In order to score well, you'll need to strike the ball well and straight off the tee – there are some lengthy carries across heather – and then, you'll need your best approach play to find the small but fine greens. It's certainly a tough test.

We think Berkhamsted is a course of great charm. It's also a course for all seasons and worthy of its lofty position in our Hertfordshire Best In County rankings.

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Reviews for Berkhamsted

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Description: If you like golf as Nature intended, or if sand bunker play is not a strong part of your game, you’ll love it here at Berkhamsted Golf Club... Rating: 6.5 out of 10 Reviews: 17
TaylorMade
Eddie Maylor
The Berkhamsted mid-amateur was the competition, it was 2 rounds on one of the hottest days of September. The course is not long, but it is crucial to hit the ball straight, a wayward drive will not be easy to find or play. The protection of the greens is the breaks and firmness, also missing a green can leave a very challenging chip. Unfortunately the greens were not as quick as they looked and didn’t roll out as you would hope, however they were true. The rest of the course was in good condition and provided you could hit the ball straight off the tee and shape some second shots and hole tricky putts scoring would be easy! The food was excellent and it was nice to sit outside with a cold drink and watch the golfers on the ninth.
September 09, 2013
6 / 10
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Steve
A nice course and location but has unfortunately has had trouble with its greens of late - hope to return soon. Bunkerless course, but you’d not even notice, a good test of golf!
July 27, 2011
4 / 10
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R Prendergast
November 16, 2011
Interestingly, common opinion is that the club has done very well to bring its greens up to a high standard, with advice from a leading agronomist.
Ian Hall
I have recently joined Berkhamsted as a member, so I am biased. But - simply - this should definitely be in the Top 100. That is all.
December 29, 2010
10 / 10
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Will
June 29, 2015
You have a very good course but it's not top 100.
Carl Tushingham
You have to think your way around this course, forget the fact that it has no bunkers, it has gorse, hollows and heather around the greens instead. It did play short off the yellow tee's and you often need to hit a fairway wood or iron off the tee to keep it from running out of fairway and into trouble. A great mixture of holes with doglegs left and right, long and short. For me the stand out hole is the par 5 11th, just a briiliant golf hole in every way. Great condition course, that is well looked after by its proud members. This course should be in the top 100 without a doubt.
June 07, 2009
8 / 10
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Shaun
A good course in excellent condition and a layout that rewards shot making and course management. Highly recommended.
September 27, 2007
6 / 10
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Billy
Berkhamsted, a relatively undiscovered heathland delight...this is a quality golf course which oozes class. Played this course for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I was most impressed, the winter condition was excellent all round and the test of golf was equally good. I must say I liked the front nine best; we started on the 10th and the sequence hung together really well. The 9th is a great finishing hole, goodness knows why this isn't the 18th. Despite the fact that there are no sand bunkers, the natural grassy hollows make life just as difficult. Super course, a hidden gem if ever I saw one.
January 29, 2005
6 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
This is one for the purists. Great location with 18 holes weaving their way through the quality that is the National Trust’s beautiful woodland. The variety of holes are memorable with some that turn left, some that go right and nothing too easy. My favourite holes were the 6th (big dogleg to the left), the 9th where you drive over the hidden road, then hit a short iron to a two tiered green by the clubhouse and the par 5 16th where the best shape favours a slight fade off the tee. With Berkhampsted and Ashridge within a few miles of each other this is real quality golfing country where nearly all of the holes are played in tranquil isolation of each other. Worth noting though, there are around eight holes (either par 4 or 5’s) that may not require the driver from the tee as there is a runout of fairway to consider – this adds to the memory of a great golf course. No bunkers on the course and does that make it easier ? Not a chance ….. One thing for me that I’d change (not sure if it has ever been considered) … why not swap the two nines around ? The 9th as a finishing hole would be dreamy, right in front of the clubhouse (where closing holes should be) - you can watch the hole from tee to green from both inside and outside over a small libation , which I think would just about top this off. Current rating probably a touch too low for me.
January 21, 2005
6 / 10
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