For those of you who read my review of the Red course, you’ll know what a huge fan I am of that Herbert Fowler gem.
A day out at The Berkshire would not be complete without lunch and a second 18 on the sister course, the Blue.
The intimidating opening 200+ yard Par 3 over a gargantuan chasm of heather is the entertainment for lunchers sat on the clubhouse veranda and must be one of the toughest opening Par 3’s anywhere in the UK and sets the pulses racing for the rest of the round.
Aside from this opening hole, the beautiful short Par 3 4th and the sharp dogleg left Par 4 7th, I found the majority of the front nine a little uninspiring. This stretch of holes sit on the flattest part of the course and the terrain doesn’t afford the variance that you find amongst the 27 other holes at The Berkshire. They also run along the busy dual carriageway, which when built must’ve been to the despair of the members here.
From the uphill Par 4 9th, the Blue comes alive and blends back into the standard set by its superior Red counterpart.
The stretch from 11-13 are fantastic. The double dogleg Par 5 11th that plays over two ditches is a cracking hole, the short Par 4 12th, played into a punch bowl green, guarded on the left by a huge bunker is a lot of fun and the short Par 3 13th that drops away at the back offers views of the previous two holes. This sets the tone for a tough finishing stretch of holes, where you have to position the ball well off the tee to score well.
Throughout the course, the conditions were sublime, fairways and greens alike and the bunkering throughout The Berkshire rival anywhere I’ve played in the UK.
I’ve read a few reviews stating that there is little difference between the Red and Blue, but that is not my experience. On it’s own, the Blue is a good course, well deserving of its place in the Top 100, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Red is the far superior 18. It’s more picturesque and varied but that said, I can’t think of many better days out than 36 holes at The Berkshire.
Date: August 07, 2020