Berkshire (Red) - Berkshire - England

The Berkshire Golf Club,
Swinley Road,
Ascot,
Berkshire,
SL5 8AY,
England


  • +44 (0) 1344 621495


Many people say that there is nothing better than a day’s golf amongst the forest, heather and springy turf of the Berkshire Golf Club. Both the Red and the Blue courses are charming. The Red course is considered to be the more senior of the two, but frankly there is little to choose between them. Indeed it is likely that they will both merge into one unless you have been sufficiently fortunate to play them more than once.

Herbert Fowler, who had a gift for blending golf courses into their natural surroundings, laid out both courses in 1928. Fowler clearly did a great job because only minor changes have since been made to his original design. The land was once the hunting forest of the royals and dates back to the reign of Queen Anne. Each hole is played in seclusion, the mature sycamore, birch, chestnut and pine trees providing majestic tunnels for the rippled fairways.

The Red acquired its name from a military analogy with the Blue taking the opposite side. The Red course is highly unusual in design. The configuration of six par threes, six par fives and six par fours provide for much interest, variety and entertainment.

You need a straight and steady game to score well here otherwise you can very quickly become accustomed to chipping sideways out of the trees or hacking out of the heather. Needless to say, accuracy rather than length is all-important. The Red, measuring 6,369 yards from the white tees (5,733 from the reds) is the longer of the Berkshire’s two courses and it plays over slightly higher ground than the Blue.

The Berkshire is closely linked with amateur golf; its own Berkshire Trophy has produced some famous winners, including Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle. Numerous ladies amateur competitions have also been held at the Berkshire.

If there is a downside to the Red course, it would be the par fives – four of the six are short by today’s standards. However, the par fours and threes more than make up for the minor criticism – after all, the short par fives might offer a birdie or two, or even an eagle.

There are many strong holes on the Red course but the best is probably the 6th, a shortish par four measuring 360 yards from the white tees. This hole doglegs to the right and requires an accurate drive to the left hand side of the fairway in order to leave a short approach shot to a raised green.

The Red’s hallmark is most definitely the six par threes – they are all quality in their own right. Actually, we think The Berkshire is delightful and will provide a memorable day out for any serious golfer.

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Reviews for Berkshire (Red)

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Description: Many people say that there is nothing better than a day’s golf amongst the forest, heather and springy turf of the Berkshire Golf Club. Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Reviews: 39
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Tom Sampson
We played the course after a night's very heavy rain but it was still in good condition. Considering it was December the greens were superb. Winter golf at its best. Given the condition of our links and heathland courses in the winter i can't imagine who would want to play these ridiculous looking courses in the desert. As usual the Berkshire never disappoints.
December 10, 2009
8 / 10
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Carl Tushingham
What a beautiful course, all seems so natural and looks like its been here forever. A large amount of elevated tees with lovely views of what lies in wait for you. Huge amounts of heather and pine tree-lined fairways. Some magical par 3's of varying lengths and all difficult in there own way. Super bunkering just waiting to catch you out and greens which undulate in all directions, golf as it should be. This has the edge over the Blue for me, was more peaceful and has the better holes, just.
August 24, 2009
8 / 10
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Cédric
Played the red coure today and was really surpised by the elevation changes.The weather was pretty bad,rainy and misty.The property is really lovely and the course in very good conditon. Elevated tees were greatly appreciated, and fortunately more numerous than elevated greens. The green complexes are quite impressive and the bunkering around them well placed. But I just thought the course was too easy!! Too short and no danger from the tees (wide landing areas, almost no bunkers). You dont even need your driver on most of the holes and the majority of par 5 can easily be reached in 2. I thought it really lacked any challenge... On the other hand, it is a beatiful member`s club, with many pretty holes. Looking forward to Sunningdale tomorrow !!! Hopfully the weather will be better....Cedric
May 12, 2009
6 / 10
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Phil Bonsall
Brilliant. 36 holes of golf at the Berkshire, 18 on the Red, and 18 on the Blue is a day well spent.Well worth a visit.
September 25, 2008
8 / 10
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Richard Smith
I can't imagine a finer day than playing the Red and Blue courses at the Berkshire with the carvery lunch between rounds. I enjoyed the Red more than the Blue, but several members of our group preferred the Blue. The Red has a unique layout, with 6 par 3's, 6 par 4's and 6 par 5's. Yet the routing is clearly very natural and unforced and quite frankly the holes are beautiful and flow through the terrain. I had the wonderful feeling that I was walking through a beautiful park, yet I happed to be hitting golf shots to challenging holes while I was taking my walk. Deep down I believe that is what golf is meant to be. If your idea of golf is grip it and rip it, then you have no business playing the Berkshire, or really any of the heathland courses I"ve played. These courses demand precision to avoid the horrific heather that literally seems to swallow your ball, but you are richly reward by accurate precise shots. The course was in magnificent shape and the staff was extremely courteous and helpful. Playing here was a great experience that I will cherish. Now I only need to figure out when I can come back. Richard Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee.
August 03, 2008
10 / 10
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Jim McCann

One of the most pleasant golfing experiences I’ve had in the last 12 months has been found half an hour’s driving time (on a good day!) from Heathrow airport. Passing through on the way home from business, I’ve stopped off for an evening in order to play next day at Sunningdale, (March 2007) and The Berkshire, a couple of days ago. Berkshire (Red) - Photo by Jim McCannI thought last year’s experience on the Old and the New at Sunningdale would be hard to match and so, sadly, it proved just along the road on Berkshire’s Red and the Blue courses – but not by very much, believe me!

The Berkshire was a fantastic 36-hole day ticket (34 actually, as holes 1 and 2 of the Blue were not in play due to drainage work) that surpassed all my expectations.

The configuration of 6/6/6 for the holes on the Red might seem on paper to be a little contrived but the routing does follow the natural lie of the land and seems the most appropriate for the terrain.

The par three’s are all very impressive – averaging 185 yards in length – so no flick with a wedge here off the tee and the 10th, like “Calamity” at Royal Portrush is a real do-or-die hole that will test your bravery off the tee.

The par fives offer a breather, as I think they normally should do on a course – what amateur enjoys a long slog around a layout that is littered with long par 4 and 5’s?

The much-heralded, right doglegged 6th was a very pleasant hole indeed as was the short par four 11th, which is a fantastic driving hole. The only weak hole on the whole course I felt was at the par three 18th, but by then I’d just lost my match play game 2&1 so it mattered not a jot – I probably played the home hole through tears anyway at the thought of having to pay out the fiver wager on the match!

The delightful elevation changes, the heather-bearded bunkers, the isolation of many tree-lined holes and the variety of shot on offer at most of these; this all combines to offer a really entertaining round of golf on a course that just oozes natural beauty and charm.

Jim McCann

April 02, 2008
9 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
Both courses at The Berkshire are quality with the Red being my favourite, but only just. It is well known that the area around Surrey/Berks has some of the very best heathland courses around and the Red in my opinion is towards the upper end of this list. A fairly friendly start in terms of difficult holes to score on and on a good day you can go close to par for the front nine. The Berkshire members stand for traditional golfing values and this is most noticeable around the clubhouse (which is under major surgery) – all very friendly and polite. The course is special and highly recommended – personally I enjoyed the Red more than the West at Wentworth.
October 31, 2007
8 / 10
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papa rabbi
Great club, much friendlier than 'stuffy' Sunningdale. The courses are both great value and no-one I know that has played there has been disappointed. Each hole is seperated from the rest by the Bracknell Forests and each and every one of them is stunning. The par 3's on the Red are phenominal and the closing five par 4's on the blue are a great finish to my favorite of the two courses.
February 25, 2006
10 / 10
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Billy
The Red is definately the better of the two courses, which are tough to spilt after the first visit. The Red is tighter and more intimate, with each hole shielded from the next by the magnificent trees. Many people claim that the Red and the Blue make up the finest 36-hole heathland combination in the world - for me, the Old & New at Sunningdale is a far better bet. However, the combination of 6 3s, 4s, & 5s is entertaiment but it's the outstanding par 3s which will stick in the mind. If you only have time for one round - make sure you play the Red rather than the Blue. Wonderful course but it needs to be played more than once. After first time of playing (36 holes) couldn't tell the Red from the Blue. Nevertheless a classic.
November 13, 2004
8 / 10
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