Situated just off the A40, halfway between Cheltenham and Oxford, the course at Burford Golf Club was designed by the Frilford Heath professional J.H. Turner in 1936. The first nine holes opened for play in May of that year, with the second nine following in September 1937.
Half the course was used during World War II for cereal production and once hostilities ceased the farmer who looked after the crops during that wartime period presented the club with the Harvest Cup, which is still competed for annually to this day.
The course now extends to 6,363 yards, playing to a par of 71. Laid out as two returning nines on a 105-acre property, the outward half lies on the east side of the A361 which bisects the course, with the inward half located on the other side of this road.
Feature holes include back-to-back short par fours at the 4th and 5th, along with the slightly left doglegging par five 9th. On the back nine, the 510-yard 12th in the southwest corner of the course is the longest and toughest of the three par fives on the card.
Burford is one of my once a year courses and is probably the best course within a 15 mile radius of Swindon (not an area blessed with quality courses). Burford is always in good condition, with lush tree lined fairways and very good greens. The front nine seems a bit tighter than the back and if you hit the fairways then a good score can be made; miss the fairways and you are chipping out sideways, so the trees (mainly conifers) are the main hazard here. Opening hole (quite a difficult par 4) is over the main A road from the clubhouse and the front nine has quite a bit of variety with a couple of birdeable par 5's and some nicely shaped par 4's, the 7th being probably my favourite on the course. After the 9th you cross back over the main road to I think a slightly less interesting nine holes, where the last three holes probably determine your score. A solid course, always enjoyable but lacking any wow factor holes. Design/layout is probably only just above average, but (for me) course condition/greens just moves into the 4 ball category