I returned to Burnham and Berrow on Monday for the second time this year. The primary purpose of my visit was to play with Paul (aka Rudo) who many people will know from his blogging. Paul is set to become the first person to play the all-time World Top 100 ranked courses from every list. His marathon is nearly complete and I shudder to think how many air miles he’s racked up in the process. B&B appeared on Paul’s bucket list due to it being mentioned on perhaps the first ever World Top 100 – Tom MacWood’s 1939 Spoof Top 100, which listed 101 courses of which five no longer exist. Yes, Paul’s playing the MacWood chart too!
Monday’s weather was perfect for golf, sunny, warm and a two-club wind. I’m of the opinion that Burnham & Berrow is under appreciated. Some do not like the water holes before the turn which run alongside the Channel course, but put me down as one who does like these holes, which have been improved down the years – I’m not usually a fan of lakes and ponds on links courses. The holes I like the least are the “sleepers” (#10, #11 and #12) where I usually nod off because they are not visually appealing to my eye, especially off the tee – invariably I play these holes poorly. The rest of the course is pretty much from the top drawer and I’m a big fan of the one-shot holes which are not only strong but very attractive and expertly bunkered.
Unfortunately the greens were not in the best shape on Monday, having recently been verticut, but they ran reasonably well and had enough pace to keep you on your toes. It’s a shame Rudo didn’t see these putting surfaces at their best, because Burnham’s greens are usually among the best in the west. It remains to be seen whether or not Paul liked B&B enough to support its inclusion in a future World Top 100. My feeling is he thought it fun and relevant, only time will tell.
Date: May 27, 2016