East Berkshire Golf Club was founded in 1903 and Peter Paxton originally designed the course. Peter was born in Musselburgh, known locally as the “honest toune” on the east coast of Scotland. Paxton became famous as a club maker who supplied the Royal Family with clubs and balls. He had one hundred acres in total to use at East Berkshire but, by using his flair and ingenuity, he shaped a rather desolate piece of heathland into a fine golf course. Little has since changed.
The par three 5th is very special and certainly the signature hole at East Berkshire. The green is well protected by a ditch to the front, a lateral ditch with out-of-bounds to the left and a very hungry bunker on the right. The tee shot must carry 150 yards over rough ground to reach the green. With trees on either side, this is a tough par three.
The East Berkshire Stag was introduced in 1976 – a competition open to amateur golfers with a handicap of six and under. The first winner of the event was none other than Sandy Lyle with a two round total of 141.
The greens are a credit at East Berkshire – fast and undulating and will always test golfers of all levels. In fact, the whole experience is memorable. Many holes have a tremendous backdrop of trees that make up the western end of the Forest of Windsor. There are some tee shots that must cross directly over the previously played green, but whereas this may be a problem elsewhere, at East Berkshire it’s a sign that the meagre acreage has been used wisely.
At less than 6,500 yards, the course is not long by modern standards but the constant encounter with doglegs, tree-lined fairways, carries across streams and the tangly heather will tax the skills of many a golfer intent on playing to handicap. It is a very attractive course and whomever decides to play here will be assured of an enjoyable round from start to finish.
Not a long course by current standards but it is protected by bunkering and it feels quite tight off the tee. The holes cover all points of the compass and as they are all tree lined it can be difficult to read the wind. Measuring at just around 6000 yards off the yellow tees it is a good test of golf and requires you to go through the bag with club selection. Only one par 5 so the yardage is in the par 4' and the par 3 thirteenth which is over 200 yards. The greens putted very well and had subtle borrows which can be difficult to read. The presentation of the course was very tidy. Good value for the green fee. In the club house the staff and members were friendly and welcoming and the menu seemed to be varied and fairly priced.
East Berks is an excellent course hidden away in Crowthorne (It has almost as small a sign at the end of the road as Swinley Forest). Once you get to the end of the drive, things become a lot more obvious and welcoming. I have played here for a number of years in a society and the course is an excellent challenge and is in excellent condition. The first couple of holes are pretty gentle, but then it seems to get harder and harder as the round progresses. It is only a par 69 and has one par 5, so whilst it looks short on the card, the shots soon seem to run out!
Favourite holes for me are the short 5th, 9th and 13th, as well as the tough par four 8th, 14th and 18th. With better practice facilities and some fine tuning this course could be higher up the rankings.
The staff in both the pro shop and in the club house were friendly and helpful and the food was also excellent. The atmosphere around the club also has really good vibe, with the members happy to chat and offer advice/condolences on your round.
A friendly club with some excellent parkland holes, very good value for the area. A little hard to find by postcode, use a map !
I played East Berks in glourious sunny conditions, and the golf course fully lived up to expectations. A very short course by modern standards, it still played very tough, most holes have fairway bunkers at about 230yds meaning you have a decision, try and carry it, or lay up and have a longer approach. If you found the rough, you were left with tough shots into very small and quick greens. Miss the green and you were left with extremly hard chip shots due to the gradiation in cuts. my opinion on a course is always knocked slightly when there is only one par 5, and a bit like West Sussex, it was only a long par4 by modern standards. I also didnt like the SI1 10th as i i dont like holes that require you to hit a really short club off the tee only to leave you a mile in for your approach. This course is very very good, and is comparable to the East course at Wentworth. Despite the 18holes fitting into a fairly small area of land, it felt like you had walked a long way. I would suggest everyone tries to play here, especially for the value it offers!