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.
Having moved to the area 2 years ago I'd been impatient to play this fine gem of a course, and luckily got invited.
The clubhouse and shop is very warm and welcoming; always helpful when playing a new track. The first couple of holes ease you into the round, with some relatively short but challenging par 4's. Then the course starts to bite a bit and you realise your day is about to get challenging.
The par 4 7th was a real highlight for me, with OOB all up the left, heath, bunkers, and a covert stream down the RHS, you needed to throw some long darts. All leading uphill to an exquisite green protected by 3 large bunkers. A complete joy.
I won't bore you with a hole by hole summary, but the key to this course is consistent quality but with each hole carving it's own journey through the Berkshire woodland. No shot, no hole felt the same, and I came away with a huge smile.
I've played some of the nearby neighbours (The Berkshire), and one of the most charming assets of East Berks is that is doesn't pretend to imitate it's illustrious neighbours, but takes the same assets they have and makes East Berks unique in its own way.
One word of advice - don't hit down the left on the 18th. :(
Absolutely brilliant track. I love it so much I've joined the membership waiting list.
Short, beautiful, tight. Great fun. I could actually stop there, because you should appreciate places like East Berkshire for what they are. Great, well-run member's clubs, which will never stage major championships, but which could well nurture the next champion.
On the last point, I spoke to one of the pros who told me he and his colleagues coach around 100 young golfers at nearby Wellington College, more than ten of whom, both girls and boys, have handicaps at or close to scratch.
You may wonder why I mention this in a course review. Well, I think East Berkshire's course is great for golfer development in that it is both easy to get round for beginners, but at the same time hard to beat up for more accomplished players. I can easily imagine many a young player hitting long drives into unplayable positions and learning, perhaps the hard way, that the little shots count as much as the longest ones.
I liked the gentle start with two short par 4s, the first of which is probably driveable on a good day, but a drive hit just slightly off-line might easily end up unplayable in the bushes to the right. The layout has many risk-reward decision points, although the other holes are of more normal length.
The back nine did not appeal to me as much as it feels a lot tighter. In fairness, it is also quite a bit longer than the front nine. Full disclosure, my mid-irons were not as straight on the day as I wished them to be and then you struggle a bit with four par 4s (10, 14, 17 and 18) in excess of 400 yards. Having people on the next tee box just yards away from a green you are trying to hit with a six-iron from the semi-rough while a party is waiting behind you is not the most comfortable situation I can think of.
Go here with your expectations set right and this place will charm you to bits. And, be prepared for a scorecard that might end up not looking as pretty as you thought it would when you left the second green.
Played here recently in a "Seniors Open" and thoroughly enjoyed the day. This is an attractive, tree-lined and peaceful course. The greens were in superb condition, quick, with excellent roll and true. As has been said already, not the longest course, but only 1 par 5. Several of the par 4's have dog-legs and there are ditches, bunkers and patches of heather to make life difficult if you stray from the fairways. Strongly recommend a visit if you're in the area.
I am a relatively recent new member at East Berkshire and cannot speak highly enough of the course and the membership.
The course makes the absolute most of the land available with a great mixture of long and short par fours, some brilliant par threes and one par five. The course flows through stately pines and mature trees but heather is in play on a number of the holes.
The conditioning is excellent, especially the greens which equal many of the higher ranked courses that I have played on this site.
Highlights include the stretch from the seventh to the ninth (the pine trees that frame the eighth green are particularly special), the long par three thirteenth and the tough dog-leg par four fourteenth and then the closing two holes which are real challenges.
The newly opened short game area is an excellent addition and although it faces stiff competition from other courses in the county rankings feel like it is pretty close (for different reasons) to Bearwood Lakes ranked at fourth. I’d highly recommend taking in a round at East Berkshire.
I selected East Berkshire to play my 650th golf course in a twoball with my wife on my birthday, and was thrilled by this charming and delightful place. Sure enough it was difficult to get a Visitor Tee Time in the year of covid, clearly the sign of a thriving Members’ Club, that my excitement to eventually get to play here knew no bounds.
The pretty parkland layout begins with two short and reassuring par 4s to get the juices flowing, before the real challenges start. The 3rd hole a long bunker less par 4 is a gem, and it just get better. There is only one par 5, but there is magnificent variety in the par 4s so this is not a problem, and all four par 3s (of which only one is over 160 yards) are special.
And just as you start to feel you are getting on top of the course, the final holes bite back. The demanding 14th where you aim for the left of the fairway from the tee so as to have room around the trees to go for the green is wonderful, as is the straight slightly uphill 15th back to the club house. And the last two holes are long and tough, if not quite as visually appealing.
The course layout and condition is excellent and the overall site is quite cramped even if you never get the feeling of being hemmed in. A bigger nuisance was the number of walkers around the course, for the gorgeous autumn colours on the trees lining most fairways made it easy to comprehend why the location appeals to people other than golfers.
Having played a lot of the top courses in Surrey/Berkshire over the past 12 years, booking East Berkshire based on the rankings meant I was not expecting anything exceptional in any way. It gets said a lot on this website but this course is definitely in the "Must be ranked higher bracket" The course has got great variety, the greens were immaculate and the whole Club and course had a good feel to it. When we visit Surrey/Berkshire we pick 3 courses and play morning and afternoon at each course which means we get a proper look at the venue as as a whole. East Berkshire may not be at the level of Swinley Forest, St Georges Hill or Sunningdale but at a third of the green fee it is still a course that is totally underrated and well worth a visit... you won't be disappointed
East Berkshire is a lovely track. It's short, but is only par 69 (or 68 - i forget). Don't be fooled by the yardage, as only 1 par 5 is there to be taken advantage of. There is a great mix of par 4s and par 3s, all varying lengths.
Can't recommend enough for a pleasant walk round a very nice golf course
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 !