Reading Country Club was formed by members of the Jewish community in 1939, at a time when many so called “waspish” (White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant) clubs unfairly discriminated against golfers of a certain colour, creed or religion.
Three respected professionals – Sid Sid Childs, Tommy Tomsett and Koos de Beer – helped choose the site for the new club’s course, part of which had been used as a brickfield, so it was dotted with large clay pits that were not easy to circumvent.
Sid Brews designed the layout, with water coming into play at more than half the holes on the scorecard. Golf Data upgraded the layout in 1996, relaying the greens with bent grass and reworking the bunkers, but the original routing was left intact.
Today, it’s a tight, tree-lined track which attracts many visitors every year. More than 40,000 rounds are played here annually, half of them by outside golfers who welcome the opportunity to pay a modest green fee to play such a well-regarded layout.
Stand out holes include the par four 2nd (where the approach may be obscured if you’re on the left side of the fairway), the par three 5th (requiring a long carry over water to the green), and the left doglegged par four 13th, which was originally designed as a par five.