Top 15 Golf Courses in Berkshire 2015
Berkshire Best in County rankings updated
Berkshire lies to the west of London and it’s the sporting playground of choice for many of the Royal Family, especially those with a keen interest in horse racing. Ascot is one of the leading racecourses in the UK and its annual Royal meeting in June is a major highlight in the racing calendar, as is the prestigious King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which is run at the same venue the following month.
The British Royal Family has granted the royal title to nineteen English golf clubs down the years and two of these are located in the county of Berkshire. The oldest club, Royal Ascot, was formed in 1887 and Queen Victoria allowed the royal prefix to be used by founding members the same year. The club moved location in 2004 to a course designed by Jonathan Tucker.
The Royal Household Golf Club had its origins in 1901 and its course is set within Home Park, a parkland area under the east wing of Windsor Castle. Designed by Samuel "Mure" Fergusson, who also laid out the New Zealand course six years earlier, this 9-hole layout features two different tee positions at every hole.
Following a period of consultation with clubs throughout the county, our Berkshire Top 15 chart has just been updated and so we now present the latest edition of these regional rankings. Holding onto the number 1 place at the top of the listings, we have Harry Colt’s masterpiece at Swinley Forest, his “least bad course” as he liked to call it.
Armed with the knowledge that this charming old layout currently resides within our World Top 100 chart, it’s perhaps easier to understand why it’s just managed to hold off the formidable challenge of Herber Fowler’s magnificent Red and the Blue 18-hole layouts at The Berkshire for the top spot in the county standings.
These courses remain at number 2 and 3, the same as last time. Also retaining a static position in the chart at number 4 and 5, we have the “polished to perfection” modern layout of Martin Hawtree at Bearwood Lakes and the century-old Peter Paxton design at East Berkshire, described by one recent reviewer as “one of the best value courses in England”.
Two Harry Colt courses make significant upward moves in the listings and they’re Calcot Park, rising two places to number 6, and Sonning, which climbs four spots to number 7. Also soaring an impressive seven places up the chart to number 8, we have the modern Neil Coles layout at Castle Royle Golf & Country Club which recently celebrated twenty years in operation.
There’s one new entry into the Berkshire Top 15 at number 13 and it belongs to the parkland layout at Maidenhead Golf Club, which was founded in 1896. Two years after the club’s formation, J.H. Taylor and James Braid played in an exhibition match to mark the official opening of a course that’s still largely the one in play today.
We’re grateful to all the clubs and professional golfers who assisted with our re-ranking process for this county. To view details of all the courses in our Berkshire Top 15 rankings click the link. If you have extensive experience of playing across the south west region of England and would like to contribute to our next re-ranking exercise then please email Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter at [email protected].
10 September 2015 Respond to this article