Berkshire may be best-known as the home of Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Downton Abbey but the county is also home to some of the best golf courses the UK has to offer. Whilst you may wish to stay at the luxury Donnington Grove Hotel & Country Club, and take advantage of our challenging golf course overlooked by beautiful Donnington Castle, we are aware that the county also offers different Golf Courses, that upon your stay with us, you could visit.
Steeped in history and presenting a challenge for players with a modest handicap or those off scratch, Berkshire is a haven for golf enthusiasts.
So, whether you live in the county and are considering which is the best course to test your mettle or are visiting and fancy getting in a round or two, here are six courses that exemplify the best golf in Berkshire.
Sunningdale Golf Club
The Old Course at Sunningdale is as immaculately-designed as it is challenging. If you’ve never played the course before, you owe it to yourself to spend a leisurely afternoon strolling the fairways, taking in breath-taking scenery as you navigate this challenging course.
The awe-inspiring fairways are complemented by some of the most pristine fairways you’re likely to find anywhere in the UK. Immaculately-maintained, Sunningdale has hosted PGA tour events and is where some of the world’s most accomplished golfers have made history.
Measuring 6,627 yards, Sunningdale presents a challenge to long hitters and features many treacherous hazards, slopes and burrows for skilful players to avoid. The 15th is particularly revered amongst those that have played the course. A 239-yard par 3, even accomplished golfers have been known to take a driver off the tee, but be warned, bunkers await on both sides and there’s a heather-filled bank to the right.
Bearwood Lakes Country Club
Designed by Guy Hockley, Bearwood Lakes is a Berkshire golf course that is a test of any golfer’s patience and accuracy. Meandering through pine, beech and oak trees, the course design punishes wayward drives and poor club selection – and seven of the eighteen holes feature a water hazard!
At 327 yards, the 10th is a classic par 4 measuring 427 yards. Awaiting you on the tee is a deceptively narrow fairway, with unforgiving trees either side. Presenting a challenge for seasoned golfers, the hole also features a fairway bunker on the left and a sloping green where players must hold their nerves to get down in two.
Arriving at the 18th hole, players face a sloped right-left fairway where positioning off the tee is paramount. The small green is protected by a bunker to the right and left. Get trapped in the right-hand bunker and you’ll need your best sand play to get you out!
East Berkshire Golf Club
With only one par 5, East Berkshire Golf Club is often cited as one Berkshire golf course perfected suited to the inexperienced golfer. But, that doesn’t mean that the course is without its challenges.
The 3rd hole is a 429-yard par 4 without a bunker in sight. It does, however, feature a narrow tree-lined fairway that will require a rescue club if you slice a shot or two.
Anything other than a pinpoint accurate, straight drive down the 14th and you’ll find that you’ll need to or more shots to reach the green. A large bunker and punishing slopes guard the green, so golfers should be reminded to take their time and breath before launching into their backswing.
West Berkshire Golf Club
The formidable West Berkshire Golf Club has a course that measures 7,022 yards – and though it is a par 73, it’s certainly one that favours the longer hitter. The crown jewel is the 5th which measures a whopping 627 yards!
Yet from the moment, players step on the tee, they realise that yardage is key. The first hole measures 574 yards and has a gentle dogleg from right to left. Challenge the right-hand side bunker off the tee at your peril. The hole also features a corpse of trees either side that runs the length of the hole, it’s truly a hole where one shank and you could be lucky to get up and down in single figures.
Arguably, the most serene hole on the course, the 5th hole requires steely calm with every shot you take. From the tee, you’ll have to navigate a copse of trees and water to the left. The green is raised and situated behind a lake. This is one Berkshire golf course that challenges and excites players of all ages and standards.
Donnington Grove Golf Club
As far as golf in Newbury goes, you’d be hard-pushed to find a better course than the one found at Donnington Grove Golf Club, a Championship Course. Opened in 1993, the course overlooks Donnington Castle and features some of the most scenic golf in the county.
The course itself is a wealth of contrasts. Playing the front nine you’ll immediately notice the undulating ground that offers great views of the course and surrounding area. The back nine features a traditional parkland layout with an abundance of water hazards and treelined foliage to admire – and be wary off!
At 7,108 yards the course is also long. Great for anyone wanting to stretch their legs, but if you turn up on a day when the sun’s cracking the flags, it may well be a good idea to hire a buggy. The course also features generous fairways and spotless greens which encourage low scoring – and a great deal of enjoyment.