West Berkshire is a relative youngster in the scheme of things. The club was founded in 1975 and Robin Stagg a relatively unknown architect designed the course and laid it out on the Berkshire Downs.
The course is of parkland cum downland style and itís long too, stretching out some 7,000 yards from the championship tees. Although itís built on clay, the USGA construction of greens and tees ensure that the course is playable all year round. Itís also groomed to a high standard and receives many accolades from members and visitors alike. With four tee positions to choose from, the course has been designed and constructed to a level of excellence that will test and reward golfers whatever their standard.
Already, West Berkshire is proving to be a favourite and is widely acclaimed as one of the best up-and-coming new courses in England. The course starts stiffly and the par five 5th is one of the longest holes in the region, measuring a whopping 627 yards. In fact, all the par fives are true three shotters and the average par five yardage from the back tees is 568 yards and the yardage only drops down to around 513 yards off the friendly yellows.
The course is now benefiting from tree planting some 20 years ago, which is starting to define the holes by adding maturity. West Berkshire is an easy and pleasant walk and the clubhouse offers a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, which is very popular with visiting societies.
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Average Reviewers Score:
How this course has made it on to the rankings is totally beyond me. It is an average course at best with no real stand out holes. There are many many better courses than this in the area let alone the country that don't make it anywhere near this site. First time I have had to strongly disagree with a course being in the rankings lists on this website. Terrible layout to the course, the worst teeing areas I have played off, when they weren't on mats, poor greens at best, fairways were the only positive. When the rankings are re done this must surely make an exit from the top 200.
Feel this review is a little harsh. Whilst the tees are a little scruffy, the greens are always in great condition (even at this time of the year) as is the rest of the course. Its a tough course that will not suit the majority of people, but its has some fantastic holes! the 10th is one of the toughest holes you will ever play, whilst 17 and 18 are very picturesque and challenging. a top 100 course, absolutely not, but worth a visit for the money - yes
Very disappointed with this course, expected a lot better how it is ranked as the 7th best course in Berkshire is very strange. The tees were in very very poor condition and hard to find a level area to tee off, fairways were ok greens and bunkers were not good. Apart from the distance of the course it has nothing going for it very plain and very average, Would not visit again.
Although they try very hard at West Berks, the course is always in good condition, they are making mistakes with the design of the course. Thay keep putting bunkers in the wrong places and mounds which look out of place and unnatural. The routing of the holes could be changed to make a more balanced round.The 9th should be the 1st then follow to the 16th and make the 5th the 9th, then 6,7,8,1,2,3,4,17,18. Then they could have the halfway hut by the clubhouse and have the 1st and 10th tees by the clubhouse. With perfect design this could be a great test of golf and is most definitely a sleeping giant. The 9th and 13th should be changed into par 4's as well, par 73 course's disappeared in the 1980's. Just leave 13 as it is, it is already a modern day par length par 4 and move the tee forward on the 9th to make it 485 yards par 4, then it will be a proper golf hole instead of dog legging in the wrong place and being a danger for the 18th tee and 17th green areas. Good luck West Berks get it right and you will reap the rewards.
I agree about the 13th being changed to a par 4, although not the 9th. However, as for "par 73 courses disappeared in the 1980s" - I played the remodelled Wentworth West yesterday and guess what? It's a par 73.
27 February 2013
Well Young P, not all of us play off the ladies tees at Wentworth. The 9th dog legs at round about 350 yards off the back tee, which then presents the 280 yard drive with a 2nd shot over the 17th green and 18th tee, this is not a good thing, moving the tee up would eliminate this, but on the other hand the present tee shot is the best on the course, the 9th off the back tees is right up there with the toughest tee shots in golf, but still presents an awkward, dangerous 2nd shot. This course is moving forward,just very slowly.
01 March 2013
Well Raindog, thatís the debating equivalent of following a bad shot with a stupid one. I donít know if youíve played beyond Berkshire but there are a number of par 73 courses out there Ė Woodhall Spa, Ganton, Donegal, Enniscrone and, yes, Wentworth West (off even the medal and championship markers, although of course the pros play it as a par 72) to name just a few in the Top 100 alone. I thought it was actually a good point you made about the dangers of the second shot on 9 at West Berks. But then you described the tee shot on that hole as ďright up there with the toughest tee shots in golfĒ, so I can safely assume it was only a momentary outbreak of sanity.
04 March 2013
Young P, you've obviously seen me play, it goes bad, stupid, desperate, 3 putt.
Played this course on 1st July 2009, Course was in excellent condition running hard & fast, the greens were very good and quite fast. The course has a few good holes notably the monster 5th, 15th & 16th. Overall well worth a visit.
A very ordinary course and not one that should really challenge any official ranking list. Many gems on this site offer a much better golfing experience. That said the staff were extremely welcoming and very friendly.
Of the courses that I know in this list, this one is out of its depth being included in the top 250. It is a nice-to-play course but that is about as far as you could go. Nearby Caversham Heath in Reading is far superior, so is East Berks in Crowthorne. Thers is also no way that anyone in their right mind could rank it above King's Lynn. Don't take the negativity too hard. This is a decent, slightly above average course, good value for money and friendly, but it is not particularly memorable or outstanding in any way.