Burnham Golf Club opened in 1891, originally as a nine hole course laid out amongst the sand dunes of the Berrow Warren close to the Burnham lighthouse.
The nine holes were designed by Charles Gibson, but by 1896 the members wanted to extend the course to Berrow Church and the name of the club was changed to Burnham & Berrow Golf Club. In 1910 Herbert Fowler, a member of the Club, extended the course further and designed the famous Church Hole and the current 18th hole.
Then In 1913 Harry Colt produced a blueprint to turn the course into the challenge it is today. It was the single most significant action in the development of the course. He removed all the blind shots and the weaker holes and introduced new 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th holes.
Colt also invited Dr Alistair Mackenzie, to give his views on the new 9th and 10th holes. Little has changed since.
Over the years the Championship course has hosted many national amateur championships, junior championships and The Brabazon.
There are two course at B & B- the famous Championship Course, and the lesser known nine hole Channel Course. The Channel Course was designed by Fred Hawtree in 1977, has some wonderful links holes and is a joy to play.
The Championship course is set amongst towering dunes on The Bristol Channel Coast, and features deep revetted bunkers, thick rough and smallish contoured greens.
It really is a stern test of golf.
The first five holes set the standard as the move though large dunes with a set of wonderful holes with the highlight being the Harry Colt designed par 3 fifth hole, which is perhaps the best hole on the course.
From hole 6 the course moves out of the big dunes, and while it is good golfing terrain it does not match the drama of the opening stretch. Each hole through the middle of the course in this slightly quieter setting is a good test of golf and a pleasure to play. However your prayers will be answered when you play the strong par 4 twelfth hole, known as ‘The Church hole’ because of the church set in the middle of the course....
Thereafter the course moves back into the more impressive dunesland, providing an imposing setting for a championship finish to ‘The Championship Course’.
Notable holes include;
- the Colt designed par 4 second hole,
- the par 3 fifth hole,
- the par 3 17th hole,
- the Herbert Fowler designed par 4 eighteenth hole
Burnam & Berrow is a wonderful test of golf, in a beautiful setting.
Don’t miss it!
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