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Berkshire – Blue Course

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Founded: 1928
Designer: Herbert Fowler
Championship Length: 6,358 yards
PAR: 71
Type: Heathland
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The Blue Course, unusually, starts with a par 3, but it is a magnificent start, and one which instantly confronts the golfer with the skill of Fowler’s design. The green sits on a hump, more than 200 yards away over a sea of heather. There is trouble short and right of the green, to catch the weakly hit slice. There is also trouble to the back left of the green to punish the hooked shot which is likely to go long. This is a regular theme on both courses, and always the trouble and hazards are subtly created from the natural shape and contours of the land which Fowler had to work with.

After the challenges of the 1st have been dealt with, the front 9 offers some birdie opportunities, with two par 5s and three short par 4s. It is advisable to take advantage of these, as the back 9 offers just one hazardous par 5, and finishes with a run of five challenging par 4s which can severely damage a potentially good card. The most difficult of these, the long, dog-leg 16th, competes with the 1st hole to be considered the finest on the Blue Course. To avoid a very long second shot, the drive must be well struck around, or over, the bunker which is cut into the corner of the dog leg. Even once on the green, the dangers are not over, as it slopes severely from back to front and left to right.

The Blue Course may not rank as highly as the Red in the top 100 lists, however members will often say that it is the tougher of the two courses to score on, and the difficulty in putting good figures on the card is a testament to the success of Fowler’s work.

Overview courtesy of Berkshire Golf Club

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“As we moved through Scotland and Ireland it was as if you guys were calling ahead to make sure that each venue was waiting for us as the check in process for both the hotels and the golf courses was seamless.”

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