Burnham & Berrow is a links with a difference, with a strong cast of par 3s and a short stretch of reed-lined holes adding to the course’s individuality
Burnham & Berrow Golf Club Championship Course Review
Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 – 28
2017/18 – 31
2015/16 – 33
2013/14 – 37
2011/12 – 42
2009/10 – 47
Summer Green Fees
Round: £130-£145wd, £155we; 36 holes: £165-£180wd, £190we
Visitor Times: Any day. Check for availability
Medal Tee: Par 70 – 6,802 Yards
Changes since previous ranking
There is an ongoing project to re-profile the 12th hole, temporarily being played as a strong 195-yard par 3 from a newly constructed elevated tee.
Burnham and Berrow Golf Club Championship Course Review
But neither you, nor your mind, have to venture that far – mighty fine Top 100 links though all are – to enjoy what Golf Monthly now ranks highest of all the great west country links.
Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland
Founded in 1891, and with five-time Open champion J.H. Taylor as its first professional, Burnham and Berrow in Somerset perhaps took a little longer to start shouting its own praises than some of the aforementioned.
Yet they are praises well worth shouting, for this is a fine, and at times, stunning links playing over spectacularly rumpled terrain, and boasting, in its reed-lined front-nine holes, something a little different for a seaside course.
Harry Colt was the mastermind behind much of the layout, in collaboration with Dr Alister MacKenzie on the 10th and 11th, with the challenge starting from the off on a narrow but not overly long opener playing uphill and into the prevailing wind.
The real test is that you must hit this shot just inches from the putting green and yards from prying clubhouse eyes!
The standout holes
The 2nd is simply magnificent, playing from a raised tee to a fairway that kinks gently both ways before reaching its long narrow green. The par 3s are strong, especially the 5th with a deep central pot bunker set into its false front, and the 17th, a daunting 200-yarder to a raised green with run-offs and bunkers around the front half.
To highlight but a few holes is to do the rest of the course an injustice, though, for this is a links that requires precision and creativity throughout, with greens that are famously fast through the summer and blessed with some perplexing undulations and run-offs.
Add in excellent practice facilities, a fine additional nine-holer and an on-site dormy house, and the overall Burnham and Berrow experience is hard to beat.
If you like all-or-nothing par 3s, then this is the place for you; if you like glorious long fairway woods to well-sited greens, then this is the place for you; in fact, if you like golf at all, then this is the place for you!
This was my first visit since the dogleg 6th was softened by creating new tees on a straighter line, and a new championship tee on the par-3 9th created a tighter line there. Both are good improvements.
A links with a difference, with a strong cast of par 3s and a short stretch of reed-lined holes adding to the course’s individuality.