Burnham and Berrow Golf Club Championship Course Review

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
Photo: Geoff Ellis (golfworking.co.uk)

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

Previous Rankings 2019/20 -30 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

Website: www.burnhamandberrowgolfclub.co.uk (opens in new tab)

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

Think of golf and the west country, and your mind will likely venture a long way south-west towards Saunton and Royal North Devon, then on to St Enodoc and Trevose.

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.

Burnham & Berrow

Looking down on the 8th and 9th holes (Photo: James Lovett)

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.

Burnham & Berrow

The 17th is a strong par 3 (Photo: James Lovett)
(Image credit: JAMESLOVETT)

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!

Related: Dr Alister MacKenzie: Augusta's Designer

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.

Burnham & Berrow

The rolling 2nd hole is one of the finest on the course (Photo: Geoff Ellis, golfworking.co.uk)

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.

Burnham & Berrow

The 12th green is set close to a church (Photo: Geoff Ellis, golfworking.co.uk)

Assessor Feedback

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.

GM Verdict

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.


Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response