It is not every day you visit two castles – and play golf on the same day. The Berkshire Golf Club and Wentworth Golf Club are located within 10 minutes from each other however are completely different.
Greeted at The Berkshire by the affable Secretary Ian Waller at 5:30am with motorised cart at the ready Gary scooted around the course and captured some great images of both courses (Red and Blue).
Distinct from Australian golf where kangaroos abound on some courses Gary was greeted with deer prancing up and down the fairways giving understanding to the golf club logo – a memorable design featuring two deer on either side of a flagstick.
Everything about The Berkshire is friendly and first class. From the initial greeting from the caddie master and pro shop staff through to the genuine friendliness of all other staff we felt welcome from the time we arrived.
A unique feature of this course is that it has 6 par 3 holes, 6 par 4 holes and 6 par 5 holes. You would think with so many par 5’s that birdies would abound – read on for an update.
Finding yourself marginally off the fairway results in a first cut of rough that is heather/gorse and, as one member explained, a maximum of an 8 iron back to the fairway. After a few foolhardy attempts to hit long clubs from this rough (because we knew better!!!…without success we might add) we reverted back to the member’s advice.
The Berkshire is a delight to play with a terrific variety of holes that wind their way through the pine trees and move in all different directions. Again the par 3 holes were a feature none more so than the 10th – 175 metres of all carry to a narrow, multi tired green perched higher than the tee. Anything short fell away into an abyss.
We both felt privileged to have our Australian golf clubs in reciprocal arrangements with The Berkshire.
A further 10 minutes down the road and host to last week’s BMW PGA Championship is Wentworth Golf Club.
Wentworth is not just a golf club – its portfolio includes 3 championship golf courses, a large membership base, a plethora of visitors seeking to emulate the feats of their golfing idols as well as a large real estate component where multi million dollar houses are the norm.
The administration and pro shop staff were extremely helpful and our pre game lunch at the grill was served with polished service.
This golf course is tough! Missing the fairway will not see you in heather or gorse but in recently added large, deep fairway bunkers or thick poa rough. Dont even think about hitting the green from these “hazards”.
Hitting long and straight is paramount to a good score as many par 4’s are well over 400 metres (in fact the 15th is a whopping 440 metres).
The course was in great shape and of course there is no bigger thrill than playing the par 5 18th over water framed by an amphitheatre of marquees and grandstands from the tournament that finished only 48 hours earlier with a repeat victory by Luke Donald.
Waving to the 100,000 (over 4 days) crowd in our mind (minus 99,997) helped to alleviate the pain of what was a very tough day at our golfing office (why you would play golf for a living is beyond us….)
The end result for the day – 36 holes, 12 genuine birdie chances (less than 10 feet) on poa greens and NO birdies (can you believe it?).
A team meeting at the nearby pub ended the day with promises by all team members that they would pull up their socks for the 36 holes at Sunningdale tomorrow.