Golf in Britain has a history that stretches back to the 15th century and later in this section we look at golfing venues celebrating their 100th birthday.
With such an abundance of great, old golfing establishments, every new development faces increased scrutiny. Bearwood Lakes, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2006, however, is a place that compares favourably with the very best of the more mature layouts. Despite its relative youth this Martin Hawtree design conveys an air of permanence. Winding gracefully through huge oaks and Scots pines, the beautifully manicured fairways pass sections of lake en route to large, fast and testing greens.
Bearwood Lakes is a fabulous layout offering an interesting alternative to the heathland tracks of the Home Counties. Out on the course it?s easy to imagine you are in North America rather than just a mile from the M4. The proximity to Wokingham and the motorway is in fact a bonus rather than a bind as the course is easily accessible from London or the West ? and it?s just half-an-hour from Heathrow.
The course is one that big hitters will relish. The generous fairways framed by magnificent trees make appealing targets and, at almost 7,000 yards from the back tees, those who can launch a long ball are at an advantage. However, you can?t just stand up and bludgeon the ball ? good course management is also important. The 13th provides a good example of the course?s character. You can greatly reduce the length of your approach by hitting over a part of the lake ? but get too greedy and you face a penalty drop.
The clubhouse here is stylish and comfortable but my favourite facility has to be the halfway hut offering simply superb sausage sandwiches. This is a members? club so you can?t turn up as a paying visitor. You must be, or know, a member to enjoy a round here. I?d recommend.
ADDRESS: Bearwood Road, Sindlesham, near Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 4SJ
T: 0118 979 7900
STATS: par 72, SSS 71, 6,488 yards
GF: with a member only
GM TOP 120 RANKING: 71