Berkshire has some of England's greatest courses including Sunningdale and Swinley Forest

The Best Golf Courses In Berkshire

The Royal County of Berkshire lies just west of Surrey and, just like its neighbouring region, has some of the country’s best golf courses.

Whilst pound-for-pound its top courses match and perhaps even beat those of Surrey’s, it doesn’t quite have the strength in depth.

It’s number one course, Sunningdale features near the top of our UK&I Top 100 courses, with the New Course ranking as the best inland course in the entire UK and Ireland.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

Other top quality courses in the county include The Berkshire and Swinley Forest.

Sky Sports’ Wayne Riley is a big fan of Berkshire golf.

“If you’re pushing me for my favourite heathland courses, I’d have to say Sunningdale, which is heaven on earth,” he told Golf Monthly.

“If you wanted to play golf every day of the week, that’s where you would choose, for sure. Swinley Forest is also right up there, and what an amazing lunch by the way, as is The Berkshire.

“All these brilliant places just offer the quintessential English golfing experience.”

Sunningdale

Sunningdale’s courses are two of the greatest heathland golf courses in the world, and the it is undoubtedly the best 36-hole golf club in the UK and Ireland.

Its Old and New Course can barely be separated, with the New ranking 9th in our Top 100 and the Old ranking 12th.

The next-highest inland course is Woodhall Spa’s Hotchkin in 22nd spot.

Sunningdale Golf Club New Course Pictures

The Old Course opened in 1901 and was designed by Willie Park Jr and was tweaked by the legendary Harry Colt, who was the club’s first secretary.

It measures 6,600 yards with a par of 70 and has hosted numerous professional events down the years including the British Masters, European Open, Walker Cup, Senior Open and Ladies British Open.

The New was designed by Harry Colt and John Morrison and opened for play in 1923. It measures 6,700 yards with a par of 70.

The Berkshire

The Berkshire

Another of Britain’s finest 36 hole clubs is The Berkshire, located just down the road from Sunningdale, south of Ascot.

The club has two stunning heathland courses, the Red and the Blue, with the Red course ranking highest in our Top 100 at 42nd.

They both opened in 1928 and were designed by Herbert Fowler, the man behind fellow GM Top 100 courses Walton Heath and Cruden Bay.

The Red course is unique in the sense that it features six par-3s, six par-4s and six par-5s.

The Berkshire

It measures 6,450 yards with a par of 72.

On the Red course, there is only one hole – the 12th – where the par of a hole is the same as the previous one.

There are no weak holes, and among the best are the par 3s at 10 and 16, the tricky dogleg 6th, and the genuine three-shotter at 17.

The Blue course is flatter than the Red but more difficult and measures 6,400 yards with a par of 71. It ranks 57th in our Top 100.

Swinley Forest

A purple haze at the lovely 12th

Swinley almost borders the Berkshire and is without doubt one of the country’s greatest courses.

It ranks 38th in our Top 100 and measures 6,300 yards with a par of 69.

Swinley Forest Golf Club Course Review

The 18th at Swinley

Swinley Forest is one of a kind – no website, no captain, no strokeplay competitions – very much its own club.

The course appears in many world lists, and is one that lives up to the highest expectations.

It’s truly beautiful and the 4th is a much greatly admired Redan par 3, as the 15th at North Berwick, with a green slightly above the tee and a sea of sand and fall-off areas.

A simple concept but a wonderful hole.

Bearwood Lakes

Bearwood lakes IMG_8234

Bearwood Lakes near Wokingham is Berkshire’s only exclusive club, meaning visitors must know a member to get a game.

The gorgeous course plays around lakes and through woodland with walls of rhododenrons throughout.

Whilst it appears like it has been there forever, it is actually only 22 years old.

Bearwood was designed by Martin Hawtree and is a 6,500 yard par 72.

It last ranked inside our Top 100 in 2015/16 before going exclusive, hence why it no longer makes the list.

Related: The UK’s best exclusive golf clubs

East Berkshire

The par-3 ninth

East Berks in Crowthorne is a delightful heathland course with heather and towering pines.

The course was designed by Peter Paxton and opened in 1903.

It doesn’t have the biggest acreage but the course winds its way through the pines and heather very nicely, with signature holes coming at the short par-3 5th featuring a stream just short of the green and the delightful par-3 9th which feels like it’s in its own forest.

Sand Martins

The contrasting nines at Sand Martins are located just down the road from both East Berkshire and Bearwood Lakes.

In fact, all of the clubs in this list so far are located very close to each other on Berkshire’s east side.

Sand Martins, opened in 1993, features a lovely parkland opening half before a challenging linksy back nine featuring dunes and whispy rough.

It’s a brilliant test of golf with some standout holes, like the downhill par-3 17th over water.

Sonning

Sonning Golf Club celebrated its centenary in 2014 and is a challenging treelined course.

It was designed by the legendary JH Taylor with a helping hand from Harry Colt a few years on and was then re-designed in 2012.

The course measures just over 6,300 yards with a par of 71.

It places a premium on accurate driving and has a number of undulations which makes club choice crucial.

Peter Alliss described the par-3 17th as “one of the best short holes in the South of England.”

Reading

Reading Golf Club, in Caversham just north of Reading on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border, is over 100 years old and plays through mature woodland and parkland.

The James Braid layout plays 6,200 yards with a par of 70 and is undulating throughout.

The signature hole is the downhill par-4 5th which plays from the top of a hill down into a valley.

That is followed by the testing uphill par-3 sixth which plays longer than its yardage.

Calcot Park

Calcot Park Golf Club is on the west side of Reading and is a historic club that opened in 1930.

It was designed by the legendary Harry Colt, the man behind Sunningdale, Wentworth and Swinley Forest.

The course is an undulating parkland, measuring 6,300 yards with a par of 70.

The standout hole is the glorious par-3 7th which plays over a lake.

Three-time Open champion Henry Cotton is said to have stuck it in the water here during a News of the World tournament.

Maidenhead

Maidenhead Golf Club, positioned inbetween Slough and Reading, is a historic parkland course in a lovely setting.

The club was founded all the way back in 1896.

The course measures over 6,300 yards with a par of 70.

Maidenhead may well have to find a new home if plans go ahead to relocate it. The club had sold back its lease 24 years early in 2016 to make way for 1,500 homes on the 32-acre site.

Members agreed to move out within three years.

Which are your favourite courses in Berkshire? Let us know on our social channels