Burnham & Berrow: So good they named it twice

Burnham & Berrow: So good they named it twice

If you enjoy your golf best on sandy terrain, Burnham & Berrow is all of your dreams come true. The sand hills and dune complexes are enormous and the fairways – if you can hit them that is – are on the gloriously firm linksland that makes playing this kind of golf such an experience.

Burnham has played host to many important amateur championships over the years and the course is regularly used for Open Championship qualification. A round at Burnham & Berrow is an absolute must for links purists and comparatively good value too for such a quality course in these times of escalating green fees.

There are shades of Royal West Norfolk here and at the next with wide-open expanses flanked by marshland. The short 9th marks the furthest end of the course, from where Cheddar Gorge, the Bristol Channel, and the islands of Steep and Flat Home can all be seen, as well as Weston-super-Mare.

The Championship course is currently undergoing significant improvements that are being undertaken in consultation with Club architect Martin Ebert, in particular on holes 12, 13 and 14.


Burnham & Berrow was founded in 1890 and soon after they hired a youngster called JH Taylor, whose task was to be the club's first professional and keeper of the greens. One of the great triumvirate, Taylor went on to win the Open Championship five times.

The original nine holes at Burnham date back to 1891 and five years later the members decided to extend the course to Berrow Church and the resultant 18 holes became known by their present name.

Like many other of our finest courses, Burnham & Berrow has been fashioned by many hands. The renowned Herbert Fowler, a member here and a significant influence over the likes of Walton HeathThe BerkshireCruden Bay and Royal Lytham, extended the course to over 6,000 yards in 1910 and Harry Colt, assisted by Alister MacKenzie, applied the finishing touches.

Why it's special

There is a Church in the middle of the course and that in itself is unusual. Consequently over the years, changes have been made to the layout to ensure that the faithful congregation does not get injured by wayward shots; additionally, some of the blind drives have been designed out.

If you do make the sage decision to play a round at B & B, the dormy house, a detached property situated within the grounds of the Golf Club, is the perfect place to stay when playing at Burnham & Berrow.

Where does it rank?

40th in GB&I, 8th in England, and 19th in Value.

Where is it?

Burnham & Berrow is just over 30 miles from Bristol. If you skirt Weston-super-Mare off the M5 you’ll find the course right in the heart of Burnham-on-Sea.

Get in touch with Burnham & Berrow

James Lovett Photography

For more information about the club and course, visit its website or call them on 01278 785 760.

Have you played Burnham & Berrow? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us.

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