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Burnham Beeches Golf Club Feature Review

By: Richard Moore | Wed 05 Jul 2023

Review by Golfshake Ambassador Richard Moore

Burnham Beeches Golf Club is situated in a hidden, quiet and exclusive part of South Buckinghamshire just a few miles off the M40 (exit at Beaconsfield services). 

This is the perfect location for a modest size golf society up to 20 players where golfers want something a little bit special and can appreciate all the finer details right from start to finish. The clubhouse and course are of a really high standard. 

You will find it after 10 minutes careful driving down some very small roads that cut through beautiful forests, where you are more likely to come across horse riders than any other cars. Then, just as you emerge from the forest you will see some of the most jaw-dropping houses that serve as a nice mood setter for a sharp left turn through huge wrought iron gates into Burnham Beeches Golf Club, ready for a truly first class, premium experience.

BBGC dates back to 1891, the same year Muirfield opened as well as other historical courses like Wallasey (the home of Stapleford scoring), Burnham & Berrow and Shinnecock Hills (the oldest course in the USA). So, there is real history here.

Burnham Beeches

Pre-Round Thoughts

There are several practice putting and chipping areas and a nice grass practice area situated around 200 yards from the clubhouse for up to around 10 golfers to get warmed up prior to a round. Already this beats, hands down, the practice facilities for most golf courses. But BBGC does not rest on any laurels and is continually looking for refinements. So, construction is already underway for a full driving range and short game practice area adjacent to the clubhouse which will be of the highest standard when it opens in May 2024. The photos on view in the beautiful clubhouse are impressive.

The clubhouse staff need a special mention here. Everyone is in uniform with name badges and a huge welcoming smile. Now, some golf clubs employ plenty of part time youngsters who will bring over your drinks and food. But at BBGC you can see there is enormous pride amongst the staff who are clearly delighted to be there to look after the members and their guests, working amongst lovely historic surroundings.

I was met by Peter Lowery who gets my award for the friendliest General Manager. He even took me for a quick tour of the course in a buggy especially to make sure I did not miss the incredible views from the championship tee on the fourth which is truly a sight to behold. I have photographed many great elevated tee shots in UK and abroad, but this was something special. 

Burnham Beeches

Peter has been a GM all over the UK - not just the home counties but for top courses in Cheshire and Worcestershire too. Clearly, he has vast experience and therefore knows exactly what he wants from a top-notch course to continue to rival the likes of other highly rated courses in the region such as Hankley Common and Worplesdon in Surrey. 

Front 9 Overview

The first hole sets the scene. A huge beautifully manicured tee adjacent to the clubhouse, which many golf clubs would yearn for their greens to look this good. It is a super opening hole with a tee shot which is blind as the second half of the fairway runs steep downhill to a stunning looking green guarded by three beautifully manicured bunkers to catch anything short. The steep downhill view gets you reaching for your camera phone right away, and this is only the first hole! It is an exhilarating start. Not a difficult hole provided you find the fairway. 

The second is an uphill par 4 of 400 yards which doglegs to the left and has beautiful trees of many varieties lining the fairway. It is very picturesque, but it is a long hole. Players will be wary of the trees on the right and conscious of the bunker waiting short left. It has a magnificent large green with some interesting undulations. It is beautiful, but a tough second.

The third is a challenging par 3 downhill from an elevated tee. It is made difficult by the coppice on the right that encroaches on the hole by obscuring your view of the green, which is no problem to anyone hitting a fade, but it is cleverly designed to narrow your focus.

The par 5 fourth is just stunning. Even if you are not playing the white tees, you simply MUST walk up the path to take in the views that await. It is a quite magnificent view looking down over the trees and ferns before you get back to the fairway. It is also here you really see the amazing work of the greenkeepers (who never stopped working throughout my round and were never too busy to give you a smile and a wave and stop to have a chat). Their striping of the fairways is just immaculate and really reminded me of Bearwood Lakes near Wokingham (which is equally stunning to view as BBGC).

This hole doglegs left flanked by ferns and trees - the hole is beautiful with the sheer variety of tree types surrounding the green providing different colours of greens and purples. It’s just idyllic.

Now, as you walk to the fifth you will see the first of many water fountains dotted around the course and this one is pleasantly situated in the shade between the green, and the fifth tee - another classy touch.

The fifth is similar to the first hole featuring a blind tee shot to the crest of a hill before a sharp downhill drop off. Beware the bunker at 200 yards on the left-hand side that needs to be avoided, but the real danger is the tee shot that runs out at 230 yards and plunges down into long grass. A very picturesque hole and the green is guarded by two bunkers on the left. Approaching the green you’ll see another refinement, which is an all-weather rubber-based cart path that is making it ideal for all weather conditions. There are a few of these on the course.

The sixth has been redesigned over the years and splits opinion amongst the members. It is uphill and has bunkers waiting short right. It is made more difficult as it is quite exposed, so you may need to factor in the wind. Plus, the green is elevated with severe run-offs dropping five feet below the height of the green. All of this makes this a very difficult par 3 - hence stroke index eight.

The seventh is another pleasant but not too demanding hole well framed by trees, where the green is nicely set in trees. Bunkers guard left and right. Here I was met by the very friendly Head Greenkeeper, Lee Bishop, who at this point mentioned some members drive this hole - which measured 337 yards from the yellow tee (no pressure then!). This is a relatively straightforward hole if played to regulation. 

When approaching the eighth tee I found the third three-seater wooden garden chair on the course so far. This provides lovely views down this fine-looking hole which doglegs left. The fairway cambers from right to left suiting a nice tee shot towards the right-hand bunker (situated at 200 yards). As the fairway cambers left it brings into the play the left one of the two bunkers that guard both sides short of the green - simply adding another dimension to the challenge of this hole.

Then there is a short climb up to the ninth tee - again a feature of BBGC where you climb up to multiple elevated tees.

The ninth is the first dogleg right which looks back towards the clubhouse, and the practice area. Beautiful mature pine trees run up the left-hand side of this fairway from the tee. 

Once you’ve holed out there’s a super halfway house with nice chairs and tables outside, which a number of the members were taking full advantage of. I was called through so did not partake but it looked very tranquil for refreshments.

Back 9 Overview

The tenth is a great hole - a beautiful par 3 ideally designed for a ‘nearest the pin’ for your society’s competition. There are three bunkers surrounding the green with the standout feature, being a ‘sleepered’ bunker short of the green which I would not want to be in! It is clearly reminiscent of Royal North Devon’s iconic fourth hole ‘Cape Bunker’ which really must also be avoided at all costs. Some nice undulations on this green will certainly provide some fun putts.

Burnham Beeches


Eleven has a wide fairway to aim for on this slightly left dogleg par 5. Can’t help but notice here how wide the tees are and are all lush green and mown to perfection. This course really does have some nice touches to it. Although the fairway is nice and wide, the second cut of grass becomes thick, so you’ll need to be accurate with your tee shot. Beware the nest of bunkers just 90 yards from the green for anyone miscuing a second shot. 

It was at this point in the round I really noticed how hard the greenkeepers were working to keep everything pristine, constantly mowing the course even deep into the afternoon. At times I felt like there was an army of greenkeepers. In reality it was just a few of them but working extremely hard for their members. 

The twelfth tee is home to another water fountain and garden bench. This is a great tee shot with a narrow corridor to the fairway created by two groups of trees which really focuses the mind. This is another multi-tiered tee for the different levels of golfer (each tee with its own carefully crafted stepped access - very classy.) Not only is it narrow but it is a blind tee shot as you can only see 100 yards in front of the tee before the crest of the hill and then the fairway slopes down from this point and narrows at around 250 yards. It is a beautifully shaped hole doglegging left around trees towards the green. Just the one bunker awaits this hole to the right of the green. Unsurprisingly at 440 yards this is stroke index one.  

Number thirteen is a par 3, which hugs the boundary of the course with trees all the way up the right-hand side to a blind green. It is again cleverly designed with four large bunkers in the front of the green, providing the ‘mystery of depth’. Due to the placement of these bunkers, it is impossible to judge the green, which slopes from the middle downhill at least three feet to the front, so make sure you’re not short.

Fourteen is a ‘brute and a beaut’ of a par 4. It starts with another narrow tree-lined tee shot. For the club golfer finding the middle of the fairway with a 200-yard drive will leave a second shot of equal distance, but it’s downhill and blind. So, the hole suits a power fade of around 260 yards before the fairway runs out at 280. There is plenty of bail-out room to the right of the green for those ‘going for it’ with a long second. One bunker lies short and left.

NB. This is such a fabulous and totally unique hole. For your approach shot the fairway runs down on a steep slope peppered by what must be 30 mature bushes and long grass. It is amazing to see but not somewhere you want to be playing your ball out of. It is truly unique as the bushes stand like tombstones - it’s like nothing I’ve seen before!

Burnham Beeches

Yet another water fountain welcomes you between the two-tiered fourteenth green and the fifteenth tee - a welcome refreshment on a hot day.

The fifteenth tee is again elevated with three teeing areas for this 370-yard par 4. The fairway rises all the way up towards a green which is protected by two bunkers. This hole really highlights how well manicured and watered the fairways are ... once you are on them. The fairways are lush, green and striped, whereas the 120 yards of semi-rough before you reach the fairway are not closely mown or watered, providing a wonderful colour contrast to the fairway. 

Once you get to the green be careful not to miss long, left or right with treacherous run-offs providing a real challenge to test your short game. It looks an innocuous hole but miss the green at your peril. 

The sixteenth tee is found by turning back on yourself down the fairway and you will find it on your right-hand side. A par 5 of just under 500 yards. A large coppice awaits any tee shot running down the left-hand side, and two enormous cross bunkers cross the fairway at 260 yards making it a tough tee shot. The fairway has fairway bunkers flanking and the green is nicely framed with mature trees behind. Overall, a nice par 5.

But it’s here I noticed the fairway bunkers are expertly manicured with wonderful contouring around the top edges - some really unusual and interesting shapes.  

And, like the previous hole just beware missing the green long, back right and left with run-offs making tricky chips back onto the green.

Seventeen is a lovely looking par 3 with five enormous, contoured bunkers. Intriguingly, when on the tee you’ll count around 10 bunkers, but they are large and joined. So, club up for this 177-yard/stroke index 13 test.

Eighteen is a lovely, majestic finish with a straight path back to the wonderful, looking clubhouse with its classic clocktower on the top. Providing a fitting finish to a memorable round and an ideal hole for the longest drive in your society.

Post-Round Thoughts

Burnham Beeches

I’ve played Burnham Beeches twice before with a society and everyone raved as much about the quality of golf as the wonderful food - some said, ‘the best food we have had as a society’. Any society that comes will feel like it is their club for the day as they can exclusively use the restaurant that caters comfortably for up to 70 guests.


Burnham Beeches

If I was planning a golf society game where you know everyone will appreciate a touch of quality and class - I’d pick Burnham Beeches. No one will go home disappointed. This venue is Highly Recommended on Golfshake.

Overall Rating - 10

Course (Conditions) - 10

Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 9

Course (Green Condition) - 10

Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8

Club Facilities & Clubhouse - 10

Practice Facilities - 9

Friendliness/Hospitality - 10

Pace of Play - 10

Value For Money - 10

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