Played by NCG: Berkhamsted

Courses and Travel

You'll find chipping around the greens particularly hard at Berkhamsted

Where it Berkhamsted: Off the A41, to the north of Hemel Hempstead

Reason for going: I’ve been trying to engineer a trip here for a couple of years, having heard lots of good things about it from the former secretary, Barry, who is now at St George’s Hill

What to expect: No sand. It’s one of a select few courses, also including Royal Ashdown Forest, Kington and Windermere, off the top of my head, without any bunkers. I’d describe it as a combination of heathland and parkland and it gets really bouncy in the summer.

My best bit: I loved the shots around the greens. You are rarely in long grass and there is no sand so you have the choice of using any number of clubs. But it is not easy to get your chips close (see below).

“I loved the shots around the greens.”

Watch out for: Two things. One is the fairways invariably run out at around 250 to 275 yards from the back tees, and maybe 200-225 yards from the yellows. When it’s running fast, you have to take real care not to run through them. The other is the green surrounds. If you think getting up and down must be easy here, it’s really not. Frequently, you are in little hollows, below the level of a firm green, with not a lot of green to work with.

When I go back… I’ll know what to hit from the tee. On a couple of holes I laid back too far and on others I bounded through fairways.

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