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Beau Desert

Beau Desert: Golf truly is ‘oh so Beau’ in the West Midlands

Why we would rather be playing this charming West Midlands track

 

For those who do not know better, rumours of a “beautiful wilderness” just to the north of Birmingham might be thought of as fanciful. To anyone who has had the good fortune to visit Beau Desert Golf Club, it is an entirely appropriate description.

Length is not the main issue here, though its 6,300 yards has a par of only 70 and almost all the par 4s are worthy two-shotters. Rather, keeping your ball in play between the banks of heather and gorse is a prerequisite.

So too is judging the strength of your approach shots. Many of those are played downhill to greens that run away from the direction of play. Notoriously, grass bunkers act as collecting troughs beyond many of these greens.

Try chipping back from the downslope of one – which is where balls invariably seem to finish – to an elevated green and you will quickly learn the lesson. In addition, the greens here can get frighteningly quick in the summer. There are also some fearsome borrows to negotiate so this is certainly a course where short-game skills come to the fore.

History

For how this charming corner of Staffordshire came to be so exotically titled, we must thank the Sixth Marquess of Anglesey, one Charles Henry Alexander Paget.

Beau Desert lies within land that once belonged to the family. In 1911 the Marquess, a keen golfer, instructed Herbert Fowler to lay out a course on the present site of Hednesford Hills.

A Herbert Fowler original, Beau Desert is littered with his design twirls. From the front tees, particularly, there are many angles to contend with. The double dogleg 12th is the most prominent of those, which swings right then left.

What makes Beau Desert special?

Beau Desert means beautiful wilderness. That might seem odd for a course carved out of cultivated estate land and for which quite a large amount of earth was moved. A quite unique feature of a course more than a century old.

The land was owned by the Marquess of Anglesey, and he was able to call on significant numbers of  local labourers to create the raised plateau greens that remain a feature. You can still see evidence of this human endeavour in the large pits on the 1st, 3rd, 8th, and 9th.

It is not just modern courses that shape the land to suit.

Where does it Rank?

96th in GB&I, 47th in England, 1st in West Midlands

Where is it?

Beau Desert is located in the Cannock Chase National Nadscape, half an hour north of Birmingham in Staffordshire. The course sits roughly five miles from the M6 motorway which runs north-south.

Get in touch with Beau Desert

Beau Desert

For more information about the club and course, visit their website or call them on 01543 422 626.

You can play at Beau Desert on the NCG Top 100s Tour this year!

  • Register now to play in our 2024 Beau Desert event on May 21st here.

Now have your say

Have you ever played Beau Desert before? Let us know with a post on X, formerly Twitter!

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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