Top: Looking down on the 2nd green. Above: The 9th a Fowler, Colt and Mackenzie collabaration
Looking down on the 3rd greenRaised green at the 4th holeDon't be short at the 6th
Here we are then, Day Five and the final round of my Atlantic Links tour sees me pitch up at its highest-ranking course on Golf Monthlyís Top 100 list. Itís another Harry Colt Classic in Burnham and Berrow, which sits comfortably in the Top 50 at no37. I have to say standing on the first tee looking out to the dunes, I know I am in for another great dayís golf.
I donít know, maybe itís the proximity of the first tee to the clubhouse, but I feel slightly nervous and get under my 3-wood and sky it into the dunes on the left. I wedge out to the fairway, stiff the wedge and scramble my par. But what strikes me as I walk off to the second tee are the colours that greet me. Like the rest of this week the sky is the brightest of blues and the fairways are that perfect golden-brown, but the fescue that lines the fairways has a slightly orange-red hue. Itís truly breathtaking and itís at this moment I realise that Burnham & Berrow is going to be a fitting finale to this tour.
If Mr Colt was happy with his work at Trevose GC, he must have been in heaven with his handy work to Herbert Fowlerís original course was completed. You will also be happy to know, Dr Alistair Mackenzie had a hand in the ninth and tenth holes and with those three luminaries of golf course design, itís not hard to see why this course is held in such high esteem.
Strategy will play a big part in your round and I would advise taking the course planner and taking heed of the advice imparted by the professional, it will certainly help with your enjoyment of the course. I am fortunate enough to be playing 36 holes here today and will be teeing off with some members later on this afternoon who will no doubt impart some more words of wisdom.
This is another course where I am not going to go through the course hole by hole, mainly because they are all great holes and every one has its own challenge and there really are no weak ones. If I was being ultra-fussy the blind tee shot on the tenth doesnít do that hole justice, but again if you take the advice offered on the planner and go over the marker post you will be in good shape.
Because of Dr Alistair Mackenzieís involvement in the ninth hole I will give that a mention as it looks a daunting hole from the tee, especially from the back tee. Those six guarding bunkers are deep and intimidating and just waiting to collect anything wayward, but itís a big green so concentrate on that.
Some courses have a tougher back nine or front nine and the bad news for you here is that Burnham & Berrow has a tough front and back nine Ė but the good news is itís a firm but fair test of golf, played in a truly wonderful setting. As I say I play a further 18 holes with this yearís captain Martin and Bryn who is nicknamed ĎThe Reverendí by the ĎFriday Fiddlersí and I definitely enjoy the second round more than the first. I would like to thank both Martin and Bryn sincerely for their company Ė they made my second round of golf on this beautiful course an even more pleasurable experience.
For those of you who are reading this and planning to undertake the Atlantic Links Tour, firstly I would play the courses in the order I played them. Secondly if you are lucky enough to be playing Burnham & Berrow on a Friday try and turn up about 11.45am and you may get invited by Jim to play with the Friday Fiddlers. Then your enjoyment of the day will be twofold.
A green oasis at the11th holeLooking back down the 13thBunkers protecting the 17th
All golf photography taken on the day of play © James Mason