Beau Desert Golf Club
Location: Hazel Slade, Staffordshire
Designer: Herbert Fowler
Having spent a fair amount of time in recent months sampling some of the finest Midlands golf in the research of this Top 100, we think it’s fair to say the region is one of the most underrated in the whole country. Likewise, it’s no great exaggeration to state that had Beau Desert Golf Club – translation “Beautiful Wilderness” – been crafted across the Berkshire or Surrey sand belt, it would be lauded as one of our island’s finest inland courses. While it doesn’t quite hit the same high notes as a Sunningdale Old, a Swinley Forest, or a Walton Heath, Herbert Fowler’s intricate and entertaining layout, which flows over an undulating tract of the heather-laden Cannock Chase, is a close contender, boasting narrow, rolling spruce-, fir- and pine-lined fairways and sprawling greens complexes with wicked undulations. Adding to the appeal is the fact that pretty much each hole is played in splendid isolation from the next.
Beau Desert Golf Club is not a long course by any measure, but the devil is all in the details. Its sandy base means it usually plays fast and firm and, in addition, has a whole arsenal of defensive features, including bands of thick heather and gorse, steep run-offs, long whispy grass and gaping valleys. In short, there is an almost infinite number of ways you can find trouble.
To view the Top 100 Golf Courses in England please click here.