A James Braid Golf Course - Just North of Reading in Emmer Green
Reading Golf Club is a traditionally built course which, as one would expect with its 100 years’ history, has matured into one of the finest parkland type courses around. The course, though not exceptionally long in modern course terms, has its defences in tree-lined fairways, well-positioned bunkers and some crafty pin positions that require accuracy and patience.
A scorecard shows the course as 6,224 yards for men off the white tees and 5,697 yards for ladies. However, the best way to see the course is to come and play it. To find out more about playing at Reading, click here to go to the Visitors page.
In 1910, it was decided to form a new 18 hole course at Emmer Green and call it “The Caversham and South Oxfordshire Golf Club”.
It was planned to rent the land because the purchase price was prohibitive. The plans almost floundered for this reason but all was saved by some extraordinarily generous investments by two gentlemen which enabled the freehold of the land to be acquired. The land is still owned by the members to this day.
James Braid, having already won the Open Championship four times, was appointed as the course architect. For his design he was paid 25 Guineas. Braid played in a match at the official opening of the Club in November 1910, having just had his fifth Open success.
James Braid was followed by a new and equally renowned course designer in 1913 – Harry Colt, who is regarded by many as the father of modern course design. Extensive alterations were required in the aftermath of the First World War during which a substantial part of the course was lost.
In the 1930s the members complained that the course Braid designed was too physically demanding and Phillip Mackenzie Ross altered it significantly.
Perhaps the most important course development in recent years was the installation of a modern watering system in 1997. This has enabled the green staff to present the course in the immaculate condition that is now the norm.