Elite national squads head to Berkhamsted

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'The Berkhamsted’ is the year’s first big test in the elite amateur calendar
Posted on
January 10, 2024
by
The Editorial Team in
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Over 100 of the UK’s best golfers, including elite national squad members, will make their annual early-season pilgrimage to Hertfordshire in April for the 63rd Berkhamsted Trophy.

Male and female golfers with handicaps of 2.1 or better can enter the 2024 event here: www.berkhamstedgolfclub.co.uk/2024_entry.

Entries close at 12 noon on Thursday 14th March, with the field limited to 108 competitors.

This year’s tournament runs from Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th April.

An English golf classic, the Berkhamsted Trophy is British elite golf’s traditional curtain-raiser to the golf season: a three-day, 72-hole test of your game in often harsh early spring weather on Berkhamsted’s immaculate, bunker-free heathland track. The golf course rewards smart positional play over brute force, and is rated among England’s Top 100 golf courses.

Last year’s event saw the largest congregation of past & present England Golf players in recent years, with numerous golf bags and beanie hats sporting the distinctive red & white rose emblem of the national team.

(Credit: Andy Hiseman)

“We expect another strong turnout from the elite national squads in 2024” said Howard Craft, Club Manager at Berkhamsted Golf Club. “For many of them, the Berkhamsted Trophy represents their first major tournament of the year in England after warm-weather training in the winter.

“There’s no better way to see if your game’s up to scratch, and ready for the blockbuster amateur tournaments later in the season, than competing here at Berkhamsted.

“By doing so they are following in the footsteps of many of British golf’s greatest players!”

Former world #1 and European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald MBE is a previous winner of the Berkhamsted Trophy, as are double-Major winner Sandy Lyle MBE and British golf’s triumvirate of amateur golf legends, Sir Michael Bonnallack OBE, Peter McEvoy OBE and Gary Wolstenholme MBE.

Run entirely by Berkhamsted Golf Club members, the three-day Trophy features a halfway cut on Friday April 5th, and a 36-hole closing day on Saturday April 6th.

2023 winner James Claridge shot a record-breaking 11-under par total on his way to victory last year in his second attempt at lifting the Trophy. “In 2022 I was too defensive, and wary of how Berkhamsted plays with gorse frequently crossing the fairway, so last year I played more aggressively. I drove it well, only had one three putt all week, and hit it close with my irons – it was an outstanding week.”

Claridge went on to place 3rd in The Brabazon Trophy at Sunningdale a few weeks later, and secured a top 15 finish in the European Amateur Championship in Estonia in late June 2023.

England Golf’s Performance Manager (Men’s Golf), Stephen Burnett, said: “The Berkhamsted Trophy is always a strong field and very few UK inland courses could handle an elite event at this time of year. That’s what sets Berkhamsted apart.”

Elite national squads head to Berkhamsted
2023 Berkhamsted Trophy champion James Claridge (Credit: Andy Hiseman)

After blizzards and heavy rain temporarily halted the tournament in 2022 and 2023 respectively, Howard Craft and his greens staff are prepared for anything as the 2024 event approaches. “The British weather in the early springtime is traditionally unpredictable – but we would love sunshine this year so our latest crop of elite golfers can really attack James Claridge’s record score!”

The bunker-free Berkhamsted Golf Club is laid out on common land in Hertfordshire’s largest expanse of natural gorse and heather, with over five miles of bridleways and pathways running throughout the golf course and its 530-acre estate, full of natural beauty.

Situated north-west of London, close to the western boundary of Hertfordshire, Berkhamsted Golf Club is easily accessible from the A41, five miles west of Hemel Hempstead and just 15 minutes from M1 Junction 8 (St Albans).

For further information see www.berkhamstedgolfclub.co.uk.

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