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Beau Desert Golf Club
Hidden among the towering canopy of Staffordshire's Cannock Forest, this Herbert Fowler classic stands proudly alongside his other English master-pieces - Saunton, Walton Heath and The Berkshire, to name a few.
The beauty of Beau Desert is hard to describe as, with only the occasional passing Stag as a critic of your ability to master the rolling fairways and testing greens, you will enjoy both a sense of isolation and peacefulness here allowing you to focus on your game and enjoy your visit to the full.
The Midlands is not necessarily considered a hot spot for golf courses but Beau Desert Golf Club is one of the few exceptions.
This was the Marquess of Anglesey’s golf course. He commissioned Herbert Fowler to design it and in 1911, Fowler completed the job. The golf club was formed and for the first seven years, played locally at Hednesford Hills before later moving to the current site, affording the poor Marquess some tax benefits and some income from the lease.
Beau Desert, or Beautiful Wilderness is an unusual name for a golf course, especially for a course located in such a picturesque landscape. The land once formed part of the Marquess’s Beaudesert Estate. Once upon a time, the area may well have been wild, but it isn’t anymore. This is a stunning heathland course. Heather and gorse-lined fairways, framed by acres of firs and spruces.
It’s certainly not a long course, measuring 6,458 yards from the tips, but it’s narrow. You need accuracy from the tee. The greens are quite large, especially the 18th, and they are full of wicked borrows, so expect a few three putts. Beau Desert is no pushover; on numerous occasions it has hosted Open Championship qualifying rounds and more recently (2012), England Golf's County Championships which was won by the Wiltshire Golf Union. Invariably, the course is maintained in excellent condition.
One of the many treats at Beau Desert is that you play most holes in splendid isolation; you can lose yourself in the trees here. Additionally, the holes are varied and memorable. If you take Beau Desert alongside Whittington Heath and Little Aston, you will be hard-pressed to find three better inland courses in the British Isles, except in Surrey and Berkshire.
Rugeley Road, Hazelslade, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS12 0PJ