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Berkshire Country Club
1637 Bernville Road
Reading, PA  19601                    Printable Version
email:  tomm@berkshirecountryclub.org
web:  berkshirecc.net

Architect:  Willie Park Jr.
Founded:  1919

 
 Club Contacts 
 
 
 President Keith Derr (610) 374-8244 
 Golf Professional Tom Michaels (610) 376-2536 x130 
 General Manager Chad Schultenover (610) 374-8244 
 Superintendent Andrew Dooley (610) 374-2952 
 
 Slope Rating 
 
 

TeeFront RatingFront SlopeBack RatingBack SlopeCourse RatingCourse SlopeCourse Bogey
 Blue 35.3123 35.7 131 71.0 127 94.6 
 White 34.6123 34.8 127 69.4 125 92.6 
 Composite 34.4124 34.8 126 69.2 125 92.4 
 Gold 32.6122 33.3 118 65.9 120 88.2 
 Level Two 30.6112 30.3 104 60.9 108 81.0 
 White 36.6130 37.8 130 74.4 130 0.0 
 Red 34.9122 35.3 124 70.2 123 0.0 
 Level One 29.4104 28.8 96 58.2 100 76.8 
 Silver 34.7122 34.9 122 69.6 122 0.0 
 
 Directions 
 
 

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 Club History 
 
 

Berks County got what was probably its first exposure to golf at Berkshire Country Club, incorporated in April, 1899. Its clubhouse and a six-hole course were established on the west side of Wyomissing Boulevard, in Wyomissing. Wilson Ferguson, Herbert R. Green, and William Keiper Stevens were the three founding members who signed the papers of incorporation. They were also chosen for the first board of directors. The other eight directors were George J. Baer, John M. Archer, G. Howard Bright, William Seyfort, Edward L. Parvin, M. Brayton McKnight, Frank L. Smink, and J. Lancaster Repplier.


Berkshire’s clubhouse circa 1903, in Bern Township.

In May of 1902, the club left Wyomissing and bought 59 acres in Bern Township, just north of Reading. Here a clubhouse and a nine-hole course were built. Additional land acquisitions were made in 1916, 1921, and 1928, which gave the club a total of 125 acres and the opportunity to expand the course to 18 holes.

Golf at Berkshire is the legacy of Willie Park, Jr., a Scot from Musselburgh (outside Edinburgh) and one of the game’s towering figures between 1880 and 1925. He won the British Open in 1887 and 1889 and finished second in 1898. A man of parts, he was also an entrepreneur, businessman, clubmaker, inventor, and author (The Game of Golf and The Art of Putting). He joined his father in the club- and ball-making firm of W. Park and Son, teamed up with him to lay out courses in Scotland and England, then went out on his own. After several short visits to the United States around the turn of the century, he came over in 1916 for an extended period. Indefatigable and a perfectionist, he designed some 40 courses in 17 states and 20 more in five Canadian provinces. Knowingly or not, Philadelphians have long been playing several Willie Park, Jr., courses, including Philmont’s delightful South course, which he laid out in 1907, Greate Bay (formerly known as the Sands Country Club), and, of course, his engaging eighteen at the Berkshire.

A par 71 measuring 6,061 yards from the regular tees, the course here is marked by a relative scarcity of doglegs (this is a small tract of land and does not readily lend itself to either gently curving or boldly swinging fairways) and greens of average size defended by much more than an average measure of sand. Iron play must be accurate. Trees—splendid old hardwoods, evergreens, some blossoming fruit specimens—also play a major role, both in beautifying the course and defining the line of play. Berkshire is replete with the charm of classic parkland golf.

Some 50 years after its formation, the club would find itself in 1947, 1948, and 1950 hosting the world’s best players in the Reading Open. Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Bobby Locke, Dutch Harrison, and Fred Haas, Jr., played starring roles on these occasions.


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