Burnham & Berrow
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
"It's an adder!"
Never before has a search for a ball ended as abruptly as it did on the par 5, 4th hole at Burnham & Berrow.
My only previous encounter with a snake was spotting a black mamba hanging precariously from a tree while on safari in South Africa.
This was rather less exotic Somerset and, thankfully, this reptile was curled up, either asleep or dead. I wasn't prepared to find out, so I trudged back to the tee, never having been so willing to declare a ball lost.
Serpent interlude apart, Burnham and Berrow lived up the billing of previous reviews - superb links with an emphasis on precision driving and a requirement to read its dramatic contours.
Oh, and there is the wind. During the first nine it was in our faces and made an already tough track very testing for the uninitiated. At our back after the turn, the danger was overshooting the glorious greens.
My pre-match recce involved watching narrated videos of the links. Sky Sports commentator John E. Morgan extols almost every hole as 'being a beauty'.
He is right. They all have individual charm and challenges and many have superb views. He adds that several are 'fraught with danger'.
I can play Dr Watson to his Sherlock Holmes and confirm that analysis but I would also say that between us, my partner and I scored well on almost every hole so they do give you a chance... UNLESS you find yourself in the face of the left-hand bunker next to the 5th green.
After three pathetic attempts to extricate my ball, I realised I would only get out with the help of an excavator.
Nevertheless, there were enough fine moments to make me want to return but, hopefully, the next time the snake will have slithered off.