Frilford's oldest and most prestigious course, the Red was laid out in 1908 by JH Taylor, the five times Open Champion. Taylor may be less well known as a course designer than his fellow member of the Great Triumvirate, James Braid, but his track record is impressive. He was among the first course designers to build substantial artifical features on a course, at Royal Mid-Surrey, and along with his design partner Fred Hawtree, he played an important role in the creation of Royal Birkdale, often voted Britain's top course. The Red was later tweaked by long-time club professional JH Turner, but in essence, it remains Taylor's course, one of only a small number still remaining designed by one of golf's legendary figures.
The Red was described by Bernard Darwin as 'both good and difficult', and it still lives up to this description. An authentic championship challenge at 6,912 yards, it offers a traditional heathland golfing experience with pushed-up greens that run fast and true and fairways that demand accurate driving if golfers are to score well.
The stretch between holes five and nine is especially strong, with four hefty two shot holes and a par three that many will vote the most memorable on the course. The tee shot must carry a pond, and the elevated green is further protected by out of bounds to the rear. Seven consecutive par fours to close the round are a testing finishing stretch matched by very few courses.