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10 of The Best Golf Courses to Play in Essex

By: Liam Moore | Fri 11 Aug 2023

The county of Essex has always been a popular hotspot for golfers, largely thanks to the impressive collection of golf courses it can offer.

Whether you’re looking for a parkland test or a shorter 9-hole offering, Essex has it all.

Below, we provide information of ten of the best courses to be found within the district - how many have you played?

Thorpe Hall Golf Club

Thrope Hall

Thorpe Hall Golf Club may not be the longest layout at 6,342 yards, but the challenge lies beyond its distance with rolling fairways and undulating greens. The course is completely surrounded by housing and the parkland track is susceptible to the fickle sea breeze that can dampen scoring opportunities.

Golfshake Review: “Fairways, tees and greens in excellent condition. Quite challenging and interesting. Very friendly staff. Overall great experience.”

Clacton on Sea Golf Club

Clacton on Sea

Clacton on Sea is a relatively flat offering that measures at 6,448 yards from the tips, with five par threes and four par fives. The putting surfaces are often regarded as some of the best you can find in Essex and higher handicappers will be thrilled to know that there is no internal out of bounds on the course. However, there are numerous water hazards that will require careful thought.

Golfshake Review: “We returned for our second visit this summer. We love the sea breezes across the course which is fairly level with water hazards on several holes.”

Saffron Walden Golf Club

Saffron Walden

If picturesque surroundings elevate your round of golf, then Saffron Walden should be very high on your list to play. Not only does the club boast a terrific golf course, but the outstanding kitchen and homey clubhouse is the perfect environment to chill after your round.

Golfshake Review: “The greens were in great condition; it made it a bit challenging to score but still fair. The scenery was beautiful.”

Boyce Hill Golf Club

Boyce Hill

Boyce Hill is located near Benfleet and it is within walking distance from the local train station there, meaning you don’t necessarily have to drive to experience its charm. The course features fairways that gently undulate but the real challenge likes in your approach game, as lingering bunkers act as a stern line of defence.

Golfshake Review: “This course was really challenging but very well kept. For £40-£50 per round, it was a real pleasure.”

Thorndon Park Golf Club

Thorndon Park Golf Club offers a historic layout that was first laid by Harry Colt back in 1920. Having routed a golf course in 240 acres of an ancient deer park, Colt successfully created a challenging course that has been inevitably lengthened since the original opening. The Palladian mansion acts as the perfect backdrop for the closing hole.

Golfshake Review: “Always great to get a game in at Thorndon. Everything is always in great condition and a great layout.”

West Essex Golf Club

West Essex

This championship course dates back to the early 20th century and golf has continuously been played at this reputable venue ever since. West Essex Golf Club is a tale of two differing nines and it is a real test of both strength and accuracy. The opening half is shorter in length but narrow, whilst the latter nine is lengthier yet wider from the tee.

Golfshake Review: “A very welcoming course, clubhouse and pro shop. Challenging course in great condition and immaculately turned out.”

Orsett Golf Club

If you ever needed assurance of Orsett Golf Club’s quality, allow us to reference the fact that this Essex-based facility has operated as a Regional Qualifying venue for The Open Championship previously. What allows it to stand out from local competition is not only the quality of the layout, but the fact it is operational year-round due to the sand and gravel base.

Golfshake Review: “I have heard many good things about Orsett Golf Club and this is the first time I have been able to experience this superb course. Lovely welcome in the clubhouse and the fairways and greens are in great condition.”

Toot Hill Golf Club

Toot Hill Golf Club may not exceed 6,300 yards in length, but the par-70 course is continuously ranked as one of Essex’s finest. Carefully positioned water hazards and bunkers act as a line of defence for the golf course - the par-3 12th is a spectacular signature hole that is played to an island green.

Golfshake Review: “Best course I have played so far in Essex. Greens amazing and tee boxes looked after well. Being a mid to high handicap golfer, it was a difficult course but a few great shots made it great. We will definitely be returning.

Braxted Park Golf Club

Braxted Park Golf Club is a 9-hole routing that is commonly played twice to complete the traditional 18 holes. Measuring at only 5,704 yards, there are challenging bunkers to overcome if a good score is on the cards. Considering there are also numerous water hazards that need to be contended with, Braxted is a venue that you will want to bring your thinking cap with you.

Golfshake Review: “What a surprise. Played 9 holes and the course was lovely. Great condition and greens were very good too. Will definitely come back.”

Chelmsford Golf Club

Chelmsford Golf Club is one of the oldest and most respectable golf courses to reside in the county of Essex, having celebrated its club centenary in 1993. This parkland layout boasts a tranquil setting that is always maintained to the highest level. Due to its year-round status, Chelmsford Golf Club can be enjoyed during challenging weather conditions.

Golfshake Review: “Course is in superb condition; greens are first-class and the bunkers have real quality.”

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