Abridge is an immaculately manicured golf course overlooking some pretty countryside in West Essex near to Epping Forest. Costly improvements have recently been made to install an irrigation system and when we played, in high summer, it’s condition was nigh perfect. Whether the drainage system can cope in winter with the predominant Essex clay subsoil, I don’t know.
The holes make the most of the undulating terrain with a number of drives from raised tees to greens that are similarly raised, a design feature that became a little repetitive.
I much prefer holes that I can see clearly from the tee, excluding the odd dogleg, and in this respect there were some excellent holes. My favourites were number 7, a picturesque uphill short par4, 11 a scenic long par4 across a valley with danger lurking on the left, 13 the best par5 on the course with exactly the right balance between risk and reward and 14 a seriously challenging stroke index one requiring two mighty blows, the second across a pond, to reach the green.
We enjoyed our round at Abridge for it is a solid test of golf, although in my view there are too many ordinary holes for it to justify a higher rating, despite its excellent condition.
Date: July 23, 2021