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Chigwell

Chigwell, England
Chigwell, England
Rankings
  • Address156 High Rd, Chigwell IG7 5BH, UK

Lord Lambourne, former Lord Lieutenant of Essex, drove the first ball on the new course at Chigwell Golf Club on 3rd October 1925. Thereafter, a 4-man exhibition match was played involving two of golf’s Great Triumvirate, J.H. Taylor and Harry Vardon, along with Bert Batley, the club’s first professional, and Charles Whitcombe.

Charles was one of three famous Whitcombe brothers; Ernie had finished runner-up in The Open the year before and Reg would go on to win the same event in 1938. All three played in the 1935 Ryder Cup at Ridgewood County Club in New Jersey and Ernie’s son Eddie would serve as Chigwell’s professional for thirty-three years before he retired in 1983.

Holes are routed across pleasantly undulating parkland with tree-lined fairways extending to 6,309 yards from the back tees and par set at 71. The four par threes on the scorecard are sensibly spaced out at holes 2, 6, 10 and 14 and they vary from 136 yards to 191 yards, providing a decent test for golfers of all handicap levels.

Perhaps the pick of these holes is also the longest, the 14th, rated stroke index 10. Out of bounds lurks on the left side of this hole so a bail out shot to the right is often the sensible option here. The green sits at the highest point of the course, offering splendid views of Epping Forest to the north.

Other notable holes include short par fours at the 311-yard 8th and the 318-yard 16th, where there’s the potential to bag a birdie at either of these two. Don’t expect the same opportunity to arise at the two toughest holes, the 377-yard 4th and 457-yard 15th, as these are altogether sterner propositions.

A severely left to right sloping fairway leads to a canted green on the 4th, while a heavily sand-protected two-tier green awaits approach shots to the long 15th. Having defences like these to contend with, it’s no surprise to learn that most players are more than content to walk away with a net four at both holes.

Chigwell has done well to keep pace with maintenance issues in recent years, refurbishing many of the bunkers and operating a tree management programme to keep its arboreal inventory in good order. Hawtree Ltd. has also suggested further improvements, so watch this space for news of future course enhancements.

Lord Lambourne, former Lord Lieutenant of Essex, drove the first ball on the new course at Chigwell Golf Club on 3rd October 1925. Thereafter, a 4-man exhibition match was played involving two of golf’s Great Triumvirate, J.H. Taylor and Harry Vardon, along with Bert Batley, the club’s first professional, and Charles Whitcombe.

Charles was one of three famous Whitcombe brothers; Ernie had finished runner-up in The Open the year before and Reg would go on to win the same event in 1938. All three played in the 1935 Ryder Cup at Ridgewood County Club in New Jersey and Ernie’s son Eddie would serve as Chigwell’s professional for thirty-three years before he retired in 1983.

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J. H. Taylor

J. H. Taylor is rightly regarded as a golfing pioneer. The five-time Open champion was one of the best golfers of his era, he then played a significant role in shaping the way that the game is now conducted.

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