Essendon (Old) - Hertfordshire - England

Essendon Country Club,
Bedwell Park,
Essendon,
Hatfield,
Herts,
AL9 6HN,
England


  • +44 (0) 1707 260360

  • Paul Densham

  • Fred Hawtree

  • Ian Taylor

Formerly known as Hatfield London Golf & Country Club, the Old course at the re-branded Essendon Country Club dates back to 1976. Fred Hawtree originally laid it out in Bedwell Park, which is set near the little village of Essendon in delightful, rural Hertfordshire countryside.

Part of the imposing red-bricked Bedwell House (once owned by the London brewer, Samual Whitbread) was the grand clubhouse that served the Old course, but following the sale of the manor house in 2002, both the Old and New courses now operate from a restored 16th century barn located to the north of the property.

Although the Old course routing remains the same, the move to the new clubhouse required a change to the hole numbering – for example the old 1st is now the 4th.

Measuring 6,808 yards from the back tees, Essendon Old course can throw down a challenging gauntlet, but with four tees on each hole this undulating parkland layout is very enjoyable for most handicap levels.

The five one-shot holes are particularly strong on the Old course, with no fewer than four of these measuring more than 200 yards from the tips. The pick of the par threes is perhaps the 15th, where a pond must be negotiated en route to a sloping, heart-shaped green.

From the regular tees, each of the five par fives offer up genuine birdie opportunities but you will need to keep it on the straight and narrow, avoiding the many mature trees that line the fairways. Talking of mature trees, you’ll need a precise tee shot on the challenging par four 16th which doglegs to the right. Trees do not only flank this hole, but there’s a huge, sentry oak in the middle of the fairway at around 250 yards. Our advice is not to hit and hope on this hole or you are sure to card a bogey or worse.

Essendon’s Old course is certainly one of Hertfordshire’s most attractive parkland courses. Its rolling topography and quiet yet accessible location combine to make Essendon Country Club a very popular golfing venue that is well worth playing more than once.
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Reviews for Essendon (Old)

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Description: Its rolling topography and quiet yet accessible location combine to make Essendon Country Club a very popular golfing venue that is well worth playing more than once. Rating: 4 out of 6 Reviews: 2

There seems to be a positive vibe around Essendon at the moment – The Old course was always enjoyable when I used to play there 20+ years ago but then it was probably a long way off of the standard of other courses locally. New owners and some decent plans for the course look like there is a bright future around the corner. As far as I can see, it appears as there is a little money available now and if this can be spent on course conditioning (which has started) then the already decent holes of the Old course will take on a new look. After a friendly par-4 start, the par-3 2nd is a beauty, ranging from 185-215 yards with plenty of protection and slightly downhill. The 4th hole (previously the opening hole) is a nice par-4, not that long at around 350 yards but very pleasing on the eye. Another decent hole is the par-7th, although under 400 yards has a demanding drive over water and is uphill and turns right. The 10th tee is a nice place to be, an elevated position inviting a big drive which will put the green on this short par-5 well in range. The 380 yard par-4 16th is a great talking point, a large oak splits the fairway at about 240 yards from the tee so there is an element of luck involved as to whether there is a clear route to approach the green but a great fun hole. Golfers sometimes can feel a little let down by a par 3 finish on a course – and if I am honest the short hole ending the round on the Old course needs a little work but certainly not a major overhaul – this used to be the 15th prior to 2002 and may not have been remembered so well but now as the finale it is and needs to be talked about positively rather than as a weak 18th hole. Overall the visit to Essendon was great – and the team seem to have the balance between a warm visitor welcome and keeping the members happy just about right. A lot of golfers are re-visiting Essendon after an absence of many years and those that I have spoken to, are very complementary of the club and both of the courses.
4 / 6
Essendon (Old)
September 06, 2013


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I have many happy memories of playing the Old course at Essendon during the summer months after knocking off work early. Rushing from the office to the first tee that was adjacent to the manor house was always a thrilling experience. The Old was considered the poor pay-and-play relation to the private New course and it took me quite a few years before I eventually managed to play the New and, if I’m honest, I like the Old course best. The reason I prefer the Old is that it is an interesting and fun parkland course which is none too arduous and basically plays the same way (weather permitting) each day. The New is more complicated due to its dual greens which only served to muddy the focal point for me on approach shots. The New could be better than the Old, but not in my eyes until the club reconsiders the architectural merits of the dual greens.
4 / 6
Essendon (Old)
August 08, 2013


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