One of James Braid’s earliest designs, the original 9-hole course at Theydon Bois Golf Club opened for play in 1898. Seventy-three years then passed before Fred Hawtree added another nine, leaving the Braid holes virtually intact.
This is a real course of Two halves. The first 2 holes and the last 6 or 7 holes have real character. They are mostly short and very tight tree-lined holes (16 and 17 being particular favourites) that make you realise you are in the middle of the ancient Epping Forest. Whilst the modern day golfer would not be challenged by the length, I really enjoy these old fashioned places that hark back to a different era.
The rest of the course is still tree-lined but feels a bit more open and parkland (less middle of the Forest feel) and whilst good - don’t quite have the character of the rest of the course.
Overall, this is a great little gem that I’m glad to have come across. It’s no championship layout and I’m sure many people will bemoan the lack of length and the density of trees in places but you cannot deny that this course is beautiful, great fun and well worth a visit if you enjoy playing different courses.