Thorndon ParkBrentwood, England
- AddressIngrave, Brentwood CM13 3RH, UK
Essex does not possess many courses that feature in Top 100 ranking lists, but one that does stand out is Thorndon Park Golf Club. Golfers of all standards like it here, returning regularly to be challenged, excited and frustrated with a host of tricky holes and well-guarded greens.
The club was founded in 1920 and the great Harry Colt and his partner Charles Alison designed the course. Thorndon Park is certainly another of Colt’s high quality creations and the illustrious architect can be credited for approximately 300 course designs and re-designs across the world.
Part of the South Park of Thorndon Hall was acquired for the course and the surrounding woodland has proved to be a perfect partner for the design. The turf is lush and springy making the course a lovely parkland treat. All in all this is a wonderful English setting with many rather old oak trees standing tall with elm and cedar looking on.
Hard but true greens are a strong feature and bunkering is just about right. Fairways give the impression of being spacious enough for even the longest of hitters to open their shoulders. Our favourite hole is the 3rd; a drive over the lake with a touch of draw is ideal – a classical par four that is not easily forgotten.
A round at Thorndon Park will stick in the memory for all the right reasons because it’s a great course with stacks of history and it’s always beautifully maintained. The 18th century Palladian mansion and former clubhouse has to be one of the most impresive closing hole backdrops in golf.
Ken Moodie consults at the club and his Creative Golf Design firm oversaw a major refurbishment of the course in 2019. Thousands of trees and bushes were removed and all the greenside bunkers were renovated and in some instances repositioned.
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Harry Colt studied law at Clare College, Cambridge. Twelve months after his 1887 enrolment, he joined the committee of the Cambridge University Golf Club and in 1889 became the club's first captain.