Essex

The stereotypical “Essex Girl” and the political “Essex Man” have nothing in common and, from a golf course perspective, those who think that Essex is flat have never teed it up at Chelmsford or Boyce Hill. The reality is that Essex is not only diverse topographically, but also an important and historical golfing county.

In 1896, James Braid became the professional at Romford Golf Club and the five-time Open Champion should take much credit for popularising golf and designing many fine Essex courses. Sir Henry Cotton designed numerous courses in his lifetime too, but his first and last legacies are here in Essex. Incredibly, two members of Thorpe Hall Golf Club, Sir Michael Bonallack (perhaps England’s finest amateur) and Peter Dawson became secretary of the R&A.

The Essex Golf Union was inaugurated in 1924 with twenty-three founding clubs. Today, there are 80 golf clubs affiliated to the Essex union, playing over approximately 90 golf courses. Essex won the Boys County Championship in 1997 and then tied with Yorkshire in 2004. In 2009, Essex won the English Men’s County Championship.

Essex Ladies’ County Golf Association celebrated its centenary in 2000, so it was looking after the interests of female golfers in the county some twenty-four years before the men’s Union was formed. Nowadays, the association runs a number of competitions throughout the year, including the Silver Shield, Bronze Shield, Silver Trophy and Munroe Foresomes. Inter club matches are played in the Harris Bowl leagues and the ECGA operates very active Senior and Junior sections.

Our Essex golf course rankings were updated in 2017. Click the link to read the story.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Essex

Thorndon Park

1st Essex - Best in Area

Many of the holes at Thorndon Park Golf Club are surrounded by mature oaks, some of which are more than 500 years old.

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Description: Many of the holes at Thorndon Park Golf Club are surrounded by mature oaks, some of which are more than 500 years old. Rating: 4.7777777777778 out of 6

Orsett

2nd Essex - Best in Area

Orsett Golf Club is unique... a heathland course in Essex. Designed by James Braid in 1929, Orsett is an Open Championship Regional Qualifying course that's full of charm and variety.

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Description: Orsett Golf Club is unique... a heathland course in Essex. Designed by James Braid in 1929, Orsett is an Open Championship Regional Qualifying course that's full of charm and variety. Rating: 4.375 out of 6

Chelmsford

3rd Essex - Best in Area

Although Chelmsford Golf Club was founded in 1893, today’s course dates from 1924 and is largely the handiwork of Harry Colt who routed the holes cleverly across a valley.

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Description: Although Chelmsford Golf Club was founded in 1893, today’s course dates from 1924 and is largely the handiwork of Harry Colt who routed the holes cleverly across a valley. Rating: 5 out of 6

Colchester

4th Essex - Best in Area

Colchester Golf Club was founded in 1907 and the gently undulating parkland course at Braiswick is the handiwork of the prolific James Braid.

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Romford

5th Essex - Best in Area

Romford Golf Club was founded in 1894 and this six-time Open Championship Regional Qualifying course was described by Bernard Darwin as “neither short nor easy”.

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Frinton (Havers)

6th Essex - Best in Area

Founded in 1895, Frinton Golf Club is a venerable Essex seaside course, designed by Willie Park Jnr. and later improved by Harry Colt. The course was recently renamed in honour of Arthur Havers who was the 1923 Open Champion and Frinton club professional.

Chigwell

7th Essex - Best in Area

F.G. Hawtree and J.H. Taylor designed the course at Chigwell Golf Club in 1924 and little has changed since then. The 6,296-yard course is routed across undulating parkland… it’s a thoroughly engaging experience.

Bentley

8th Essex - Best in Area

Opened in 1972 and designed by Alex Swan, Bentley Golf Club has a local reputation for being one of the toughest courses in the region. The club has hosted numerous important county championships down the years.

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Description: Opened in 1972 and designed by Alex Swan, Bentley Golf Club has a local reputation for being one of the toughest courses in the region. The club has hosted numerous important county championships down the years. Rating: 4 out of 6

Canons Brook

9th Essex - Best in Area

Designed by Henry Cotton in 1964 and routed across 112 acres of undulating land, the 6,769-yard course at Canons Brook Golf Club is very challenging. Avoid the brook – from which the club takes its name – at all costs.

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Description: Designed by Henry Cotton in 1964 and routed across 112 acres of undulating land, the 6,769-yard course at Canons Brook Golf Club is very challenging. Avoid the brook – from which the club takes its name – at all costs. Rating: 4 out of 6

West Essex

10th Essex - Best in Area

Founded in 1900 and affectionately known as “The West”, West Essex Golf Club is a challenging 6,289-yard parkland course that James Braid routed through the glorious Epping Forest.

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Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Founded in 1900 and affectionately known as “The West”, West Essex Golf Club is a challenging 6,289-yard parkland course that James Braid routed through the glorious Epping Forest. Rating: 4 out of 6