West Essex Golf Club Course Review

The James Braid parkland course at West Essex is an oasis of golfing fun

Looking back from behind the first green with the skyline of London beyond
Looking back from behind the first green with the skyline of London beyond
(Image credit: Rob Smith)

West Essex Golf Club was founded in 1900 and is near Chingford, just a few minutes drive from the M25.

The course covers an attractive and gently undulating parcel of land that borders ancient Epping Forest.

It was designed by the prolific James Braid, and measures a little under 6,400 yards from the back tees.

The Front Nine

West Essex Golf Course

The opening par 4 is uphill but driveable by some

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The course opens with a gentle risk-reward hole that will tempt the longer hitters.

The ascent means it plays longer than its yardage, so the sensible option is usually a hybrid from the tee and then a pitch.

The 2nd is a more testing par 4, and the 3rd a pretty short hole to an attractively-framed green.

West Essex Golf Course

Try to stay right on the Stroke Index 2 fourth as it’s easy to get blocked out

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The next is a fine par 4 which slopes down to the left so it’s best to favour the right for a good view of the green.

Another short hole follows at the 5th, this time from an elevated tee down to a microscopic green.

West Essex Golf Course

The sixth is not long but uphill all the way to a testing green

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

You are now as far from the clubhouse as it gets, and face a gentle rise on the par-4 6th.

A tiddler and an undulating par 5, the first of three, lead you back close to the clubhouse.

West Essex Golf Course

The front nine concludes with a real chance to open your shoulders

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

As you reach the elevated 9th tee, there is a fine view down over the next two holes.

The first of these is very inviting with a pond waiting for anything short and left.

It’s well worth stocking up now at the excellent halfway house, as the back nine is a whopping 900 yards longer than the front!

The Back Nine

The 10th is the longest hole on the course at 556 yards from the white tees with the green at the southernmost point of the course.

This is followed by a testing, gently left-to-right, two-shotter.

West Essex Golf Course

Attractive properties look back down over the twelfth

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The 12th is a real birdie chance, but played to a green that angles away to the left.

Next comes a maximum-length par 4, justifiably down on the card as the hardest hole on the course.

West Essex Golf Course

The pond by the fourteenth green has been extended recently to offer greater protection

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

A drive and pitch par 4 comes next with the need for an aerial approach over water.

This is followed by the final short hole, a testing one to a difficult target.

It is the longest on the course, and the only one on the back nine.

West Essex Golf Course

Looking back up to the sixteenth green with the clubhouse beyond

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The 16th welcomes a fade before a tricky, uphill approach, and the 17th is another strong par 4 from an elevated tee.

West Essex Golf Course

The closing hole is a short par 5, but up a severe slope

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The welcoming prospect of a reachable par 5 awaits at the closing hole, but the uphill approach effectively makes it play much longer.

Once at the green, there are fine views back over the course and down towards London.

In a county not so well known for golf as many, West Essex is comfortably one of the better and more enjoyable courses.

There is great variety, it is kept in fine shape, and it offers very good value for money for a course so close to London.