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.
The Front Nine
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 16th welcomes a fade before a tricky, uphill approach, and the 17th is another strong par 4 from an elevated tee.
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.
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to the Golf Monthly newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest tour news, equipment news, reviews, head-to-heads and buyer’s guides from our team of experienced experts.
Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at email@example.com.
Golf Fans Confused By One Word In Anthony Kim's Comeback Video
The 38-year-old has released a video to accompany his LIV Golf debut, but the ending has left fans confused
By Mike Hall Published
'I'm Going To Give Him The Benefit Of The Doubt' - Rory McIlroy Issues Measured Response To Talor Gooch's Controversial 'Asterisk' Comments
The Northern Irishman was keen to give Gooch the benefit of the doubt for his 'asterisk' comments
By Elliott Heath Published