The Warren

Situated one hour outside London, the Warren estate dates back to the Roman occupation of Britain. It is now an 18-hole golf course with one of the most charming period clubhouses in the country.

When the land was developed into a golf course in 1902 it was initially a 9-hole course but when the estate changed hands in 1934 it was extended.

Mature Scots pines line many of the holes and will be a test of any golfer’s accuracy from tee to green.

The stand out holes on this course are the 9th and the 13th. Both are par 4s but will test your game in different ways.

The 9th measures 439 yards off the white tees, but only big hitters will get there in two as it is up a steep hill. A blind shot to the green increases the challenge further making it comfortably the toughest hole on the course.

The 13th is a short par 4 that is reachable from the tee for long hitters. 300 yards from the white tees, and 271 from the yellows, makes it very tempting to go for the green in one. You will still need laser accuracy though as bunkers guard the green to the left and right.

The course itself is in good condition and the greens are some of the best in Essex, offering good pace and a true roll.

This is definitely one to play if you are looking for a good track in Essex.

Orsett

Set on the northern banks of the Thames, Orsett golf course is one of the premier courses in Essex. This is testified by its status as a regional qualifying course for the British Open Championship.

Due to its location you can expect blustery winds around the course that can make it play completely differently from day-to-day. Rather than the typical clay-based courses in Essex, Orsett is set on sand which gives excellent drainage to the course and means than even in wet conditions the course remains in excellent condition.

The signature holes at Orsett are the 6th and the 12th. While the 12th is a par 3 that only measures 147 off the back tees, the green is surrounded by seven bunkers that will happily gobble up your ball should you miss the green.

The 6th is a hole which offers the classic risk/reward shot from the tee. A drivable short par 4 measuring 319 yards from the back tees. Many big hitters will be tempted to get there in one provided the wind is blowing in the right direction. It dog-legs from right to left and if you are brave enough to take the tiger-line you can get there.

Orsett is a great track and is correctly ranked in most people’s top 3 courses to play in Essex.

Stoke by Nayland – Gainsborough course

Opened in 1972 the Gainsborough course at Stoke by Nayland is a relatively young course.

Its pedigree is demonstrated by hosting tournaments on the European Seniors Tour as well as the Europro Tour.

Set up near the Dedham Vale area of Essex it is an area of natural beauty which makes playing the course a pleasure.

The course measures over 7,000 yards and is a challenging par 72. Most who play the course will remember the 10th hole as the best on the course.

A 418-yard par 4, you tee off over a lake before playing your approach to the green over the same lake that you teed off from.

It is followed by a tricky par 3 that plays over 200 yards uphill that tests your long iron accuracy and length.

The greens and fairways are both very well maintained and the course is in good condition year-round.

A luxury hotel, health club and spa were added in 1999 making it a good place for a weekend stay-and-play and its sister course, the Constable, is also a very nice track that is capable of testing all standards of golfer.