Historical Woodford Golf club

August 6th 2018
By: Melanie Hollidge
Historical Woodford Golf club

Woodford Golf Club on Sunset Avenue, Woodford Green, Essex, is one of the oldest courses in Essex. If you like to play a bit of golf in the summer and are looking to move out to Woodford, Loughton or Chigwell – Woodford golf club is worth checking out.

The club was established in 1890 and is the second oldest in the Essex Golf Union. The Woodford nine-hole golf course in Epping Forest was designed by Tom Dunn, who went on to be the architect of the Open Championship course at Royal Cinque Ports. 

Way back in 1890, Golf Illustrated quoted Scotsman Dunn as expecting the Woodford course to "rank among the best around London.” And Golf World rated five of his course designs among the top 10 in Britain. Dunn, who was both a professional golfer and a club-maker as well as a course designer and laid our more golf courses in England than any other designer.

Amazing as it seems now the 50 original members of the Woodford golf club paid just one guinea (£1.05) for their entrance fee and annual membership. Quite progressively a ladies' section was established in 1892. But at the time the Woodford club member tended to be professional folk, lawyers, bankers and doctors who at the time astonishingly objected to playing golf with their grocer, baker or candlestick maker. So a different membership was created called the artisan section, for the tradesmen, who had to perform tasks on the course, especially when the greenkeepers were away, for cheaper green fees and restrictions on when they could play. 

The club survived World War One reasonably well and after the Second World War, the club had the foresight to scrap its artisans' section and all the artisans became 5-day members. It celebrated its centenary in 1990 and since then has rebuilt the clubhouse on Sunset Avenue in 1997 to provide all its members and visiting golfers with modern changing rooms complete with shower facilities, together with a pleasant bar and dining area.