Set among the Gog Magog hills with views across the fens of East Anglia, Gog Magog Golf Club features two championship quality golf courses although the old course (6,367 yards), dating back to 1901, is favoured for championships rather than the longer (6,735 yards) more wide open Wandlebury. Accuracy is essential on the old course and then the undulating greens require a great deal of concentration too. Even the par threes are among the most difficult on the course. A blend of hill top, heathland and parkland, with surprising elevation changes for a notoriously flat area. The 16th par three from elevated tee is memorable, if only for the cross-bunkers that need to be avoided.
There are also two courses at the The John O’Gaunt Golf Club both of which are rated highly with well groomed fairways and fast greens. The Carthagena provides a contrast to the John O’Gaunt with much larger greens. The two courses were designed by Hawtree and although the John O’Gaunt is slightly longer at 6,513 yards compared to the Carthagena’s 5,869 both are a challenge. Set in mature parkland with a wide variety of trees, the river comes into play on several holes and there are some strong holes including the fourth and fifth while par three 10th and the par five 17th are also good tests.
Saffron Walden Golf Club is home to one of the finest parkland golf courses in East Anglia. Set in the picturesque surroundings of Audley End’s famous mansion, the Club also boasts superb views over the town of Saffron Walden. The course, whilst being average in length, is one that is far superior to average in many other ways. There are numerous changes in elevation, deceptive slopes and many cunningly placed trees. The greens, which look easy, are far from it – just remember a basic rule of thumb: the greens slope towards the Slade at the far end of the course.