16 reviews of Benton Hall Golf and Country Club
Ok, I’ve been reading the reviews on Benton Hall on this page and they vary somewhat. It really does depend on when you play, in the winter it’s dreadful, so avoid. Benton Hall sits on London Clay soil and a flood plain. In really wet weather conditions the river, which meanders through the course, will burst its banks rendering 10th, 11th and 14th – 18th unplayable. Because of the poor drainage these holes will remain closed for considerable periods. In addition a considerable number of willow trees located adjacent to the river were cut down in the summer 2014 which I’m sure will only exacerbate the flooding problem in years to come.
The main issue here as I see it, is the drainage, maintenance of the existing system hasn’t been great, we as members hear things through the grapevine and on the clubs web page but promises to improve things are often broken as ground staff are diverted to other areas on the course to deal with emergency works. Members at the AGM in 2014 voiced there concerns with suggestions to dredge the river but was advised that the responsibility for this sits with the environment agency and that there were no plans to dredge this part of the river due to government cut backs. Suggestions that the club fund this work with EA contractors undertaking the work were discounted without further consideration.
Benton Hall is haemorrhaging members not only because of the recent decline in golf membership as a whole but also because the members feel they are being taken for a ride by the company. So come on Benton Hall get your act together and treat your golf members with respect and not as cash cows. In March 2015 the club secretary issued an email confirming that the club had authorised £50,000 to spend on improving the course drainage, this was conveniently timed to coincide with membership renewal, something that didn’t go down to well with the members I spoke with. A blatant attempt to ensure that members, who were thinking of leaving, didn’t. I renewed but if things carry on as they are I won’t next year. The Warren located nearby is undergoing significant investment, membership is a bit pricier but I will go there unless Benton Hall pulls its finger out and gets things sorted out I want to pay and play on a course that’s open all year round and not just for 8 months of the year.
Setting all of the above aside in the summer months it’s a cracking course, the fairways are lush and the greens run true and would have no hesitation in recommending the course. The club house is nice with a superb veranda overlooking a small lake. The bar menu is fairly basic but I’ve no complaint here
This is now an awful course. I've been a member here for 3 years and it has gradually gotten worse. From October onwards the course is rarely "fully" open as holes 10 & 11 are next to the the river Blackwater and always flooding, The drainage at this course has been a joke for a few years, and this summer they decided to cut down many trees along the 10th & 11th adding to the drainage problems. As soon as we have 1 day of heavy rain they close the course or holes 10,11,14 & 15. They are still happy to take the full amount membership though saying we can play any of the other Club Company Golf courses. Not the point really.....
Rough is kept very high and they also leave it high in between trees so you are doubly punished. Bunkers are usually GUR and those that are in play are different on every hole, you don't know how much sand is in that bunker!!
Clubhouse is ageing and is primarily used by the Gym members, there was a fire in the Sauna in the summer which took rather a long time to repair. If you want to pay by card at the reception, the receptionist has to wander over to the bar area in order to get a wi-fi signal!! Not great.
Food is average and overpriced.
I cannot wait to leave this club and am looking forward to joining Chelmsford GC. There are many courses in this area of Essex to play other than this one, and my advice is to take your hard earned money elsewhere....
Played here last week - got an excellent twilight rate of £9 each after 4pm. Course was fairly quiet and the round took just under hours as it's a long treck around.Been quite some time since I played it and have to say was very impressed with the maturity of the course. There are some great holes here and you can't just swing your driver at every tee shot - it's a great tactical layout.
The river meandering throughout the course has been used superbly and a better finish you wont find for many a mile.
Greens were in excellent condition (would say that as I had only 22 putts for the round) but the bunkers in my opinion need to be revamped as they did let the rest of the course down.
Club was relaxed and not stuffy and on a sunny evening over looking the beautiful lake what more could you want.
Would highly recommend to play - up there with the best in the area.
Benton is one of the best courses in Essex, and I have played most of them. A couple of the pictures shown are not for Benton but the Essex in Coggeshall and another course which escapes me...
No issues in recommending Benton, Brilliant all round course! In comparison to your Wentworth, Celtic Manor, St Andrews it would be a 3 out of 5. But in comparison to other Essex courses I'd match it up there with a 5.
Played here many times and always enjoy the round. In my opinion has 3 very tough holes at the end that can destroy a good medal round so make sure you place your shots carefully. The course itself has huge potential but for me never ever quite meets it due to the scruffy fringes around the green, the uneven tee's and bunkers with varying amounts of sand in such a shame as this could be one of the best courses in Essex. Over the years the course has been dumbed down a fair bit. Where there were tight fairways they have now been opened up and rough cut down to a minimum which helps speed up play for the countless societies that come here. 5 hour rounds are to be expected im afraid. Certainly worth a visit for sure. Lots of great holes but expect to be standing on them for a little longer than your used too waiting for the greens to clear. Nice Club house and top of the range gym although you maybe sharing the club house with a wedding. When this happens the golfers are all shunted off down to one end of the bar so can get cramped
Have played 4 or 5 times over last 18 months in various conditions. Course has always been in the best possible condition taking into account the weather etc (bit wet in places during winter etc.)
Unfortunately the tendancy now seems to be to get as many people on the course as possible... last time we arrived at the first tee for our time, to find 2 four balls and a 3 ball still waiting to get off.
Rounds are now taking between 4.5 and 5.5 hours which is just not on for a course of this quality. Also starting to get a bit tired around the edges through being overplayed.
Some work is being done in bunkers and around the greens, but I feel that more money is being spent on the "country club" rather than the course.
I will still use Benton as a yard stick for other courses in the area, but am likely to play it less now due to time it takes to get round and all the waiting to play shots.
Played today (07/11/07). Course in fantastic condition, fairways and greens A1. Only 1 winter tee and that was on the par5 (15th) and the mat was placed right behind a rather large oak tree.
The 16th is an amazing hole, 175yards par 3 to a green surrounded by water, how often do you ever lay up on a par 3 !!!!!!!!!
Good layout but some fairly long walks between holes.
We played a fourball and the guy who plays off scratch went round in 77 and the rest of us are high handicappers and all thought it was a good challenge without being overly hard. Plenty of holes to open the shoulders with the driver but also plenty of holes that require a lot of thought. An excellent mix and a course I will definately be playing again.
Gripes ? No driving range altho it does have to warm up nets beside the putting green. Have read previous comments and unfortunately agree that they seem to be becoming more "health club" orientated, the car park has been expanded to where they were going to put a driving range.
All in all an excellent course for all standards of golfer and worth the £28.
After playing the course on the 14/10/07 for our clubs last society day of the year, I must say they saved the best till last.
Benton Hall is both a challenging course for low to high handicap golfers. The round starts off with a long par 5, and its not long before things begin to become very difficult with the tricky 4th hole. A tough elevated green which is approachable only via a tight fairway which is lined by trees on the right hand side along with OB and if you steer too far left youre second shot becomes virtually impossible to attack the green.
Throughout the course the scenery is beautiful with the Blackwater River weaving through many of the holes. Holes are well maintained, with good tee positions, many of the mid to back 9 holes need perfectly positioned approach shots. Concentration and course management required throughout the course.
Overall well worth a visit!
The only negative points:
Practice areas could be improved.
Tee of areas are not even on many of the holes.
The course was a little busy for my liking.
Played the course last weekend, and would agree with Martin Eady's comments.
The course itself was good to play, and surprisingly green considering the recent weather. The tees and greens, in particular, were in exceptional condition !
It is a shame that there are no practise or warm-up facilities on a course like this, especially as the website still says they have a 20 bay driving range !
We played a society day at the end of May and it was the first time I had revisited the course in about a year.
Insofar as the course conditions are concerned there is not much to add to my earlier comments when I played in 2003. The "bland" par-4 thirteenth is now a challenging and good par-3, whilst the rest of the course continues to be maintained to a very good level.
However what I am disappointed about is the fact that a fitness centre is taking over all the ancilliary elements of the golf at Benton Hall. The pro-shop which was once a large and well-stocked affair is now just a third of the size and caters mainly for the psuedo-golfer (i.e. predominately clothing). The driving range is no more - replaced, so I was told, by a swimming pool! A couple of driving nets have been brought in instead. Hmmm!
The practise chipping area and bunker have disappeared too, although the putting green has stayed.
The bar is still a comfortable and enjoyable experience though, but it does make you think what will be next to go. I only hope they have the sense to retain the quality of the course, which is still one of the best in the area.
Without a doubt my favourite course, and a consistant source of soul searching, and obsessive practice! It's one of those places that know's it's not Augusta, and doesn't try to be either. Just great golf, well priced and a course that tests the best and rewards the worst. I've played there 4 times now, and everytime I enjoy it that little bit more. Each hole throws up some questions, be it the 'up and down' 12th and 13th, or the really testing 8th and 14th. The 16 is also an endless source or amusment as you try and pick the right club to carry 165yrds over water to a fairly small green. The clubhouse is comfortable, the food and beer well priced, and the staff seem to enjoy their job. As a visitor, some club pros look you up and down to pick apart your dress, but at Benton Hall, they politely remind you of the code when booking to avoid embarrassment. It is not a course for those lacking a cool head though- the back 9 are particularly unforgiving and the 15th tests the very best with it's tree placements. Definate thumbs up!
A nice days golf for any society we started with 9 holes on the par 3 course. A light lunch, followed by 18 holes on the main course which was in good condition (25/04/03).The course has a few blind shots and some of our member felt that some tee shot were a bit tight.The course needs to be played with a fair amount of thought although our hit it and see players still enjoyed their selves. I would recomend that should you be playing a competition here try to play the course beforehand as our winner for the day did.
We played this course just after a very wet spell. Most other courses in the area have been waterlogged but Benton Hall was in very good shape considering.
We have played here a few times before and knew that it was a very interesting and mature course. It is predominantly designed through tree-lined fairways and disected by the river. The surprisingly good conditions made it a most enjoyable day.
Only the 12th and 13th could be considered bland as they are short uninteresting par-4s. All the others have a good degree of character and are memorable well after the event.
The 16th is a great par-3 hole over 190 yards with water in front. Hitting the green is a big achievement.
2Fore1 vouchers made this course very good value and the bar/restaurant and hospitality are excellent.
We will be going back.
I am 18 and looking to start golf after a prolonged ankle injury due to football (familiar it seems to most young golfers!). My girlfriend and I turned up and wanted information about clubs, tuition and the like.
I obviously wasn't looking to buy there and then, yet the man we spoke to went into detail about the do's and don'ts of what to buy and how much to spend. At the end he didn't try to sell me anything and instead suggested I had a couple of lessons before deciding.
If this wasn't good enough service (bearing in mind this took over 40 minutes) he then, sincerely said, if I had any more questions or found a set of clubs he would give a 'yes' or 'no' to them.
I found this wonderfully refreshing and if anyone knows the email address of this place would they please send it to me.
I think the last time I had service like that my dad was looking to spend a large amount on a car so it was expected!
What a fine course and at £20 at the weekend for a green fee, great value. As with other Clubhaus courses I have played, the greens, tees and fairways were in great condition as all are irrigated but unlike Duke's Dene and the Essex G&CC more effort went into the course design than the clubhouse. The layout is great fun whilst not overly long it is very testing with good use of the River Cam (I think), mature trees and the little elevation that Essex has to offer in these parts.
Clubhouse is top quality without being oustentatious and the staff were very friendly. Course is about 7 years and is unquestionably the best new course in Essex and one of the better courses in general.
I'll definitely be back soon and as a serial golf course philanderer, that's praise indeed.
we like to play the 13th of may at 10.30 sharp, with three people.\r\n\r\nKind regards,\r\n\r\nEddy Nieuwenhuys
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