A 9 hole golf course called Leigh Park Golf Club was in existence and situated at Belfairs Farm during the 1914-18 war. The original clubhouse is still in existence and situated near the present 4th tee at Belfairs Golf Course. In 1919, Southend Borough Council made a compulsory purchase of the Belfairs Estate, the Council wishing to promote sport in the town and so created Belfairs Park with an 18 hole golf course, football and cricket pitches, bowling greens and a trotting track.
The renowned course architect Harry Colt (designer of Royal Troon, Wentworth, Woodhall Spa and Chelmsford) was contracted to redesign the course, extending it into the woodlands and blasting away trees as he did.
In September 1926, Mayor Alderman Dowsett officially opened the Belfairs Park Golf Course making it the first municipal course in Essex. A fourball exhibition match followed between Harry Crook (Belfairs GC pro), James Braid (5 times Open champion), JB Batley (Thorpe Hall GC pro) and JH Taylor (5 times Open champion). Belfairs Golf Club was formed in July 1926 with 46 members consisting of former members of Leigh Park Golf Club and other members of the public.
Best hole at Belfairs Golf Club
The hole 5th is certainly the most difficult, a long Par 5 of 540 yards from the white tees.. An uphill tee shot to a wide inviting fairway 2nd shot has out of bounds to the left, a straight shot will open up the green which is surrounded by bunkers, any wayward shot will make this a very long hole!
The other great hole is the 14th. A long par 5 of 480 yards. Many a good round has been spoilt at this par 5; a narrow fairway with a downhill 2nd shot for the long hitters, to a large sloping back to front green where 3 putts may easily be taken from any position on the green!