When Harry Colt was engaged in the early part of the 20th century to create the East Course, the first of Wentworth’s triumvirate, his portfolio was already bursting with sublime golf course designs such as Royal Portrush, Rye, Sunningdale Old, Swinley Forest and St George’s Hill, to name just a few. All are classic Colt, as much a pleasure to play today as the day they opened.
The East Course sits comfortably in that impressive list and had quite a start in life. It was the setting for the inaugural Curtis Cup in 1932 and also hosted a friendly match in 1926 between two teams from the US and Great Britain & Ireland, the inspiration for the contest we now know as the Ryder Cup. One might say it has since been overshadowed by the global renown of the West, but the East is a golf course that holds its own. It is a much-admired gem!
Colt’s overall design philosophy was that a golf course should give a player a variety of options in terms of shot selection; a characteristic that makes his golf courses challenging for the game’s best players, but at the same time enjoyable for the mortals of this world. Position, not power, was part of the Colt ethos.
These qualities are perfectly embodied in this intimate layout, with its undulating and springy fairways that zigzag in amongst the woodland setting and call for accurate driving and exact shot making into well-bunkered greens, another Colt signature touch. One of the course’s other great strengths is the quality of its five par-3s. They range in length from the inviting 159-yard 12th to the challenging 226-yard 7th, a serious attention grabber
The East may be considered a gentler test by comparison to the West, mainly by virtue of it being some 1,000 yards shorter in length, but a low score is not easily teased from the East. Make no mistake this course has teeth. Once bitten you are sure to be smitten.
“When Harry Colt was invited to lay out the East, he was given 200 acres of some of the best Surrey heathland from which to work. His creation is in my opinion architecturally and aesthetically superior to the West Course in many ways.” – Bernard Gallacher
Please see dedicated section on Championship History
Architect: Harry Colt
Length: 6201 yards
Course Record: 62, Doug N Sewell
Key tournaments: inaugural Curtis Cup, 1932; friendly match between US and GB&I (forerunner to Ryder Cup) 1926.
Halfway House: By 7th tee