THE EARLY DAYS
What is now Five Lakes Golf Club began as the Manifold Golf Club which opened in 1974 comprising what is now the Links course with a clubhouse near to the road. The club was then sold into new ownership and was renamed Quietwaters Golf Club. Although not a members club, it felt like one with many enthusiastic and long term members supporting competitions and functions. Apart from the men's, seniors and ladies sections the club had a thriving junior membership which had some notable success in the County junior cup and Thornton cup, with a number of members of these teams who turned professional.
THE CREATION OF THE FIVE LAKES GOLF CLUB
The owners of the Quiewaters Club began a major development on land adjacent to the Links course building the Lakes Course and the hotel and sports facilities. After a long period of uncertainty the whole enterprise was purchased by A.B. Hotels, the Lakes course and hotel were finished and opened in 1995. Initially the Lakes course was run as a separate club so there were two clubs at the one facility, the Links and Lakes Golf Clubs with separate memberships. Over time this proved to be impracticable and in April 2000 the clubs were merged to form what is now the Five Lakes Golf Club.
Over the years the two courses have seen a number of changes. They have matured nicely such that they now represent a good challenge to any golfer. The courses are quite different. The Links is a traditional layout which is not long by to-day's standards but requires the golfer to put the ball in the right position to score well and has cleverly placed hazards with relatively narrow fairways. The greens are small and more akin to a traditional links green. Hitting the ball a long way will not necessarily get you a good score. The Lakes is a more modern layout which is longer and is more of a target golf course. The greens are larger and more receptive. The placement of the hazards is not so penal as on the Links. Length is your friend on the Lakes course but beware the out of bounds.
THE TRADITIONS OF THE CLUB
As said above the original Manifold and Quietwaters clubs managed to maintain the atmosphere of a members club without actually being one. This was a product of the membership, the Committee and the approach of management. Important in the maintenance of this situation were the friendly swindles mid week and at weekends and the fact that all competitions, unlike most other clubs, were the subject of draws so members played in groups decided by draws not in the same old four balls every week. New members got to know people quickly and many friendships developed.
When the two club arrangement was introduced the club atmosphere was lost for a while. There were two camps and neither had their own facility as had been the case in the old days. Once the decision to merge the clubs was taken and the Club was given its own area within the hotel the membership feeling returned. The approach to competitions remains the same and the swindles remain in full swing. New members, therefore, always find a welcome and always find a game. The club again has a strong junior section and a strong senior section.
NOTABLE EVENTS IN THE CLUB'S HISTORY
Apart from varying degrees of success in County competitions, the Club hosted the European Tour qualifying competition for several years before the tour took its competitions overseas. It has also hosted a number of Euro Pro Tour events televised by Sky and the Essex Amateur competitions Men's and Ladies. The national Police Championship has also been hosted by the Club.
Five Lakes achievements:
Finalists and runner up in the 2006 Youth Shield held at North Weald Golf Club against West Essex GC.
Finalist and runner up in the 2009 Thornton Challenge Cup at Thorndon Park Golf Club against West Essex GC.