The Forest of Arden course at this luxurious resort is recognised as one of the best tracks in the region and features a variety of hazards – both natural and man-made – to catch out wayward shots. The course is in fantastic condition all year round with pristine tee boxes, immaculate fairways and firm, fast greens. The front nine opens with a couple of short par 4s but it doesn’t take long for the round to thrust into gear. With huge run offs around the greens it can be tricky to navigate and if you’ve started the day brightly then the little run between the 6th and 9th may all but end your hopes of having a good visit.
The par-3 8th, in particular, is surrounded by water before a tight shot from the 9th tee box awaits leading to a tough uphill approach – be happy with a stress free bogey. I know I was.
What leaves you yearning for more and walking away with some fantastic memories is the back nine, huge oak trees frame the fairways hole after hole and it is great testament to the course design.
If you’re lucky you may experience some of the local deer around the course which adds something special to the visit as they potter around the grounds unfazed by the passing golfers.
Each of the par 4s and 5s on the back nine of Forest of Arden ask big questions of your driver. But, in particular, the 16th was one that remains fond in the memory.
It is a dogleg right from the tee box and requires nothing but solid contact out of the middle to set up a challenging short iron approach to a sloping green – did I mention it’s also over water?
Watch out for the greens – though it is more a word of warning. Many of them have undulating slopes and boy are they quick. What you would normally perceive as simple two putts leave you walking away with a small victory if you can avoid an eye watering number.
It is difficult to narrow down the best hole at Forest of Arden to just one but I finally settled on the par-5 17th. As I mentioned before with many of the holes a solid drive is a must and depending on your game a long iron or hybrid will be left into the green.
A word of warning, though, with water short to the right hand side, if you’re planning on laying up beware. Finally, a big sloping green awaits and if you’re there in two don’t be fooled into thinking that it is an automatic two putt for birdie. It really is a great penultimate hole.
+44 1676 522335