Played by NCG: Sherwood ForestAugust 24, 2018 Courses and Travel
Mark Townsend re-visits an old favourite and a course that is always a firm fixture in the upper echelons of any UK Top 100. Expect amazing greens and a proper test
Reason for a Sherwood Forest Golf Club review
It was the second leg of the NCG Top 100 Tour and, being just an hour away and on my day off, it would have been rude not to try and wrap up the Order of Merit.
Where is Sherwood Forest Golf Club?
Just east of Mansfield and less than an hour north of Nottingham.
What to expect
A heathland course straight out of the top drawer and, given we played it slap bang in the middle of that heatwave, it was baked, brown and bouncing. Normally speaking you can expect things to be a little greener though the greens will likely be on the slick side of fast. I still haven’t putted on better greens anywhere in the UK this year.
My best bit
My favourite experiences on the day were watching my playing partner nearly make a hole-in-one at the 322-yard 1st and signing off with a birdie to win the tourney by one and book his place in the final at Ganton.
My personal highlight was making a 4/3 at the 12th. This stood out as I whiffed my drive straight left into some gunk, nearly put myself in traction hacking it out, hit an 8-iron to 35 feet and knocked it in. These things never really happen and your ball is in your pocket about 300 yards away so you’ve got to enjoy the small victories.
I’d give it to the 14th which ends a run of four successive 400-yard par 4s and is the grandest of the quartet. Don’t be tempted to take on the bunkers from the tee and try and feed your approach through more sand.
It’s SI1 so should you pick up three points then it will give you a nice fillip for the run home.
What to look for
You get loads of variety here. There are a couple of par 4s early on that you can get pretty close to, the three par 5s are all just about doable in terms of distance and it requires a bit of shaping both ways. My playing partner (sorry to keep going on about him) went round in level by keeping it in play and being able to shape a ball.
But my favourite aspect is the par 3s which should all require different clubs. The 4th sits in front of the clubhouse, the short 7th (see main image) is very cute with a brilliant, sloping green and will only need one of your wedges but my favourite is probably the 10th which is one of those where you just have to hit a good longish iron to. I’ve played it three times now and have yet to.
When I go back to Sherwood Forest
This is a very British thing to say but ideally it wouldn’t be 30-degrees. Sherwood is the sort of place you would love to be a member of, pretty testing (36 points is real result), in tremendous nick at all times of the year and just one of those places that you would always look forward to returning to.
The general question in this area is whether you prefer Hollinwell or here? I always go for Sherwood which will hopefully tell you quite how good it is.