Played by NCG: Swinley Forest
Reason for a Swinley Forest Golf Club review
We were the grateful guests of the Golf Course Managers Association who hold their annual guests day at Swinley. It is the type of place you would like to return to and Swinley like knowing who’s coming and when.
Where is Swinley Forest? Never you mind, but if you must know Swinley Forest is located behind the world’s smallest sign post on the Surrey / Berkshire sand belt about two miles south of Ascot. Where isn’t it: On any ‘2for1’ websites or indeed the internet at all.
What to expect:
Back in time for golf. A kind of Giles Coren-esque homage to everything the game stood for before white belts, foot golf and trifles such as stroke indexes came along and ruined everything.
The golf course is the kind that should feature in the top one of any list of places to play every day for the rest of your life. It is short, around 6,000 yards off the tees of the day, generous and without fail in amazing condition.
Elevation changes, like everything else, are subtle and understated making it a very comfortable walk and for the only time since about 1993, I finished my round keen for more.
Harry Colt laid it out and it is reputedly his personal favourite, over 100 years later its charms have matured not diminished, and it is certainly one of mine.
My best bit:
The stretch along the perimeter fence that houses the 15th, 16th, 17th is over
1,000 yards of possibly the purest run of heathland golf I have played. It is testing, stunning to look at and home to a least three dog bowl stations. What is not to like?
What to look out for:
Royalty, or at least relatives of Royalty, failing that some of the best examples of rouge pantaloon on offer outside of Rye.
When I go back:
I will play twice, invest in some interestingly coloured cords, borrow a dog, learn to spell rhododendron.