Played by NCG: Sherwood Forest
Reason for a Sherwood Forest Golf Club review
I worked out it had been seven years since my previous visit and I was delighted to return. Much has changed since 2010 – including a hurricane that resulted in the course being closed for six months. On a positive note, it wiped out some of the many trees that have grown over the years on what should ideally be (in my opinion) an expanse of open heath.
Where is Sherwood Forest?
Good question. We think of Sherwood Forest being near Nottingham but this course is actually a little further north, just outside Mansfield.
What to expect
Sherwood Forest is actually less of a forest and more of a heath. We are high up here, and the land is rarely flat. After a gentle loop of four holes that brings you back to the clubhouse, the course stretches into the distance until you turn for home on the 12th.
It is essential to do your scoring on the front nine because much of the inward half is, frankly, tending towards brutal.
The holes are mainly uphill, into the prevailing wind and seem to be made up exclusively of par 4s over 400 yards and par 3s the best part of 200 yards.
Off the back tees, the holes measure: 179, 460, 426, 453, 443, 201, 469, 423 and 403. Like I said, brutal. And the par is 34.
Please can I have two? The par-5 8th is stunning, especially now the trees down the right have been removed to open up views of the expanse of heath. It plays fast – downhill and downwind – but the green is raised so you will have to work hard if you want to claim your birdie.
There aren’t many birdies at the 13th but this long par 4 is both classy and unrelenting. Aim towards the bunker on the right that is out of range and then save your best long iron/hybrid/wood for the second shot to a beautifully situated green.
My best bit
I managed to make a competent par at the above-mentioned 13th and it felt really good.
What to look out for
The greens at Sherwood Forest are enormous. And generally flat. Bear that in mind when trying to hit them from distance. You have usually got a good chance of chipping close or lagging up a long putt.
When I go back…
I won’t hit it in the heather on the 1st. This gentle opener is by far the easiest par 4 on the course and a golden chance to get off to a good start. When you are grappling with the back nine, this 300-yarder will seem a world away.
For more information, visit the Sherwood Forest Golf Club website.