With parts of the course at Charnwood Forest Golf Club lying within the Beacon Hill, Hangingstone and Outwoods Site of Special Scientific Interest, golfers really are in touch with nature on this layout.
Charnwood Forest is one the most interesting, natural and best nine-holers I have played. It’s a fascinating course that loops round the Hanging Stone Rocks, dated back over 600 million years, located in a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The course in early March 2015 was dry as a bone and you could tell from the turf that you are going to get good quality all-year round play at this delightful heathland gem.
The greens are quite small but fit in really well with their surrounds, cut as they are into the hillside, and have lots of little drops-offs to the front and sides which makes it tricky to save par if you miss them. There are few flat lies on the course too with many of the holes playing across a gentle side slope.
My favourite hole was the eighth where you discover a lovely green setting after curving your ball round the sweeping fairway, or in my case after chipping out of the trees on the left. The last is also a good hole as you play over a swathe of heather to a green that falls away from you. Equally I could mention the second with its blind approach or the fourth where a wall must be hurdled with either your drive or approach.
There’s a lot of good things going on at Leicestershire’s oldest course, designed bunkerless by James Braid in 1890, and all-in-all Charnwood Forest is well worth a play, especially as it is located so close to the M1 motorway.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.