I played in the Sherwood Forest Open for the first time recently and had a blast. I loved the walk to the first tee and the panoramic view of the course. I thought that everything about the place oozed class. The member announcing us on the first tee was a lovely touch and the practice facilities were some of the best i've experienced.
The course was fantastic. A very pretty setting for golf with fairways flanked by whispy straw creating an orangey hew across the course. My favourites were the par 3 4th; firing downhill towards the clubhouse requiring pin point accuracy and the par 4 18th; a strong finishing hole with a spectacular vista from the tee.
Our group noted how consistent the course was with no real poor holes with the architecture using the lay of the land to perfection with many a fairway shot having to clear deep drops before the green. There are also some lovely downhill drives creating different options from the tee and barely a blind shot considering the vastly rolling landscape.
The course condition was fantastic and more than a match for the top Uk and Ireland courses. Rough, tees and fairways were top grade and the beautiful fringed bunkers were also as you'd expect from a course of this calibre. On to the greens… they were the fastest i've ever experienced with rumours circling the course of 13.2 on the stimp meter I can honestly say i've never putted on anything thats come close to the speed of Sherwood Forest and I was recently at St Andrews. Leaving myself 3/4 minutes on the practice putting green my first 10 foot effort went 25 feet past the hole and after a bit of head scratching and a little more practice I managed to get to grips before heading out.
My one and only critique about the course is that its too hard for the average golfer. Granted I played from the white tees but the yellow tees still had 5 400 yard+ par 4s. Basically its an absolute brute of a course. The fairways also were so tight that in places they were the width of a large green. This was reflected in a Nett 70 (one under) winning the day. Absolute madness!… especially as the weather couldn't have been better. I also played with a 1 handicapper who shot 17 over par. My point is that its probably a little on the wrong side of difficult and could do with easing a little in places to allow for more all round enjoyment.
However let that not detract from what I consider an astounding Heathland course in a quintessentially English setting. I haven't played that many top 100 Uk and Ireland courses but if Sherwood Forest doesn't quite make the list then I’ve got a hell of a lot to look forward to.
Date: August 09, 2021