Swinley Forest – a great way to start

This 1909 hidden gem has maintained traditional golf in its finest form. From the extremely understated gated entrance (we almost missed the turnoff) through to the rustic, old world clubhouse Swinley Forest makes you question whether other golf courses have moved too much away from this traditional model.

Our golf experience at Swinley forest started with lunch upstairs in the clubhouse with Secretary Stewart Zuill – highly regarded in golf management circles including 14 years as Secretary at close neighbour Sunningdale Golf Club.

As far as lunches this beat the average pie and chips. We started off with a selection of mushroom soup or fish followed by a full on carvery roast and of course a variety of puddings and fruit to finish. As you would expect this far surpassed the airplane food we had been subjected to less than 24 hours earlier.

Swinley forest is a course that does not manicure its playing surfaces to within an inch of its life (refreshing in many ways). Instead, cut through the natural forest, the holes get better and better as the round progresses. The par 3’s were demanding yet for both of us a highlight of the course.

Although short the course makes you use every club in the bag (including your wedge to extricate yourself from the dense heather that, on many holes, forms the first cut of rough). Miss the fairway and you pay for it

A key part of this trip is raising money for the Door of Hope with birdies scored and we both had several chances to kicks start the campaign. The course has only one par 5 which comes early in the round (5th) so your birdies need to be made on other holes.

David had a great chance on 15 but his putt shaved the cup and so we walked the short distance to the 16th tee knowing we needed to do something.

Gary came good birdieing two of the last three holes to add some respectability to the birdie tally.

Early night tonight as 36 holes tomorrow and on Wednesday. Our bodies will be feeling it come Wednesday night.

Photos to come. Stay tuned…

By golfselect

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