I like the course but overpriced...
This course is quirky and a little rough round the edges but I really enjoyed the layout of the course and the terrain - heathland-ish.
One thing to note, is I've never stood on the tyee to find three horses blocking my path to the fairway but luckily no animals were hurt during my round.
The course is flat and plays longer than you think. In fact, if it were not for the bunkers having very little sand in them, I would have given a much better score.
However, whilst I know we are spoilt for great green fee deals in Essex, £30 for this course on a Bank Holiday Monday mid morning is too much - £25 would be a fair price.
That said, the staff were all fun and friendly, so would play again if there was a deal on!
New Forest GC is a heathland style course located near Lyndhurst, the New Forest, Hampshire. It is a par 69 (SSS 66); 5,343 yards off the yellow tees. The club states that it is the 2nd oldest course in Hampshire.
There are 7 par 3s (not quite matching the 8 of Chislehurst); 7 par 4s and 4 par 5s. As with its near neighbour the Forest Course at Bramshaw GC; cattle and horses graze the range oblivious to the needs of the human species, ie golfers; though far more horses than cattle were observed during our round! The grazing activity appears to be a key part of the course maintenance process! The par 4s and 5s show little sign of clear deliniation between fairways and rough. Nevertheless the course was in a very playable condition despite the recent very wet weather.
The 6th, 8th and 14th are particularly long/difficult par 3s.
Greens were in excellent condition but were in need of a mow to speed them up.
Many of the low lying areas of the course were either under casual water or were a little boggy; though most of these were in areas where well struck tee shots shouldn't land. The fairway bunkers were not in good condition.
Some of the tee boxes are located very adjacent to the preceding greens. Golfers need to be very aware of this factor. Indeed there are some internal OOB (out of bounds) lines established for such safety reasons. The 2nd hole springs to mind.
The club ambience is one of no airs and graces; there is a small pro-shop and the bar staff were excellent. Reasonably priced good food was also available.
Golfers would expect to score well here but trouble awaits wayward shots.
The course is far from being worthy of a must play categorisation but players of high to low handicaps should enjoy it!
Unique Golf course, well over 100 years old, in the heart of the New Forest...
New Forest GC is an inland links in a natural, unspoilt setting where ponies, cattle are present. Special local rules apply, for example the ball can be moved if lying in animal droppings (better have a latex glove with you though !).
The fairways are of natural grass, sometimes with small pink heathers, short wild yellow flowers (dont know the name).
The bunkers have very definite shapes, and of various sizes & depth with lovely soft darkish sand (must be local from the Hampshire/Dorset coast).
The greens have various ondulations, some with tiers, they are very, very fast even with sometimes the indents from the ponies hooves ! Yes, we are truly sharing the course with the forest animals & all the natural beauty around. It is unique, peaceful & relaxing.
Way-finding can be a little tricky as signage is restricted due to the special nature of the area, but a course layout map is handed over to visitors in the Proshop when one checks in. Today (11th Sept 2012) the Greenkeeper was very helpful to us, still a little confused at times, even with a map, he kept a watchful eye on us to make sure we were heading to the correct next Tee box.
Favourite holes (quite a few as usual, but will limit to 3), I dont want anyone to get bored with my description:
2nd hole (Par 3), with a treacherous narrow raised green, sloping on all sides & guarded by a long bunker on the right.
3rd hole (Par 5), apparently the signature hole & I can understand why. Truly wonderful to play. It is 500yrds + long, double dog leg, trees on the right, OOB on the left, fairway sloping left towards the OOB. Amazing hole. I played it well, so am happy.
16th hole (Par 3), 163 from Yelllow or 144 from Red Tee box. Tee shot obscured by thick goarse, depression in the middle, uphill green, 2 large bunkers front & side and one huge semi-circle one at the back (Index 8 or 6). Really fun to play.
Many more exciting holes, ponies always present, we saw some foals with their protective mothers.
An extremely warm welcome in the Proshop (this is my third year visiting, as I like this unique course so much, I return every year).
Equally warm welcome in th Clubhouse/bar.
Nice patio area, full of flowers by the 1st Tee and entrance to the golf course.
Large Car Park
A practice nett/putting green/chipping zone near the club house. The driving range is on the Right hand side as you drive up to the golf course from the main road.
Today, our social golf did not finish just on the 18th or the 19th, but in the "Fox & Hounds" public house in Lyndhurst town, 5 minutes drive away. The Fox & Hounds is a lovely old traditional pub. where a lovely meal & glass of wline was enjoyed. Thank you Ken S. for driving the extra miles to join me, hope you can join me next year as I shall return for sure.
So, to conclude, if you are in the New Forest, do make a stop at "The New Forest Golf Course,Lyndhurst", you will be sure of a warm welcome, of an enjoyable game of golf on a truly unique golf course and you wont be disappointed if you are a true golfer, or even just a social one (not sure if I am conveying the right message, if it does not make sense, let me know, please...).
THE END......... but a review coming up on another New Forest golf course, very different, wait & see as I have a lot of catching up to do.
New Forest Golf Club
Really enjoyed the round here, although our great british weather attempted to destroy it with a massive downpour. It is quite simply the most wildlife friendly course I have ever played, with a peppering of Ponies and wildlife in random settings all over the course.
I did have to putt towards a foal which was laying on the Green at one of the holes, with his buddies all scattered around the edge munching away quite happily at the edges.
Other than the wildlife it has a series of really testing par 4 holes and a great smattering of par 3's on the back nine, a couple of long par 5's keep you on your toes as well. Currently there is an issue with the greens but this only slightly hinders the natural beauty of playing the course plus they seem to be well on there way to being back to normal. The place plays similar to a links course and really feels a pleasure to play. really enjoyable!!