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Sean_A

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SHERWOOD FOREST GC: Boony Is Right New
« on: January 15, 2012, 05:19:19 AM »
Sherwood Forest, famous for being the mythological home of the gallant outlaw Robin Hood, is far smaller than in ancient times. Today, the 1000 acre forest is hemmed in by Mansfield to the west and Worksop to the north.  The village of Edwinstowe is completely surrounded by the Royal Forest and nearby is the famous 800(ish) year old Major Oak; Robin Hood and his Merry Menís shelter from the elements and Machiavellian Sheriff of Nottingham. 

Tucked between the forest and Mansfield is a delightful patch of heathland given over to golf in 1912 by the 6th Duke of Portland. Despite the abundantly fanciful images evoked by the name Sherwood Forest, it is inconceivable that any other name would due. It would seem HS Colt contributed with advice to an already existing course the club built when it moved to the Dukeís land and that Braidís substantial work was completed by the green staff in 1927.  Much of the work centred on lengthening the course and the bunker work associated with such changes, but most of the previously exciting greens remained in tact. The result is nothing short of delightful.  Mind you, at 6300 yards from the daily tees and with five par 4s measuring over 400 yards Sherwood Forest is tough enough to test a high standard of golfer.  Indeed, the club hosted Regional Open Qualifying from 2002 through 2007.  I believe Regional Qualifying will return to Sherwood Forest in 2014.  This honour has nudged the club into making some changes.  There are several bunkers being worked on, some of which I believe are new.  Interestingly, and this is only from memory, the club seems to have decided to toughen up the tee shots for numbers 12-14 (already difficult holes!) by placing bunkers in the landing zones.   I think if work is going to be done, this is the best way to approach it.  Too often clubs will increase the challenge of the breather holes, thus disrupting the rhythm of the design.   



While the footprint of Colt remains evident throughout, Sherwood's first seven holes are essentially as Colt designed and as is often the case Colt opened his courses with holes that aren't overly taxing. That is certainly the case at Sherwood.


The course quickly swings into shape with a cracking two-shotter which features beautifully placed bunkers.  In general, the fairway bunkering is outstanding.


The approach.  Notice the large berm behind the green.  This is very reminiscent of Camberley Heath.  Although the 6th runs behind this green I am not sure why the berm was utilized.


There are several blind drives, the first of which comes at the third.  The bunkers shown below cut-off the fairway at a very reachable distance so it is best to lay-up. 


#4 is a majestic par 3.  While the house isn't a great backdrop, one can easily imagine that from inside there are outstanding views of #s 1 & 5 going out and #s 4 & 18 coming in.  However, it is the small details which can separate the very good from great courses.  In the photo below, the tee blocking the view of the left bunker detracts from the balance of the set piece.   


A closer look at the expert shaping.


The boozers' loop completed; the fifth is the first of two fine reachable three-shotters which play over/through valleys.


Fairway bunkering once again plays a major role in the decision-making process.




#6 is a tough blind tee shot par 4 with its fairway narrowed by very well placed right hand bunkers. 

Yet another stunning set piece, the par 3 seventh features two greens.  I suspect the left-hand green is original and the right acts as a temporary. 


The beautiful golf continues with #8, the second par 5.  Braid changed the line and pushed this green much further left to take full advantage of the valley.




The side ends with the first hole of Sherwood's murderer's row.  One must get his score on the opening eight holes for all the par 4s between 9 and 14 are 400 plus yards.   The ninth's beauty belies its difficulty.  At 453 yards it is the longest of these stretch two-shotters.  The drive is blind, has heather threatening the right side and a bunker left.  While the course features some terrific fairway bunkering, the greenside bunkering is a bit of a let-down.  Almost without exception left and right is on the menu.   


In the Colt influenced rendition of the course, the homeward nine had four sub 300 yard holes and a monster par 5.  Braid used existing fairway corridors to create the challenge which exists today.  The short 10th offers some respite (perhaps too early?) from the big hitting.


The course continues its final stint of the eastward march on #11; another exquisite hole of simple allure.  I think the right green-side bunker had its profile raised for better visibility.




The long road home begins on the 12th.  The course is far less attractive heading in and the wind is no longer friendly.  It is also the 12th which signals the start of serious new bunker work.  From the daily tee, a freshly built large bunker covering the left half of the fairway is blind - as is the landing zone.  Below is the approach.


It is very unfortunate that five of the last six holes head straight into the winter sun.  This drastically effects the enjoyment, but it is also the case that the holes are not nearly as compelling as found earlier.  The 13th is a flat par 4 bending around trees to the left with a new bunker blocking the safe play on the right.  #14 slides left as well and has new bunkers protecting the inside of the leg.  The remaining four holes are a great deal easier than the previous four. The final par 3 is quite good with the expectant heavy bunker protection. 

#16, while not up to the standard of the front nine par 5s, requires sound shot-making to earn a birdie due to a profuse number of bunkers.


#17 is a moderate length par 4 with a large bunker pinching play toward the trees right.  A lay-up is the obvious play - not one of my favourite holes.  Thankfully, other than sun issues, the home hole is very good.  It is feasible that flat bellies could reach this green, but only in favourable conditions.  A large valley bisects the hole and makes the golfer choose between a lay-up, or risking a blind approach from the valley floor if going for the far side. 

Despite the few shortcomings of Sherwood Forest such as the green-side bunkering, winter sun problems and perhaps the lack of a true drivable par 4,  there is a lot to admire...especially the fantastic front 9.  The condition of the course is very good and the greens seemed to have improved over last year. While I can't point to any exceptional hole, the whole is far greater than the individual parts of Sherwood.  There is an undeniable grandeur to many of the holes which should slap a smile to any golfer's face.  The par 5s as a set are good and as a balance to the many long par 4s don't in any way create an added burden for the golfer.  The threes are earnest, if not exceptional, and the fours demonstrate good variety. Finally, and this is something which is quite important to the visiting golfer, though often not mentioned, the club is very friendly.   This area of Nottinghamshire is well blessed with the very solid Coxmoor and striking Notts just the other end of Mansfield - all the more reason to stop by for a few days of golf.  2012

Previous stops on the Tour:

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32655.0.html  Woking

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32228.0.html  Huntercombe

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50427.0.html  Berkhamsted

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,46538.0.html  Coxmoor

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37725.0.html  Temple

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38973.0.html  Little Aston

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30965.0.html  Beau Desert

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,33988.0.html  Notts

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50088.0.html  The Old Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50086.0.html  The New Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50078.0.html  The Castle Course

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30926.0.html  Kington

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,37526.0.html   Harborne

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49998.0.html   Worcester G&CC


Next scheduled stop:

Saunton East & West
   


Ciao
« Last Edit: June 17, 2022, 02:36:39 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Scott Warren

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Re: Sherwood Forest GC
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2012, 06:01:08 AM »
Have you and Boony taken us around this one before? Looks familiar. Looks good.

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sherwood Forest GC
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2012, 06:49:26 AM »
As always, Sean, your photography brings out all the positives, so difficult to do in winter. Thank you.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Sherwood Forest GC
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2012, 07:14:53 AM »
Scott

I was thinking the same thing as the first par 3 looks very familiar for some reason. In any case Sean, thanks for posting. The course looks good fun with a good degree of challenge to make it so.

Niall

Neil White

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Re: Sherwood Forest GC
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2012, 07:16:11 AM »
Hi Sean,

Great photos - looks as though you picked a lovely winters day to play........

Sherwood Forest is the only one of the three, to include Notts and Coxmoor, that I have yet to play and seeing it as it is, even in winter makes me even more keen to get up there for a game.  :)

Cheers,

Neil.



Courses played 2020 - ................!

Ronald Montesano

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Re: Sherwood Forest GC: Boony Was Right
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2012, 07:39:32 AM »
I like the use of the valley on #9 better than on either of the par five holes that precede it.

I'd love to see a wider photo of the twin greens on the par three 7th. I've seen separate greens on par four holes, one short, one deep, but nothing so proximate.
Maybe for 2022
~Eden Valley
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~Pinehurst (NY)
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~Greenwood
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Robin_Hiseman

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2012, 05:29:16 AM »
Sean

Any idea who is responsible for the bunker work?

Nice tour and a nice looking course.
2022: Al Mouj; Cleeve Hill, Painswick, Minch Old, Weybrook Park, The Astbury, Silloth, Royal Balfron, Strathendrick, Archerfield (Fidra), Roxburghe, Stoneham, Woburn (Marquess), JCB, Pyrford, Hayling, Clandon, Wentworth (East), Ashbourne, East Sussex National (West)

Mark Pearce

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 05:37:07 AM »
It looks rather more interesting than I had expected.  I must play more golf in the Midlands.

Until this thread this: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/golfer-sues-players-over-cheating-claim-1369853.html is what I had known Sherwood Forest for.  I recall this story being reported in the national TV news too, at the time!
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Mark Chaplin

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2012, 05:53:48 AM »
Mark - I've been involved in something similar and although the standard of proof was the balance of probabilities, it is a serious matter and the committee should go close to beyond all reasonable doubt. I'm sure that's why they found the matter not proven. The member employing a QC over a multiple day libel trial then ended up with this;

AN AMATEUR golfer faces a legal bill of up to £250,000 after a jury yesterday ruled that he had not been libelled by two fellow players who accused him of cheating.

John Buckingham, 57, was attempting to sue two members of Sherwood Forest Golf Club in Nottinghamshire over allegations that during a competition in 1990 he twice secretly dropped new balls to replace ones lost, while on another hole he kicked his ball to a more favourable lie.

As the jury delivered its verdict at Nottingham County Court, Reginald Dove, 50, and Graham Rusk, 34, smiled and winked at friends and family in the packed public gallery.

The forewoman then concluded the 10-day hearing by reading from a note passed to the judge: 'We would like you to know that we are concerned our decision might be perceived as proof that Mr Buckingham definitely cheated. This is not necessarily the view of the whole jury. But as reflected in our verdict, we did not feel that Mr Rusk or Mr Dove acted maliciously.'
Cave Nil Vino

John Mayhugh

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2012, 08:37:05 AM »
Thanks for the tour, Sean.  Not sure I've seen the term boozer's loop before, but it's worth keeping.

Jud_T

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2012, 09:12:31 AM »
Thanks Sean.  I actually used to work with the son of the Sheriff of Nottingham.  Quite a character with a touch of the Robber Baron in his blood as I recall.  Pretty good resume for a Euro Bond trader....
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Sherwood Forest GC
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 12:34:34 PM »
Scott

I was thinking the same thing as the first par 3 looks very familiar for some reason. In any case Sean, thanks for posting. The course looks good fun with a good degree of challenge to make it so.

Niall

There was a thread recently about the removal of gorse and trees featuring photos of this hole.

Jon

Lance Rieber

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2012, 10:28:12 PM »
Just curious Sean. Were these pictures recent?  If so maybe someone can tell me why it is so green?  I would think the turf would be much more brown like here in Boise.  Thanks

Mark Pearce

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 01:08:41 AM »
Just curious Sean. Were these pictures recent?  If so maybe someone can tell me why it is so green?  I would think the turf would be much more brown like here in Boise.  Thanks
Lance,

From the bare trees, I'd say they were this winter (Sean will no doubt let us know).  Our grass is greener in winter than in summer.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

James Boon

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2012, 03:35:16 AM »
Was I?  ;D

Sean,

Glad you liked Sherwood on your more recent play! Even though its close, I've only played it a couple of times (I find it hard to drag myself away from Hollinwell, especially now, or Beau or Cavendish of my other local favourites) I think its a great course, making excellent use of the rolling landscape and with a brutally tough finishing stretch! I suspect that Hollinwell being nearby, and Lindrick with its Ryder Cup heritage also not far away, pushes Sherwood down the pecking order for anyone in the area, but part of me would be tempted to push it ahead of Lindrick for anyone in the area?

Will hopefully post more later...

Scott, yes here is a photo tour I did of Sherwood Forest a couple of years ago, with some pics (and sarcastic comments  ::) ) from Sean...
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,42229.0.html

Also, a link to discussion on the tree and gorse removal
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,50159.0.html

Cheers,

James



2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Mark Chaplin

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2012, 05:12:25 AM »
The area sounds like it calls out for BUDA, fine courses for the discerning player yet under the radar for the masses!
Cave Nil Vino

James Boon

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2012, 05:07:50 PM »
Sean,

Thanks again for the tour of Sherwood Forest and your revised analysis...  ::)

I'll certainly have to head back to see the work to the bunkers, especially 12 through 14 as thats a real tough stretch. I understand your comment regarding the left and right nature of the bunkers, but in many instances, it seems a combination of this, plus a few shorter bunkers or the land short of the green (I'm thinking of 9 and 11 especially) all go to disguising the length of approach shot. Something that is lost a little with various aids, but still worthy architecture for me.

A pity you played to the other green on the short 7th. The main green is a particular favourite of mine, narrow with several different tiers all falling away from you.

Here is a link to some nice photos on the clubs website
http://www.sherwoodforestgolfclub.co.uk/sherwood-forest-golf-course-gallery-nottingham

Chappers,

I'd be more than happy to arrange something at Notts and Sherwood for Buda at some point in the future and I think they would make excellent venues, but from this years experience, aren't we better off playing the Americans on links courses?  ;D

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Sean_A

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Re: Sherwood Forest GC: Boony Was Right
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2012, 06:26:03 PM »
I like the use of the valley on #9 better than on either of the par five holes that precede it.

Ronald

Why?

Doc

I don't know who did the bunker work.  Hopefully it is a work in progress because they don't strike me as anywhere near as integrated into the layout as the older bunkers.

Boony

Sherwood has a lot of bunkers (must be not that far off 90 and more importantly it feels this way)  and that in and of itself makes it hard to place them in varied positions.  When I compare the placement of the bunkers with Little Aston, it seems clear to me that not all that could be achieved at Sherwood with sand was achieved.  

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 11:16:52 AM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Tom MacWood

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2012, 11:17:03 PM »
Sean
Once again nice work; you are a hell of a photographer. Do you know what changes Braid made?

Mark Pearce

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2012, 07:57:59 AM »
James,

BUDA is all about winning taking part not taking part winning.  A BUDA in the Midlands would be great, perhaps 2014 (I have a feeling that there was a move to go to Ireland in 2013)?

Mark
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Tom MacWood

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2012, 10:02:26 AM »
I'm curious about the history of this course. Does anyone know what the course was called prior to 1921? I don't find any mention of it in The Times prior to 1922. I know the original course designed by Tom Dunn was called Welback Abbey, and I believe it was the Duke of Portland's private course. Colt never listed Sherwood Forest as a course he designed/redesigned so I'm thinking it was called something else in 1912.

Paul_Turner

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2012, 10:17:56 AM »
Tom

The club history shows the changes by Braid but I don't have a copy.  From memory they were quite substantial.  I was thinking the same that the course may have been under a different name early on.  I'm not sure how the club has confirmed that it was a Colt design.  I think it's unlikely he would have simply forgotten to include it in the ads.
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Paul_Turner

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2012, 10:25:52 AM »
Is "Mansfield" on those earliest Colt ads?
can't get to heaven with a three chord song

Sean_A

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2012, 11:30:04 AM »
Paul

I am almost certain the original name was Mansfield GC.  I think the name changed after the new course was built.  I am also nearly positive this isn't an original Colt design.  I think Colt smartened up much of the course (which I am sure #s 2-4 are evidence of).  It could well be that Braid made changes after more land was acquired once the club became the owners of the land, but this is pure speculation.

Ciao 
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Tom MacWood

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Re: SHERWOOD FOREST GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour or Boony Was Right
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2012, 12:19:01 PM »
Paul
Mansfield does ring a bell. I'll check on that when I get home.

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