What we say
Swinley Forest Golf Club has one of the best golf courses in Britain. Golf World Top 100 editor Chris Bertram explains what makes the Berkshire layout so special.
If you’ve heard anything about Swinley Forest, it’s likely that it will be true even if you felt like it was embellished and fanciful. No, it really is that eccentric, different and charming. And then we can start talking about the course.
Swinley is the club that time forgot. The sign outside the gates betrays the fact there is no desire to attract visitors. It is the size of a scorecard and is plonked on the ground among the leaves and vegetation.
But once you are through the gates you will love every minute of your time here. That is a bold statement of course, as everyone has different tastes, but it really is difficult to imagine all serious golfers not being totally enthralled with this club.
As it so difficult to secure a tee time – this is a highly exclusive private member’s club – you might expect the welcome to be lukewarm but it is in fact helpful and friendly. Just don’t expect much in the way of atmosphere – it is highly unlikely you will see many fourballs hanging around.
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That said, there IS atmosphere at Swinley, atmosphere created by the knowledge that the great and good of London society have played here for decades and that it is rather nice that an institution is perfectly happy to allow the world to develop apace outside the gates while being very pleased with the way they do things there, thank you very much.
The course? Simply joyous. Barely over 6,000 yards, it is only recently that scorecards have been created, par assigned to holes and stroke indexes allocated.
One could write forever about the beauty and charm of the course when one sentence is all that is required to describe this classic heathland, designed by Harry Colt. His “least worst”? Perhaps. Certainly his brilliant routing of the broadly undulating slopes is masterful and a set of greens that truly complement the terrain. Heathland perfection.
Try to play it – drop a line to the secretary by way of introduction and follow it up with a telephone call. It is worth every ounce of effort.
- Costs -
- TG Rating
- Players Rating
- Address Bodens Ride, , ASCOT
- Tel 01344 620197
- Website https://www.swinleyfgc.co.uk/
|Green Fees||On application|
|Course Length||5,384 yards (4,923 metres)|
- Course has: Bar
- Course has: Buggy Hire
- Course has: Driving Range
- Course does not have: Practice Green
- Course has: Pro Shop
- Course has: Restaurant
- Course has: Trolley Hire
- Course does not have: Dress Code
- Course has: Club Hire
- Course has: Handicap
Sadly very overrated and, now overpriced golf course, Poor greens, course in general very untidy. There are many much better couses in the area which are not living on their reputation.