THE manicured greens, picture-perfect bunkers and choreographed pine trees – this could only be one place.
It’s Forest Pines, the famous golf course. Not the American one, you understand. This, believe it or not, is Scunthorpe. Forest Pines is fast earning itself a reputation as a fine golf course.
What better place for a rookie like me to swing his first golf club? After a couple of swings, I hit a perfect shot and saw the ball arcing into the sky unbelievably heading Tiger Woods-style towards the flag.
Maybe I’m a natural? Nope. It’s beginner’s luck. As my wayward second, third and fourth shots indicated, golf is the most frustrating game on earth.
No sooner do you think you have mastered clouting a little white ball, than you come back to earth with a bump.
But patient teaching from Matthew Peacock, the professional, showed what can be achieved with the right stance, correct posture and a perfect hold of the club, plus practice, practice, practice.
What surprised me most as a rookie was how much further the ball goes when you hold the club properly. It feels uncomfortable, far from natural, but the ball fizzes further than I could ever have imagined.
Plus, you don’t need to hammer it: a good relatively slow connection and a shorter swing will get you more control and better distance than a wild hack.
So, what exactly is Forest Pines? It is a recently rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton Spa & Golf Resort, located a short distance from J4 of the M180 and nestled in 190 acres of beautiful woodland.
It’s on the outskirts of Brigg, a few miles from Scunthorpe and just a short hop from the Humber Bridge. If there is a prettier golf course around, I have yet to see it.
My friend Lynne and I were guests of the hotel and had a golf lesson, hours on the driving range and putting green and access to one of the most impressive spa complexes in the region.
Lynne’s not a golfer either, but she too was enthralled, frustrated and captured by the sport.
The hotel has it all: one of the best championship golf courses in the country, 188 spacious bedrooms, an outstanding health club and spa, a state-of-the-art conference and events centre and three fantastic, unique restaurants.
The Pines bar overlooks the course and is perfect for pre- or post-round drinks or bar snacks.
The setting is impressive – three nine-hole courses which have been rated one of the leading UK winter courses and has hosted numerous competitions including the R&A Boys Home Internationals, British Blind Open and the PGA four-ball Championships 2009-2013.
It was also the winner of the 2018 Today’s Golfer ‘best golf course in the east of England’ award.
The hotel is close to a number of fascinating towns and major attractions including the market town of Beverley and the renowned city of Lincoln. The region also boasts some of the country’s best blue-flag beaches, which are just a short drive time away.
A two-night dinner, bed and breakfast break, with two rounds of golf, costs from just £165 per person, based on two sharing a room.
DoubleTree by Hilton Forest Pines Spa & Golf Resort Ermin