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