16 reviews of Hemsted Forest Golf Club
Great course, it's a pity I paid £25 to endure sub standard bunkers with not enough sand in them, the 3 different bunkers cost me 4 shots as one of them just had a sprinkling of sand with clay underneath. Impossible to get the ball out, so instead of 9/10 can only give you 5/10.
November 10th 2010 weather strong low sunshine, course covered with a carpet of autumn leaves made for exacting conditions, the course was found to be in very good nick after many days of hard rain, the group of 16 played a stableford comp, which was enjoyed by all. The facilities and staff at the club were excellent,I arrived with hard spikes, and after a short visit to the reception, came out with a loan pair of soft spiked shoes, All in all a most enjoyable day, will return, maybe in the summer (No Leaves) A good test of golf get your score on the tight front 9, the back 9 will find you out if not on your game,finish about 3 off your handicap and you have done very well. Go and enjoy...........
We played here after two days of heavy rain (which had closed the course). But the course was in excellent condition; almost no casual water and the greens as fast as usual. A fine course, and most attractive in the trees.
Played for the first time on Sunday of the Bank Holiday Weekend and was surprised at how quiet it was. As a two ball we rapidly made up ground on a four ball and they let us through reasonably promptly. The course was in great condition with fantastic fairways and greens. Knowledge is key off the tee with some holes requiring a well placed drive to leave a second shot at the green. The character of the front nine is less harsh than that of the back nine where water, sloping fairways and blind greens await. A good golf course with the potential to become one of Kent's finest clubs. The club faiclities are adequate, although the practice groud is a goodly distance from the clubhouse. Will defintely return.
If you are not habitually straight off the tee, then put a chainsaw in your bag when visiting Hemsted (nee The Executive Club, nee Cranbrook GC). Each hole may appear straightforward off the tee but this course requires management and the approaches to the green all need care. The greens are a wonderful test of putting, barring the first which is a pretty flat piece of turf but then you need a little help to ease into a round when the practice facilities are too far away to use (a net would be handy). It is hugely important to stay out of the bunkers -- they are either hard, thin on sand in the summer or cloggy and wet in the winter. Matters are not helped by the fact that the largely ignorant membership often fails to rake them adequately after a visit possibly a symptom of the fact that this is a course not a club. A round will take a long time if you aren't straight and most of the members aren't. Additionally, they seem to have got into the habit of standing with their four ball partners to watch each other play. Very time consuming. Perhaps some time boards could be introduced to help them appreciate that golf is a three-hour game not four or four and a half. That or a timekeeper to travel round and chivvy them up on the busiest days. One other bugbear is the tees. These are not of a standard for any golf club. The plastic matting on the 3rd is outrageous and most are narrow and uneven. More care is needed on the margins of the course where too much bramble and weed has been allowed to prosper. Unarguably this could be one of the jewels of the Kent golf scene but greater attention to detail is required. Similarly, the club house is a dour affair with a distinctly unwelcoming atmosphere. I have not tarried to try the food as a result. The green fee booth (it is not in any way a pro shop) is, however, attended by a cheerful lot, who make up for the lack of customer (because that is what they are, not members really) focus elsewhere.
Played the course for the first time in over four years. Yes it is not the most challenging from the tee but the greens more than make up for it - simply awesome. The fairways are immaculate and overall a very well presented course. However, when I used to be a member, the course was thankfully relatively unknown, resulting in a quiet yet quick round. This weekend was busy, but we got off at 10.00 am and waited behind a four ball (we were a two ball). On every hole thereafter we waited at least 5 - 10 mins on the tee, and about 5 mins playing our second / third shots. How stupidly annoying can some inept golfers be. If they were playing immaculate golf it can be a pleasure to wacth, but 4 "gents" topping, slicing, hooking, hacking just incensed us. Even when we asked we were either ignored or told it was busy. The fact they could barely see us from 10 feet probably explained why they couldn't see that nobody was in front of them! Considering it is over an hour journey to the course I unfortuntely won't be looking to renew my membership. The lack of help from the pro-shop regarding this problem seemed to imply it was not a one off. It is and probably always will be a cracker of a course, unfortunately the experience is completely overshadowed by the total lack of respect the current members have for course etiquette - a real shame. I would be interested to see if that differs on other quieter days.
Ok the reading on Hemsted golf course by all of the previous writers is accurate to some degree. Yes the course used to get very wet in the winter but an awful lot of money spent on drainage has improved this beyond recognition. Yes the mat on the third is annoying and I wish they would soil and seed the tee box. Yes there are few bunkers but the ones there are very strategic. however the course is always, yes always fantastic. It is tight and fully tree lined on every hole. Every single guest I have taken has raved about the course and its quality of condition. The greens are deep rooted so are used all year round. My one and only true criticism is the tee boxes across a number of holes should be leveled and re seeded to improve them. I have been a member for two years and am also a member at Chart hills and the Berkshire and this course stands up to both as test of golf and condition, but on a fraction of the budget the other two course, (three if you include both at the Berkshire), have. Play the course between now and October and you will not be dissapointed, unless fast greens and tightly cut fairways are not your bag. the grass under the trees is killed so if you visit the trees your ball is an easy spot off of pine needles but only a chip out sideways will be on. The food is fantastic and reasonably priced. The only draw back is the changing rooms are only fitted with two showers so if there is a group of you there is a bit of a wait. That said the staff are great, Chris the pro is an absolute delight and all of the team will make you so welcome. The course is worth every penny of the £40 green fee and societies would have an absolutely brilliant day. Slow play is not the norm but on busy days expect a 4 - 41/2 hr round, the course plays longer than its par 70 believe me shoot your handicap and you will feel like you are well under par!
Have played here nearly every week for the last two years. The course represents fantastic value especially if you take out ececutive membership. I do agree with other reviews that the mat on the 3rd does spoil the course a little bit and there are sometimes a few puddles during the winter. A lot of drainage work has gone on recently so it will be interseting to see the improvement this winter. The greens are beautifully maintained and there are no winter greens. At its best in the spring and autumn the course is a glorious spectacle and immaculately looked after throughout the year. The fairways are tree lined and the fairways tight and many of the holes are dog legs; so an accurate T shot is essential to avoid trouble. The club house, a converted Oast House, is fascinating, the restaurant offers excellent quality and amazing value. The staff are friendly and welcoming as have been all of the members I have met. Thoroughly recommended.
Myself and 11 of my friends played this course on 2/09/06 and i thought it was excellent, any tee shot that did not hit the fairway found its way too the trees and meant that a chip outsideways was the only option ,thus putting a premium on accurate shot making all of us from a 7 handicapper to a 28 thouroughlly enjoyed the course .One suggestion i would like too make for the course is that a bell be placed on the 17 fairway as it is impossible too see any other players on the left hand side of the fairway
Either the poster below has does not have the ability to read what I have actually written or he works for the club in question, either way I put my comments on this web-site as a fair critique of the course, at no point did I start trading personal insults. Having however been labelled a 'twerp' I feel that it is my right to clarify a few issues. When I played the course some of the fairways had standing water on them, there had not been a significant amount of rain so I raised a concern that the course might have drainage problems. I also think that it is a fair comment saying that the course holds few challenges apart from driving the ball straight. On not one single par 4-5 did I stand on the tee and question what club I should use, no distance calculations to work out if I could carry the fairway bunker - all I was faced with were tree-lined fairways deviod of any sand or other hazzards. You therefore just take out the driver, hit a mid to high iron for a second shot and you are on the green. A good course requires you to think, this one didn't. A previous poster mentioned Chart Hills which anyone who has played it will know is a course where you are always thinking about club selection, for me (and are not these reviews about personal preference? I did not realise we had to conform to anybody else's standards) makes for a more interesting round of golf. I also don't think that a £40 a round golf course should have a par 3 playing off a permanment mat. So I stand by what I originally said and for those of you who are incapable of understanding it I'll say it again. Hempsted Forest is a nice tree lined course that is pleasing in parts on the eye and has pretty good greens. Apart from hitting the ball straight it holds nothing else in the way of difficulty and I question how well it will stand up to the wetter winter months. I think that there are better courses out there for the same money. Please note this is my personal opinion, if you played Hempsted Forset and liked it then I am delighted for you. I thought it was an okay course in semi-decent nick but a little dull.
I could not disagree more with Mr Armstrong's comments. This is a gem of a golf course with a membership scheme that fully deserves the award given by Golf World last year (as mentioned earlier you buy points for cash and the more you buy the cheaper it is to play). As for the golf course I have not had a sterner test for a golf course in Kent for a while. I play off 7 (Chart Hills my home club)...in the 8 rounds I have played at Hemsted I have managed to score better than 30 points just once! The course is tight with a premium on accuracy. As for the greens, they knocked the spots off any golf course I have played throughout the Winter, and, when I played last week, they are in awesome condition for the Summer. The staff are excellent, the food is delicious (pan fried chicken salad and honey dressing highly recommended!). As for Mr Armstrong saying "all you got to do is hit the ball straight" that is half the argument with this game, you twerp. It's like saying re: football "all you've got to do is hit the ball in between and under those posts"....it depends on what is in front of you to stop you from doing that, you berk. With golf courses getting smashed by the "Long and Wrong Gang", this is how European and U.S. Tour Officials should be setting up new challenges for the pros. PLAY IT ASAP, you won't regret it.
I do not agree with the conclusion of the previous poster. Hemsted's tree-lined fairways are narrow. The greens are lightning fast. You do not need more bunkers. It is true you can easily find balls, but you lose a shot coming out sideways.It is extremely difficult for most players to get anywhere close to the pin on the fast greens. Balls landing on the green tend to run off. I agree with the comment about permanent mats on one par three - but apart from that the course was in great condition. The driving range is not in walking distance of the course. There are only two showers and two toilets in the visitors changing room -which is little more than an upstairs landing, with a few benchs. For that reason, I would not recommend it for societies who are looking to stay and change for dinner. As has been previously noted, the points membership plan would suit players who only play a few games every year.
Played Hemsted Forest of 16 April and after reading the reviews I was expecting big things from this course; in many aspects it failed to deliver. The only test the course seemed to offer was that of hitting the ball straight and keeping to the fairways; if you can manage to do that then there is very little else on the course to make you think. Sure the course is pleasing to the eye but there are very few bunkers which makes most par 4's just a driver and then a 7 iron. My own personal preference is to be faced with shots which provide an option of laying up or going for the green. It would also appear that this course has some drainage problems. There had not been a fantastic amout of rain recently but some of the fairways were still waterlogged and even at the end of April winter rules were still in operation. The greens were well presented and despite the water on the rest of the course were very quick. It is the tees however that are the problem, on one of the par 3's there is no grass tee, it plays permanently from mats, winter tees were also in play on numerous other holes, and the ones that did play off grass were in places uneven, to the point where you were teeing off on a downward stance. All of this I would accept on a municpal course but Hempsted Forest charge £40 a round and for that I expected better. For the price I would also expect the course to be marshalled, slow play I can tollerate but there appeared to be a lack of golfing etiqutte by some other players on the course. If you like mature tree lined courses that do not require much thought (apart from hitting the ball straight) then this is the course for you. I have played a lot worse courses but I think it is slightly over priced for what it is.
Hemsted Forest is a fantastic course - interesting, challenging, but more importantly in excellent condition. The greens are wonderfully prepared, and the course is suitable for experts and novices alike. Additonally the staff are extremely hellpful, and very welcoming, and the facilities at the club house and restaurant are very good. Overall a fantastic course to play on your own, with friends or for corporate or group days. They also have a very good membership system which involves you buying points, which you expend to play - the more points you buy, the cheaper your golf. At worst you will get 10 rounds for £225 per year with no extra joining fee's. Your guests also play on your points - making their round of golf the same cost.
I first played this course about 12 years ago when it was known as Cranbrook Golf Club and didnt really think much of it at all. A friend of mine has recently joined here and had been pestering me to go play for some time so I gave in and went for a game a couple of months ago. I have returned three or more times since then and am seriously considering joining it is THAT good!! The condition of the course has to be seen to be believed, I have played many championship courses in worse condition than this and I am talking proper championship courses not new ones recently designed and called "championship" just because they are 7,000 yards in length!! This course is fairly good for the novice golfer because although tight and surrounded by trees you wont loose many golf balls as the ground underneath is fairly clear, but a low handicapper will love it because with the narrow fairways you really have to shape the ball every which way!! And the greens are super slick to satisfy everybody! GO PLAY.
This is the second time we have played this course on a society event and both days were enjoyed by everyone. The course was in great condition and the greens tricky as always. This course is a test of golf with tree lined narrow fairways , but its easy to find your ball. Catering is good and a nice friendly welcome - but remember to tuck your shirt in or else.....
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