Forest Pines: The perfect Solheim venue

As the Lincolnshire club waits to here if it will host the Solheim Cup in 2015, Golfmagic goes to try it out...

Forest Pines: The perfect Solheim venue

There was a lot of excitement in this country over the Ryder Cup 2018 venue announcement – and we weren’t even bidding! So I turned my attentions to a competition the United Kingdom is actually competing to host: The 2015 Solheim Cup.

The Forest Pines Resort in North Lincolnshire has put its name forward, alongside clubs from the Czech Republic, Germany and Spain, to host the cream of the LET in four years time. So I went to go and check it out…


I was immediately taken back by how professionally convenient the whole outfit is. The immaculate putting green separates the pro shop, bar and restaurant terrace on one side from the first tee and ninth green of each of the three 9-hole courses – Forest, Pines and Beeches – on the other.

I teed up on the first at Forest – which apparently is in the Guinness World Records for being the scene of the first ever hole-in-one.

Seeing as it’s now a 396-yard par-4, I didn’t replicate such a feat. But I did take a nice bounce off a tree and back into the middle of the fairway, so I knew it was going to be my day.

The Forest nine meanders through the glorious Lincolnshire pines providing a true test for any level of golfer. Play it safe here, anything wayward almost always see you in the trees. But that’s how us mid-to-high handicappers like it, right? Something to really focus on and keep our concentration.

And if the tree-lined fairways aren’t enough, there’s a series of water hazards in play on Forest, with a stream running alongside the whole of the third before dissecting the fourth. The 157-yard par-3 sixth will also need you in your finest mental state as a teasing little water hazard protects the front and left of the green.

You’ll need to be about at your best at the start of the back nine – Pines. A 500-yard plus sand-sprinkled par-5 is followed by a dog-leg par-4 well protected by traps and a tree slap-bang in the middle of the fairway.

But the real fun starts at the 15th - the beginning of four of the best finishing holes I’ve ever played. A water-split fairway leaves you needing to think very carefully about club selection off the tee, while a tight, protected green makes your second shot no easier.

If that hole doesn’t beat you up, wait until the 16th. A long par-3 – 210 yards to be precise – with just the wet stuff between the tee and the front of the green. It came to no surprise to hear greenkeepers have fished more than 6,000 balls from this watery grave in the last year.

17 is a monster par-5 with so many sand traps on the fairway and surrounding the green that you may as well trade in your clubs for a bucket and spade.

And the finishing hole is perfect for competition play. The 450-yard par-4 has a tight green well shaded by trees and a small pond to the left, leaving golfers needing a birdie with a seriously testing approach shot.

After that finish, you will need a stiff drink. so head straight up the stairs behind the 18th to relax in the Pines Bar, boasting a panoramic view of the golf club. Have the bangers & mash – you will not be disappointed.


The Forest Pines Resort has everything. On the golf side, it has 9 practice holes, 18 Championship holes with a stunning finish, a well-stocked pro shop and a delightful terrace restaurant bar overlooking the 18th green.

But that’s just the short story. The hotel boasts 188 spacious rooms, while two excellent restaurants give you a decent choice for dinner time. The first, Eighteen57, is for all you seafood lovers out there, while The Grill offers a more informal atmosphere. And steak.

Businessman? Then there are nine conference and meeting rooms for up to 370 people. So whatever business event you have lined up – conference, board meeting, banquet, barn dance – the state-of-the-art facilities and experienced staff will adapt chameleon-like to fit the bill precisely and ensure everything goes swimmingly.

Of course, if you’re bringing your non-golfing better half, there is a large array of leisure and spa facilities, where master therapists work their magic massaging, soothing, rejuvenating, and preening you into a state of utter tranquillity. Almost tempting enough to keep you off the course, isn’t it?

We say…

A thoroughly impressive set-up whether you’re a golfer, a businessman or just need somewhere to put your head down for the night. Or, of course, all three.

It came as no surprise when I was told a lot of football clubs choose to set up camp at Forest Pines when they’re playing nearby Hull City on a Saturday. Even moneybags Chelsea and Manchester United stayed when Hull were in the Premier League.

But this is a golf tournament we’re talking about, and there is no doubt the Q Hotels Forest Pines Resort is more than capable of hosting the Solheim Cup in 2015.

Visit the Q Hotels website for more information or to book a stay.

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