10 reasons to make ‘Take Up Golf’ your New Year’s resolution

10 reasons to make ‘Take Up Golf’ your New Year’s resolution

Another New Year dawns so quickly and another time to think of doing something new.

Here are our 10 reasons why taking up golf this year is a great idea!

  • You can take it up at any age: If you are aged 5 or 85 you can still take up golf. You’ll probably become a better player the younger you start but it could be argued that the social and health benefits are more noticeable if you are older.


  • Golf is competitive and keeps your interest. You don’t have to take part in competitions but people don’t get less competitive as they get older. Golf means you can still beat your best mate (perhaps only on his/her off day..)


  • You don’t need to play with people who are the same standard as you to have an enjoyable and competitive game. The golf handicap system means that players of all levels can play against each other and still have a meaningful competition. Unlike Tennis where you need to be a similar standard or Football where you need to get into a team, you can play with professionals or beginners. This means you can play with the other members of your family (although you know the kids will beat you in no time)


  • Golf involves being in the healthy outdoors, possibly all year round, and golfers live longer. OK it’s less healthy if you drive a buggy round all the time but the air is still fresh and you are out and about and enjoying your surroundings. And studies have shown that on average, golfers live longer. If you’re going to live longer you definitely need good health!


  • Once you have a set of golf clubs, shoes and are a member of a golf club then you can go out as often as you like with almost no extra cost. Your friends can come and play more cheaply and even the drinks are discounted. Adult Membership at Forest Hills starts from £19 per month and even full membership is just £52 per month. It’s even cheaper if you’re younger. (prices at 1st January 2018). You might need to buy the drinks when you get a hole in 1 though, so watch out for that!


  • Golf is Sociable. You can try and have a conversation with your mate when playing a game of squash but it’s not so easy. With golf you have hours of ambling along the fairways (possibly along the rough) to chat. Then there are team matches and competitions to meet new people, and the golf club social evenings and gala dinners.


  • You can play golf all around the world and although local rules differ, the basic game will be the one you know and love. And often, if you ask in the Professionals shop, they’ll find you a playing partner.


  • Even if you don’t like playing in competitions then you can challenge yourself against the Course. The golf ‘par’ system means you can tell if you’ve had the round of your life or the one you’d rather forget. You can also tell by the amount of sand on your wedge.


  • It’s easy to learn but difficult to master. There are beginner and improver groups or you can take beginners lessons. You can learn as a family or with your friends or on your own. Lessons are flexible and fun. You will hit some great shots – it’s putting them all together on the Golf Course that is a challenge.


  • You’ll know how exciting it is when you watch it on the telly! Yes, if it’s chucking it down outside you will be able to watch the great tournaments and know what a par and bogey is as well as marvel how far professionals drive the ball and how on earth they get out of those bunkers and close to the hole! And as for the excitement of the Ryder cup – enough said!


Ladies Stories

Ladies Stories

Why would women take up golf? Well, for the same reasons as men really, it’s good exercise in fresh air. Golf is sociable and you can play with people of different abilities due to the unique handicap system.

Women are still in the minority when it comes to players and golf club members so we asked our Lady players how and why they got into golf.  These are a few of their stories:

Story 1: If you can’t beat them, join them

I took up golf not long after FHGC opened, the children were more or less ‘off my hands’ and my husband was already playing before being a founder member when Forest Hills opened.

I decided to give it a go rather than just be left at home and do nothing.  I originally had lessons to get going and then just practised and played on Saturdays only, as I was still working then.  I’ve been playing ever since.

The social side is also good and we have a couple of golfing holidays most years.  I also eventually joined the Ladies committee which certainly helped in understanding just what goes on behind the scenes.

A lot of ladies take up golf because their partner plays. Couples can play all around the world – you know the rules will be the same. Mixed golf is friendly and popular.

Story 2: An interest of my own

I promised myself I would take up golf when I retired. My husband had always been a keen sportsman but golf was not his forte, so it gave me a separate interest.

Much to my family’s amazement I did it. I’d always fancied the Lady Captains’ car park space before I started playing and I achieved that too!

If you join in group lessons, you meet a whole section of people who are just starting out as well, so you can hit some duff shots together and learn as you go.

Story 3: Golf ticks all the boxes

 My introduction to golf began when I took up the offer of free lessons through the WI in 2012. It was part of an initiative to encourage women to “Get into Golf”. I had recently retired from teaching and been widowed so I needed new opportunities to meet people and get out of the house. Forest Hills was the venue for lessons under the guidance of a wonderful Professional who got us started. On the first day we were lent clubs and the second week, we were given a 7 iron to keep! It was so much fun and then we would retreat to the lounge for coffee. Friendships soon developed and we even entered a competition organised by the county with the other “beginner groups”. I was hooked.

 A year later, I became a club member and began joining in with some of the ladies who could play properly and knew all the rules. I got my handicap and 4 years later, I’m still playing.

 I’ve made some good friends and love being out on the course trying to improve my game. It’s also great exercise.

Fresh air, exercise and good company – some of things we are told release ‘endorphins’ and make us happy. Golf definitely ticks those boxes

Story 4: Hangover Cure

In my 20’s I was young, free and single and took an adult education class in golf at a local driving range. The group classes were so much fun we kept signing up until our instructor told us to go and play on a real golf course! My friend had taken classes as well so we played on weekend mornings noting that a Paracetamol and the 1st 5 holes of golf are all that is needed to get rid of the previous nights’ hangover!

I’m not very sporty, have never played in a team but due to the golf handicap system I can play against players of all abilities and only need hit the occasional good shot to stay hooked on the game.

Well, we wouldn’t necessarily advocate drugs and golf as a hangover cure, but golf is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Story 5: Impulse purchase

Recently a lady taking lessons told Sue how she was taking up golf because she had, on impulse bought a set of golf clubs at a community centre jumble sale and felt she ought to use them!

Story 6: If you have to skills you need to use them.

Another lady player used to go ball spotting with her husband when he played golf, as she was very good at seeing where the ball landed. Eventually she thought she ought  to play as well.

So our stories give a tiny insight into what makes women take up Golf, we can see its a sociable sport that you can learn at any age and keep playing.

If you’d like to send us your story, do email us and if you would like to find out if golf might be your cup of tea, visit our website or your local golf club or adult education centre and join a group class.



10 tips to make the most from Winter Golf

10 tips to make the most from Winter Golf

Getting the most from your Winter Golf.

Chip on

We asked the experts at Forest Hills Golf Club for 2 tips each to make sure we can enjoy our golf for a full 12 months. These are their suggestions:

Golf Professional Sue Bamford:

  1. The golf course plays longer in the winter than the summer – everyone knows this. The ball flies a shorter distance in cold or damp air, and there is very little roll on the ball.  Make sure you change your club selection accordingly. You may need a 6 iron where in the summer you might be using an 8 or a 9 iron.  Many golfers often come up short in the winter.  Try taking one club more than you think and see how good it feels to be up to – or past the hole!
  1. Winter is a great time to work on your golf and improve your swing without the pressure of competitions or matches. Consider having some lessons so that you are working on your game in the most effective way.  The range is open when bad weather or the dark evenings will keep you off the golf course.  The range is also the best place to work on any swing changes.  Practice on the range and keep the technicalities to a minimum on the golf course!  Video lessons can be useful too.

Course Manager, Paul:

  1. Make the most of winter rules, you can pick up the ball and clean it (having marked the ball position first) and take preferred lies on the fairway, so as long as you’ve not landed in the rough.
  1. Help the Course recover faster come spring and stop the slither down slopes by using winter wheels. These Hedgehog wheels have more grip, have less contact with the grass, and can be fitted to most trolleys

Pro Shop Manager, Gavin:

5. Keep a towel in your golf bag to wipe dry your clubs and hands to aid grip and carry extra all weather gloves to wear when they get wet. Also, ensure you have replaced your worn golf shoe spikes with new ones to help with traction.

  1. Layer up for maximum warmth: Golf clothing manufacturers know what they’re doing. Golf for many is an all year round sport and we recommend an underlayer, then shirt and jumper on top with waterproof coat. Windproof Jumpers are a godsend. Hats and mitts really show their quality when the weather is cold.

Club House Manager, Jean:

  1. If the conditions are cold, consider playing 9 holes. You can get your practise in and quota of fresh air without overdoing it.
  1. Rather than taking a nip of something alcoholic, keep going with hot drinks. Warming soup half way round and hot meal afterwards will make you feel great after a chilly round and you can catch up with golfing friends in the warmth of the clubhouse.

Club Proprietor, Ed:

  1. Golf is supposed to be enjoyable, not an endurance event so call and change your tee time if the weather is really bad or call to check the weather before setting out. Sometimes the weather is far better than forecast and you will get the Golf Course to yourself!
  1. Take advantage of off-season offers to play some different courses. Rates reduce as clubs are keen for visitors to come and play. Make sure the Course you visit is suitable for winter though and you won’t be wading about in the mud. Check the websites of your favourite courses for the best deals and current conditions.

Forest Hills Golf Club, Gloucestershire:

Book lessons with Sue Bamford, Forest Hills Golf Pro via the Pro Shop on 01594 810823 or email her on sue@foresthillsgolfclub.co.uk

Golf Equipment and clothing can be purchased from Gavin in the Forest Hills Golf Shop. He has a price match guarantee and an online store at www.forestgolfonline.co.uk

Tee times and Golf/Meal packages can be booked via the golf shop on 01594 810823 or by email: enquiries@foresthillsgolfclub.co.uk

Special Offers are sent out via email to our Golf Offers list. Sign up via the website: www.foresthillsgolfclub.co.uk/golfspecialoffers

Any queries to enquiries@foresthillsgolfclub.co.uk

Forest Hills Golf Club
Mile End Road
GL16 8QD
01594 810620 (office)
01594 810823 (Pro Shop)


12 things you might not know about Robbie Williams

12 things you might not know about Robbie Williams

Let him entertain you!

On November 26th 2016 we have a tribute act called Mike Andrews entertaining us for the evening with a host of Robbie Classics. Mike looks and sounds very similar to the real Robbie so if you would like to come along for a meal and some Robbie entertainment, then contact us to reserve places.

In the meantime, do our Robbie Fans know:

  1. Robbie Williams has his Mum to thank for his early success – she saw an advertisement looking for members of a new boy band and suggested he went along to try when he was just 16 years old – he was famously the youngest member of Take That.
  2. Robbie’s dad Pete was a comedian and singer who was entertainments manager at Carmarthen Bay Holiday Village in Kidwelly for four seasons. It’s no surprise Robbie went into showbiz!
  3. Better known at school as a joker than for his academic prowess, Robbie left at 16 and got a job as a double glazing salesman with his friend Lee, but the star didn’t stay in the job long, he auditioned for Take That after his mother, who knew the ‘Angels’ star had a strong and promising voice, noticed an article in the newspaper.
  4.  Robbie has a strong interest in UFOs, developing a strong interest during his break from music in 2007. He appeared in a radio documentary about extra terrestrials and has claimed to have seen three UFOs during his lifetime.Robbie Williams is 6ft tall, which makes him the third tallest member of Take That behind Howard Donald and Jason Orange.
  5. He holds a world record for selling 1.6million tickets to his Close Encounters tour in one day. His name is in the Guinness Book Of World Records.
  6. In 1995 he had a cameo in EastEnders – he appeared using the phone in the Queen Vic.
  7. He doesn’t have a driver’s licence despite being 41.
  8. He once dated Cameron Diaz.
  9. After getting back together with the band in 2010 Robbie missed performing with Take That at the Olympics closing ceremony because his wife had their baby.
  10. He used to smoke up to 60 cigarettes a day before quittng in 2009.
  11. One thing Robbie has become well known for is his body art. Among his numerous tattoos are the sheet music to the chorus of The Beatles hit ‘All You Need Is Love’ on his back, Take That’s official logo on his wrist and the slogan ‘Born To Be Mild’ on his arm. He also has an ‘A’ inked on his ring finger, in place of the wedding ring which he reportedly can’t stop losing.

And here are two clips, firstly the Real Robbie in concert and secondly our Robbie tribute in action. Enjoy.


Sources: capitalfm.com, celebzen.co.uk, boomsbeat.com, digitalspy.com, stokesentinel.co.uk

‘And Thanks to the Greens Staff’

‘And Thanks to the Greens Staff’

We only have a small team of greenkeepers here at Forest Hills but they punch way above their weight when it comes to the condition of the course. Our hard working team, seen here mowing the fairways and greens, have had extra mowing this year as the sunshine and showers has been ideal grass growing conditions.

New signage and some super new machinery should make the tees easier to find and the greens faster.

The feedback we receive cites the course and friendliness of the staff as the 2 top things visitors notice, so they must be doing something right. In the speeches at the end of a long golf day, when the sentence is heard ‘and we’d like to thank the greenkeepers’ we know it’s well deserved.

If you’d like to read our ‘myths exploded’ blog post entitled ‘Why do they always mow in front of us’ click here.

A glimpse of the Driving Range

In February Forest Hills Golf Club took over the management of the Driving range opposite. Renamed the ‘Forest Driving range’ it has 20 covered bays, floodlights and easy parking.

Now the Driving Range is not the most scenic area to photograph, but Kathryn (from Capture this moment Photography),  did her best and luckily 2 handsome golfers arrived to brighten up the pictures!

The driving range is open daily from 10am-10pm. It takes coins and a standard bucket of 45 balls is £3 while 100 balls are £6. Range cards are available from Forest Hills Golf Club Pro Shop. £3 will get you 50 balls and you won’t need a pocket full of coins.

The range is open to all golfers, not just Forest Hills Golf Club members.

February Pictures

February Pictures

At the end of a wet winter one of the things you won’t see is standing water (apart from the ponds of course!) The trees might be bare still for a month or two yet but the Course is still enjoyable in the February sunlight. Just wrap up warm. We’ve yet to see if the winter wheels policy helps the course improve more quickly come the spring but spring is most definitely around the corner.

This is the last of our monthly picture blog series, a whole year has gone by since we started. A new blog series will be arriving with the new golf season.

We look forward to seeing you on the Course.