Swinley Forest is a truly classic course, with all the elements of a vintage early Harry Colt design still either still present or visible through the few and generally small changes that have been made over the years.
The course has a very interesting and varied routing, even though the site is not extremely large. Virtually all the greens are still original, and almost all the original greenside bunkering and detailing is still present (including many steep drops behind the greens, caused by the lack of earthmoving equipment when the course was built). The course offers both seclusion and some great views inside and outside of the course, has a number of superb par 3 holes, as one would expect from a Colt course, and offers a very high level of variety between the holes. Overall it fully deserves its very high UK and Global rankings.
Our goal in restoring Swinley Forest is fourfold. First we have been extending the playing surfaces, be it greens, aprons or fairways, back to their original widths and sizes. Second we have been cutting back the vegetation that has been slowly but steadily been encroaching into the playing coridors, especially the rhododenderons. Third a fair number of fairway bunkers have been closed over the years, some for good reasons, others less so, often leaving many of the fairways rather unprotected. Finally we will be working to restore a number of bunkers that have lost some of their shape, have become smaller or shallower over time.
Because the course is so close to perfect and well preserved, our work will focus on restoring what was there rather than making large scale changes. It is a privilege to work on one of Colt's favorite places.