Forest Pines, Broughton, Brigg – Hotel Review
By Richard Jones, April 2023
A few miles down the road from Forest Pines Spa & Golf Resort is Glanford Park, the home of Scunthorpe United FC.
Known throughout the land as The Iron, the English National League side’s nickname obviously came about due to the local area’s metal-working industry.
But what about the other sporting irons, namely the clubs used by golfers to hit balls down fairways towards the green – is there much of a golfing pedigree in this corner of Lincolnshire?
On the outskirts of Scunthorpe, just off the M180 in Brigg, there is a renowned course, spa and hotel, and it appears to be giving the town a shot in the sporting arm, especially if golf is your game.
A past winner of Today’s Golfer’s ‘Best Course in the East of England’, Forest Pines is home to an award-winning 27-hole championship course set in 190 acres of beautiful Lincolnshire countryside, within easy reach of the Wolds, Normanby Hall, the medieval city of Lincoln and Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
And as well as hosting the R&A Boys Home Internationals, British Blind Open and PGA four-ball championships, it was also the venue for a slightly less competitive ‘good walk spoilt’ involving my pal Stu and I.
Forest Pines’ course is divided into three loops of nine holes – Forest, Pines and Beeches – which each begin and end at the clubhouse, giving golfers the option to play for as long or short as they want.
After warming up on the practice range and putting green, the pair of us teed off on the Forest course (the yellow flags) and set about taking on its narrow tree-lined fairways, undulating greens, water hazards, hidden bunkers and other natural and man-made challenges.
Despite a bit of inclement weather in the days prior to our visit, the course had quickly drained and dried, and was in magnificent condition.
However, getting the ball round was still quite a challenge.
The name is a giveaway – yes, there are a LOT of trees on the course.
And if you happen to skew your drive left or right into the vegetation, you’re much better off ‘taking your medicine’ and chipping out or laying up, rather than taking on the towering pines’ thick overhanging branches.
The best (and arguably most challenging) hole on the course is the seventh on the Pines (red flags) loop – a 180-yard par three across the lake.
Meanwhile, the ninth, with its pond and water feature in front of the clubhouse, is another spectacular trial and, again, leaves you with a chance of getting wet.
The round of golf was a fitting finale to what had been a wonderful couple of days at Forest Pines.
The previous afternoon, we had checked into a superior twin room, one of 188 spacious lodgings and suites spread around the sprawling resort.
Our room was sprinkled with thoughtful little extras to enrich our stay, including fluffy bathrobes, free drinks in the minibar and Elemis products in the bathroom.
After settling in, Stu and I headed down to The Grill restaurant to sample a few dishes from its concise seasonal menu.
We both opted for crispy fried salt and pepper squid with chilli and coriander mayonnaise as starters.
For my main, I went for the succulent 8oz chargrilled pork cutlet with apple compote, battered onion rings and chunky chips, while Stu chose the mouthwatering Hampshire pork belly with black pudding bon bon and spring greens.
Then, as the night fell, we had a night cap in the adjacent Lounge Bar, before calling it a night.
The next morning, after a good night’s sleep, The Grill was also the destination for a hearty full English (with Lincolnshire sausages, of course), and continental buffet breakfast.
And from there, we hit the spa in the hope that Forest Pines’ pampering team could work their magic.
Following an hour in the steam room, sauna, swimming pool and heated loungers, we checked in for our treatments – Elemis superfood facials, which we were told would provide a ‘nutritional boost for stressed, dull skin’.
After encouraging me to take a few slow deep breaths, the therapist Nikki spent the next 50 minutes applying all manner of cleansers, toners creams, oils, peels and gel masks, as well as massaging my shoulders, chest, back and scalp.
Feeling relaxed and revitalised, Stu and I had time for a spot of lunch at the Lounge Bar – my salami and chorizo wood-fired pizza was both delicious and filling.
Alternatively, you can also push the boat out and nibble on an afternoon tea of dainty finger sandwiches, cakes, tarts and scones, washed down with a pot of tea.
However, the real weekend treat for golf addicts like us was 18 holes on the Forest and Pines courses.
Following our round, we pored over our scorecards with a stiff drink in the clubhouse’s Pines Bar overlooking the ninth and 18th holes.
Forest Pines’ website says the place is a ‘cut above the ordinary’, and it’s hard to argue with that bold-sounding claim, regardless of our underwhelming performances on the course itself.
Although our iron play (as well driving and putting) needs a fair bit of work, for a pair of 20-plus handicappers from the Steel City, this trip to the outskirts of Scunthorpe proved that the iron is hot – in the fields of golf and hospitality, anyway.
Richard Jones was a guest at Forest Pines Spa & Golf Resort, in Broughton, Brigg – a haven of four-star luxury, featuring a hotel, first-class spa and renowned golf course, nestled in 190 acres of beautiful Lincolnshire woodland. For more information, go to forestpineshotel.co.uk
Forest Pines Golf & Spa Resort is part of The QHotels Collection comprising of 20 hotels and resorts across the UK. For more information, please visit theqhotelscollection.co.uk