Not far off the beaten path in Brevard, NC you’ll find an 18-hole, par 3 golf course with a unique twist. The Sherwood Forest Golf Course is an Audubon Sanctuary development located 9 miles south of Brevard, in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. Sherwood Forest is open to the public year-round and golfers of all ages and abilities are welcome. Tee times are not required. Sherwood Forest is all about having fun and, according to the guy in charge, PGA pro Brian Lautenschlager, if you’re not having fun out here, there’s something wrong. The course is fun and challenging for golfers of all ages and skill levels. But the real draw is the llamas!
It’s an interesting story about how the llama caddies came to be. Several years ago, the owner of a nearby llama farm, Mark English, dropped by Sherwood Forest with notions of fulfilling a dream. It seems that as a 5th grader, English did some caddying, often carrying two heavy golf bags on a hot summer day. As he was walking down the fairway one day, he dreamed about what it would be like to have a llama carry the bags instead. English isn’t sure why he chose llamas; it may have come from seeing a similar Dr Seuss creature. He swears it has nothing to do with hallucinogenics.
At the time Lautenschlager thought English was a little bit out there but decided to give it a try. That’s just the kind of guy he is. He allowed him to bring his five llamas to the course for caddie training. Soon, cars were pulling over on the highway to snap pictures for photo ops, and the endeavor even pulled in local TV media. A light bulb appeared above Lautenschlager’s head: the club was struggling, and the media is definitely interested. Since that time, the two have formed a bond that keeps everyone, especially passerby happy!
The first nine holes at Sherwood Forest run along the Little River valley; on several holes you can hear the soothing sounds of flowing water. Holes play between 105 and 175 yards and offer a great opportunity to dial in mid irons and wedges.
The back nine meanders through scenic woods and is a little more challenging. The first three holes play between 145 – 160 yards, giving you the opportunity to work on your mid-iron game. The last six holes ae considerably shorter – playing between 85 and 115 yards with a 125 and a 135-yarder thrown in for good measure. Time to work on the wedges and scoring clubs.
Sherwood Forest can be enjoyed several ways; it’s short, fairly flat and easy to walk, with or without a pull cart. Electric cars are also available, but I highly recommend a llama caddie. Besides caddying, these llamas are in high demand by children’s and special needs camps. For reservations and information concerning llama caddies, please give Brian a call.
Inside the clubhouse you’ll find more golf equipment than I’ve ever seen in a pro shop; they have everything that a golfer needs to have an enjoyable and memorable round at Sherwood Forest.
Each hole is accurately measured and although the greens aren’t the slickest in the area, they have just enough undulation to make you think about each putt. The typical golf course dress code is non-existent – jeans, cutoffs and tee shirts are welcome. Rates are $12 for 9 holes, $18 for 18 holes; 2 buck more on the weekend. For $30 ($34 on the weekend) you can play as many holes as you want. I’ve heard the record is right around 100 holes in a day. There seems to be no limit as to how many golfers can play in one group, however the course is usually played in a little more than two hours. That’s quick, even by millennial standards. And the regulars continue to return, day after day, year after year, even decade after decade.
Sherwood Forest is sure to challenge golfers of all skill levels. With small, undulating greens, it’s a great place for skilled golfers to work on their short game and approach shots. The course can be played in less than three hours and is a great way for the entire family to get some exercise and enjoy each other’s company.
Sherwood Forest also offers custom club repair shop and PGA Professional Brian Lautenschlager is also available for both private and group lessons. I know firsthand that the man knows his stuff. Brian gave me some very valuable information and a couple of drills to get rid of a bad habit and I’m happy to say that several weeks later what he told me has worked wonders! If he can cure the problem I had, he is sure to be able to make you a better golfer. Thanks Brian!
To book your next round at Sherwood Forest with a llama caddie, contact Brian Lautenschlager at (828) 884-7825. You can also get more information on their website, www.sherwoodforestncgolf.com.