Since opening its doors in 1979, The Forest Country Club has strived to offer its Members quality, integrity and value as one of the premier clubs in the Fort Myers area. The Forest is a family oriented, private country club that is member-owned and features two meticulously maintained, 18-hole Gordon Lewis-designed championship golf courses that are recognized as some of the most beautiful – and challenging – in the area.
The Bobcat and The Bear golf courses share several common characteristics and will leave you with many lasting memories. As you make your way around both layouts, you’ll encounter fairways lined with oak, palm and Cypress trees, some over 100-years old. You’re also likely to encounter all kinds of wildlife, from alligators to bobcats to bald eagles. There’s a lot of penalty areas in the form of lakes, ponds and streams to contend with as well. The beauty, design and impeccable conditioning of each course will present a challenge each time you play. Both courses have been renovated over the past few years and have the look and feel that will match any facility in the area.
Since it opened in 1980, Forest Country Club’s acclaimed Bear Course has exceeded the expectations of anyone who has set foot on the first tee. The Bear is considered to be more of a challenge although with five sets of tees, you can make the course as challenging and enjoyable as you like regardless of your skill level.
Ranked as the hardest hole on the back side, Number 11 is certainly one of the most interesting and challenging on the entire course. Accuracy and distance control are a must off the tee; the shot requires a slight carry over a waste bunker area on the left side. Too far left off the tee and you may find the lake that cannot be seen from the tee. Hit it too far up the right side and you may find lake #2. A third lake comes into play on the layup and approach shots on the left; there’s a lot of mounding around the green on that side as well. A trio of bunkers guarding the right side of the green eliminates that as a bailout option. You can see why par is considered a good score here.
The Bobcat Course was renovated in 2015 by Lewis’ firm with two goals in mind: improve the aesthetics and playability of the course and reduce water usage substantially through better use of reclaimed water. Aesthetically, new tees have been built; many of which are much larger. Both the tee boxes and fairways have been regrassed with Celebration Bermuda grass. Putting surfaces have been brought up to USGA standards and regrassed with TifEagle Bermuda grass. Bunkers have been rebuilt and filled with new sand. Cart paths have been rebuilt as have four bridges. This ensures that The Forest Country Club will stay at the forefront of private golf properties in the Fort Myers area.
In an effort to better use of their water resources, The Forest Country Club installed a new Toro Golf Decoder Control system as well as WaterTronics pump stations. Mission accomplished; goals achieved!
The Bobcat measures 6,607 yards from the longest tees, not the longest course by any means, but don’t let the length fool you; Bobcat will test even the best of players from the back tees.
One of the most memorable holes on the Bobcat Course is Number 6. It’s a double dogleg the goes left and then right as dictated by the water. Long ball hitters who can carry the lake on the left off the tee will have a great chance of getting home in two. The rest of us will play it as a three-shot hole. Your layup shot features water on either side of the fairway, although depending on your ball position you may be able to carry the water on the right. That will set up a short chip into the green which slopes gently from back left to front right. Par is a good score here.
Should you prefer racquet sports to golf, the Forest’s Tennis Center has six expertly maintained Har-Tru courts, three of which are lit for night play. Tennis players come from all over the area to learn from Tennis Director Fred Kangwa, a former member of the Zambia, Africa Davis Cup team. As for pickleball, it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the nation and The Forest’s pickleball program includes open play, clinics and leagues on four courts.
The Forest unveiled an all new fitness center in January 2019. Their goal is to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for all Members. A wide variety of cardio and strength training equipment is available and the twelve station Life Fitness strength equipment circuit will challenge every muscle group in your body. For those who prefer to exercise outdoors, there are classes at the “Fitness Garden” as well as walking and cycling groups.
The Forest Country Club and its Members recently approved a 9.7M clubhouse renovation and expansion project which will coincide with the club’s 40th Anniversary. The project began in April 2018 and all work is slated to be completed by March 2019.
The newly designed 40,000 square foot clubhouse will feature a transitional, contemporary design and expanded indoor and outdoor dining areas with resort style seating and fire pits.
The Club’s Formal Dining Room can accommodate up to 300 Members and their guests. This new open concept will allow conversation and company to flow freely from the dining room to the member’s lounge, located just past the lobby. The kitchen has also been redesigned and will feature new state-of-the-art equipment.
The new clubhouse will be the perfect place for a wedding or special event. With spectacular views of both Championship golf courses, Members and their guests will delight in The Club’s dining venues while enjoying magnificent Southwest Florida sunsets. Their Executive Chef and Special Events team will work together with you to ensure your guests have the experience of a lifetime!
Currently, The Forest has about 500 Members; that’s not a lot of golfers for a 36-hole complex. Consequently, preferred tee times are not hard to come by. Neither is finding a game. There’s a weekly calendar of events for men, women and couples, allowing you to renew old friendships or start making new ones. Or both!
What makes the Forest Country Club unique is the love for the community created within the club. The Forest recognizes that the majority of people join a club to create long lasting friendships. Members golf and enjoy other sports together, dine together, vacation and entertain together, celebrate holidays, birthdays and anniversaries together and participate in charitable organizations together. Members can also participate in over 40 events each year from the theater, mystery dinners, sporting events and live concerts and performances.
The Forest is looking for new Members who want to enjoy all of the benefits The Club has to offer. You’ll find a vast array of amenities and a Membership category designed to fit your needs. The Forest offers a number of Membership plans, everything from a Preview Membership to Individual, Family and Executive Golf Memberships to Sports, Tennis and Social Membership.