The Carrick at Cameron House Golf Course Review
Sitting proudly overlooking the world famous Loch Lomond (14 miles northwest of Glasgow), The Carrick at Cameron House is a par 71 championship course that serves up stunning views, a superb test of golf and facilities that will tick every box you could think of.
Enjoyed by both members and visitors, The Carrick, named after its designer Doug Carrick, makes the most of the charming landscape and surroundings of this area of natural beauty.
The course combines The Lowlands (front 9) with The Highlands (back 9) to display a superb rolling parkland course with some natural elevation changes.
The welcome is as you would expect for a venue with such class and prestige. In fact, whether it was the gents in the magnificently stocked and maintained pro shop, the bar and catering staff, or anyone else we came into contact with, everyone went above and beyond to make sure our stay and experience was everything we needed it to be.
Whilst there is some accommodation on the site, the golf course is actually a short drive from the main hotel at Cameron House - you can read more about that here - but has everything needed. Good sized driving range (hitting into the small lake is good fun), practice chipping green and a couple of putting greens are also available.
A quick mention for the changing rooms that were equipped with sofas, a TV and a small artificial putting green - nice touch.
There is also a Spa on site here - as well as the hotel - with a special rooftop infinity pool.
You have a great feeling about the experience that lay ahead when walking up to the first tee, and you definitely wont be disappointed.
Front 9 Overview
The front 9 - The Lowlands - gets going with a nice elevated tee at the 1st, hitting down towards the big deep looking bunkers on the left hand side of the fairway - be wary of the ditch running up the right hand side too - but as far as openers go, this is more pleasing on the eye than a tough challenge.
That soon changes, in particular at the 3rd and 4th.
Playing around a fairly large lake, the 3rd hole moves from left to right, which may sound like a great friendly shape for most of us from the tee. However, the large lake runs all the way from tee to green up the right hand side, so picking a line (the two bunkers on the left of the fairway may be ideal target) is key and not over turning it into a watery grave.
The area of land where the 2nd and 3rd holes sit is also quite open so the wind will come into play more often than not.
At 410 yards from the white tees, the second shot will also be of considerable length for most, with that water still lurking all the way to the finish.
A short trip through the trees, the 4th offers a similar threat, whilst some 30 yards shorter from the tee, this time the lake on the left and bunkers on the right give a real tight feeling to the fairway.
Avoiding the water is obviously key, but again picking the correct line and landing spot doesn't particularly mean you're heading to a simple 4 as the large undulating green may still leave you a tough two-putt.
The 5th is the first par 5 where you need to plot your way around the plethora of fairway bunkers between tee and green, which is followed by a tricky par 3 to a raised green the moves from front left to back right meaning it can play super tough depending on pin placement.
The 8th is probably one of the best par 5s you'll play all year.
Playing from a raised tee box, you are presented with fairways lined with dense trees, creating a setting that makes it just one of those holes that make you think 'wow' on the tee. In fact, I recommend taking a trip all the way back to the black tee (it plays 611 yards from there). Form the tee, there are five perfectly placed bunkers, three left for the corner cutters and two right for the safe players, making you feel playing short of those is the best way forward.
The problem being you will still be some 300 yards away from the testing green, with a further 10 bunkers that you will need to navigate around in order to give yourself a fighting chance at a 4, if you're even that lucky. A really outstanding golf hole.
Back 9 Overview
As you leave The Lowlands and head for The Highlands, it's early in the back 9 where the course teases you with your first proper glimpse of the Loch on the right - as well as Ben Lomond, the mountain on the other side.
The 10th rises all the way to the green, and it's a narrow looking fairway due to a natural run-off on the right hand side - as well as a total of nine bunkers lining the short grass. It will require two good shots to find the green that is hardly visible from the fairway.
But. You won't really mind as you approach the green as the vistas from here are simply breathtaking.
Then you face another lengthy par 5 that plays back down adjacent to the 10th. With out of bounds all the way down the right hand side, there is still a bit of room and, depending on wind, bigger hitters may take this on in two, but be careful of the tiered green here.
After a tricky tee shot on 13, this 430 yard beast is another great hole to look at, pictures really won't do the second shot justice and the thick looking grand trees once again surround the green giving it a lovely secluded feeling - something which you have hardly taken in before you start the walk up to the 14th tee...
What can we say about the 14th. The anticipation rises as you walk up the path that manoeuvres through the trees.
Then you have the big reveal moment as you approach the tee box. With the stunning backdrop of a glistening Loch Lomond in the distance it really does provide you with a 'pinch me' sensation.
In fact, it will take you a few moments to remember that you actually have a pretty tricky shot to hit into a par 3 green that sits a fair way below the tee (guessing 80ft) and is surrounded by bunkers left, short and right.
To give you an idea of the elevation change, my rangefinder has a slope reading, the pin measured at 164 yards but playing at 140 yards. So trusting yourself to hit a 140 yard shot into a 160 yard hole isn't always easy.
Oh, one last thing, as you hit the shot, the ball leaves the trees surrounding the tee box and any wind may also come into play but you won't know about it, until it's too late.
The 15th accompanies the 14th really well too, the final par 5 runs right to left with the banks of Loch Lomond running up the left hand side - another chance to stop and soak it all in and probably a photo or two (or seven!).
The finishing hole plays up towards the clubhouse with a lovely water fountain in the pond to the left, a fairly benign finish to a golf course that really does offer up so much more than you could even imagine.
The Carrick is such an enjoyable round of golf. A full experience. Whether it's the way the course moves throughout the landscape, the views, the hole layouts themselves, it really does offer everything.
The course isn't the easiest, but with five different teeing options, I would say it's important to pick the correct tees to play from to make sure you get the most out of the experience. This also means that it is playable for golfers of all abilities. The two of us that played did so from different tees (whites 6,729 yards and yellows 6,265) and I think it provided a good test for the pair of us.
The tee shots are where the real danger lies. I would say that the greens, while fairly undulating, are also of a good size on most holes, so whilst they may not be the hardest to hit, there may be a good few three-putts from the visiting golfer. The surfaces are also in excellent condition.
The food after was great (can highly recommend the treacle sponge for pudding) and a perfect way to end a perfect day.
How do I sum up my experience of Golf at The Carrick, Cameron House? One that will live long in my memory and a course that I sincerely hope I get the chance to visit again in the future.
Overall Rating - 10
Course (Conditions) - 9
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10
Course (Green Condition) - 9
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8
Club Facilities & Clubhouse - 9
Practice Facilities - 8
Friendliness/Hospitality - 10
Pace of Play - 10
Value For Money - 9
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)
Leave your comments belowcomments powered by Disqus
|The Carrick at Cameron House
from 152 reviews