Designed by Canadian golf course architect Doug Carrick and opened in 2007, The Carrick is situated on the banks of Loch Lomond, just a short drive from Balloch and little more than a half-hour’s drive from Glasgow city centre. The front nine meanders through relatively flat, open land at the boundary of the Lowlands before the back nine climbs onto a higher part of the property, offering some spectacular views both of the loch and Ben Lomond in the distance. The par-3 14th is a particular standout, with the green sitting some 60 feet below the tee. It’s a fun course from start to finish.
Earl of Mar
Since opening for play in the summer of 2010, the Earl of Mar Golf Course has cemented itself as one of the finest championship courses in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley area. It is located within the five-star Mar Hall Golf and Spa resort, just to the west of Glasgow airport, and was designed by the acclaimed course architect Dave Thomas. A firm but fair test, it features a fantastic variety of holes and enjoys a wonderful location, on the banks of the Firth of Clyde, almost directly beneath the famous Erskine Bridge.
The closest 18-hole golf course to Glasgow city centre, Haggs Castle is contained within the picturesque grounds of the Pollok Estate. How good is it? Put it this way: back in the 1980s, it hosted a number of European Tour events, including the 1986 Scottish Open. The par-4 11th hole will likely linger longest in the memory. Called ‘The Avenue’, it plays, as the name suggests, through a tight corridor of mature trees towards a heavily-guarded, two-tier green.
Contained within more than 150 acres of beautiful rolling parkland at the foot of the Ochil Hills, Alloa Golf Club is home to a tremendous James Braid-designed golf course that is one of Scotland’s most underrated layouts. You will find it on the Schawpark Estate, where the tree-lined fairways provide a fabulous natural canvas for a tranquil and peaceful round. The closing stretch of holes are particularly memorable, not to mention challenging, comprising two long par-3s, a lengthy par-4 and a demanding par-5.