- Loch Lomond, West Dunbartonshire, G83 8QZ, Scotland, United Kingdom
- 44 1389 310 777
The Cameron Club’s championship golf course, The Carrick, overlooks Loch Lomond in one of Scotland’s most scenic regions, The Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park in the central part of the country. The course opened in 2007. Canadian architect Douglas Carrick designed a layout that works its way through the lowlands in the front nine, with trees lining the fairway and some holes playing adjacent to the lake or streams. After the 437-yard/400-meter, par-4 ninth, you can enjoy some food and drinks at the Highland Laddie, a halfway house that was once a London River Thames boat. You just need to order ahead.
Then you’ll be heading up to the highlands on the back nine, which sits on a ridge that overlooks the 3196-foot (974-meter) Ben Lomond. The last few holes return to the clubhouse next to marshland by the lake. The designer has given the parkland golf a traditional links feel with how the bunkering is set up. Irish golf writer Jo Maes sums up the challenge for golfers:
“It’s a tough track with deep bunkers and sweeping fairways. Greens are undulated and one rule to follow is that ‘everything falls towards the loch’.”
The par-3 14th is a memorable one for both its trickiness and beauty, Maes said.
“With the tee box high up, it’s hard to judge distance and, with danger front and left, the obvious bailout is right of the green, which then leaves a tricky chip. A lovely hole with the vast expanse of Loch Lomond in the back drop.”
The Carrick has hosted the Ladies Scottish Open (2007 and 2008), the PGA Cup (2009) and Europro Tour in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Claret Jug serves as the nineteenth hole, where you can have some food or a beer after the round. Cameron House also has a nine-hole course called the Wee Demon in the grounds of the resort, which also has some fine lake views.
The challenges: Loch Lomond is a beautiful water hazard you are encouraged to play around. The many small, deep bunkers around the undulating greens combined with solid distance off the back tees keep it challenging. Pro’s tip: “The key is to hit the fairways and keep out of the bunkers, it’s that simple!”
When to play: Year-round.
Yardage: 7082 yards, 6476 meters.
Standard Scratch Score: 74
The signature hole is the 175-yard (160-meter) fourteenth, a par 3 that provides a spectacular view of Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond from a tee that sits 100 feet (30 meters) up on the hillside.
The resort experience:
Cameron House, a grand 18th-century baronial mansion, takes in some of Scotland’s most striking scenery overlooking Loch Lomond. Located on the south side of the national park, the five-star hotel is less than 30 minutes’ drive to the northwest of Glasgow. The destination was named Scotland’s Best Spa Resort 2016 at the Scottish Outdoor Leisure Awards and Best Luxury Resort Spa for Scotland 2016 at the World Luxury Spa Awards, so you can imagine the pampering you’ll get at the spa will be worth the short concierge transfer from the resort’s main building. The spa has 17 treatments rooms, a steam room, Rasul mud chamber with steam room and a Relaxation Suite. The therapists use Carita and ESPA products during their treatments. The concierge will also organize the transfer to The Carrick golf course.
Back at the resort, it is worth taking a dip in the rooftop infinity pool, which is designed to give you a special view of the lake. Writer Jo Maes painted an attractive image of the surroundings.
“Enjoy an evening stroll along the bonny banks of Loch Lomond with the sound of bagpipes echoing across the gentle ripples caused by the passing boats before you retire to the bar and sip on one of the highland single malts Scotland is famous for.”
Dine and wine:
Cameron House features five dining options for guests. The top pick could be Michelin-Star restaurant Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, which has a menu that changes with the produce each season delivers. Some of the regular seafood includes Orkney scallops west-coast brown crab. Wishart has also been awarded four AA Rosettes for its fine cuisine. Elsewhere, the elegant Cameron Grill restaurant has a salmon bar with smoked fish caught in local lochs, The Boathouse features wood-fired pizza, the Claret Jug takes care of the nineteenth hole, or enjoy a whisky at The Great Scots Bar. Afternoon tea is also served with freshly-baked scones and pastries or a flute of Moët.
The rooms are set out like a Scottish residence with traditional furniture, tartan patterns and bathrooms that feature monsoon showers and bespoke toiletries. A Classic Room also comes with a signature bathrobe. On the more luxurious side, a Whisky Suite has a living room, master bedroom and bathroom, and some of the best views of Loch Lomond.
There are two ways to see Loch Lomond: you can take a boat cruise on the Celtic Warrior from the Cameron House marina or, even better, hop in the sea plane that parks out the front of the hotel and go for a scenic flight. The resort’s Leisure Club features squash courts, two swimming pools, a steam room and jacuzzi, plus a gym with over 50 fitness classes a week.