A great base for a golf holiday in Scotland
Golf was invented in Scotland, so it’s little wonder we’ve got so many great golf courses within a pitching wedge of the chalets. Being so centrally located means that St Andrew’s, Troon, Muirfield and Turnberry are all easily reached from Lochend, but here are half-dozen or so really excellent courses closer to home – including Ryder Cup host in 2014, Gleneagles.
Royal Aberfoyle, as locals affectionately nickname this lovely wee course, isn’t the longest course (par 66; 5,158 yards), but what it lacks in length, in more than makes up for in natural beauty, really interesting course design and devilish difficulty – not to mention ball-gobbling heather! It’s a real bargain at £20 per round, and only 10 minutes from Lochend.
It’s not cheap, but how often do you get to play a Ryder Cup golf course only 40 minutes from your self-catering lakeside chalet?! Jack Nicklaus’s PGA Centenary Course is the one to target if you want to play the 2014 Ryder Cup course, but the King’s Course is for our money, a better course, with the Queen’s Course not far behind. Green fees start at £75 in winter, rising to £185 at the height of summer.
Wonderfully forgiving, this lovely course is only about 15 minutes from Lochend, with mighty views from nearly every fairway over the Trossachs and Fintry Hills. Par 72; 5,840 yards; £15 a round, bargain!
Strathendrick, nr Drymen
Designed by four-times Open runner-up, Willie Fernie in 1901, this cute but challenging 9-hole course snakes along the banks of the River Endrick, with awesome views of Ben Lomond and the Campsie Fells. £10 in winter, £15 in summer – great fun.
A lovely, wooded, parkland course with stunning views of Ben Ledi, only 15 minutes from Lochend. 5,208 yards; par 66; £15 in winter, £30 in summer.
Stirling Golf Club
Undulating around the one-time royal hunting grounds of Kings Park, this spectacular course has amazing views east to the castle and west across an array of Trossachs summits including Ben Ledi and Ben Lomond. 6,187 yards; par 72; £20 winter, £40 summer.
Bannockburn, nr Stirling
It’s not the most beautiful golf course in Scotland, but this is a cracking golf centre for beginners and younger golfers, with a 9-hole Par 3 course (£4 winter, £6 summer), a 9-hole course (£6 winter, £12 summer) and driving range (50 balls £4.40).
Weaving along the bonny banks of Loch Lomond, The Carrick is one of Scotland’s newest and most challenging golf courses – and we reckon it’s one of the most spectacular. Green fees in winter are a bargain at £45, and even the summer green fee of £85 is a relative snip for such a posh, Par-71 course with such a magnificent setting, gazing across the loch to Ben Lomond.