A seducing Scottish golfing experience on a classic Highland 9 hole course – but always take your waterproofs no matter what the forecast says!
Summary: £22 (day), £15 (9 holes). Par 36. Score 46. Value (out of 5) – 3.5
Detail: Golf has been played for well over a hundred years at Carrbridge, but the current course was recovered in 1980 after a period in the wilderness.
It’s difficult not to fall in love with Carrbridge golf course as it represents a classic Highland course. It’s short, thereby allowing golfers to feel long drivers of the ball; the greens and fairways are fantastic because even in the warmest summer you usually get enough rain to make the course play well; it’s completely unstuffy and accessible, welcoming players of all standards; and most importantly…..well just play it late in the day on your own while taking in the scenery and pondering your life and you’ll just never want to stop!
I played the day after the local Open Championship had been washed out, but the course had almost completely recovered and was playing its full length. It was only 11 Celsius, but the sun was shining on this August day when I set off, only to have the umbrella up and waterproofs on after my opening drive! Always carry your wet weather gear, no matter what the forecast might say.
Carrbridge is a great layout, with 9 very contrasting holes, with the burn (stream for the non-Scots) being in play on most of them. I would recommend playing 18 holes, rather than just 9, as 5 of the holes, the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th and 9th, require “blind” shots over some carry. These holes seem much easier when you’ve navigated them once. The 9th, a par 4, plays as the par 3 18th hole off a forward tee, avoiding a long walk up a steep track to the 9th tee.
The 4th hole from the white tee, represents a hazardous drive for both the player and anyone near the 3rd green, as you play directly over the 3rd green through a small gap in trees.
It’s important to take enough club at the 2nd, 4th, and 7th all which have shots to plateau greens, and are typically large and fairly flat.
There is only one real par 3, the 8th, which is a challenging hole, and again it’s best to be long so take enough club.
Carrbridge also has a lovely little clubhouse, which looks like a pavilion, and it’s a super place to sit and have tea and cake, even if you’re not paying golf, indeed this is one of the secrets of Highland golf clubs – they are great venues to just have a cup of tea and the ubiquitous “millionaire’s shortbread”!
Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the heather – it looks great, especially in late August and September, but you might end your round hating it!
Course Type: Highland
Green Fees: Day £22. 9 holes £15
Par 36 (1 par 5, 7 par 4s, 1 par 3)
Distance(white): 2720 yards
Moly’s Gross score: 46