Starting around 1500, the creation of golf and its evolution over the next several decades occurred in Scotland. Known widely as the birthplace of golf, the country is home to a few of the most popular and historic courses in the world, including The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, which opened its doors around the year 1574.
At the time of its inception, golf became immeshed in the Scottish culture, something that stands true even today. Also, golf in Scotland is not seen as a sport for the rich but for everyone to enjoy at any of the 600 courses the country houses today.
One of the benefits of playing in Scotland is enjoying the charms of smaller, more intimate courses like Kintyre’s Carradale Golf Club, known as the “Most Sporting Nine Hole in Scotland.”
The Carradale Golf Club is a nine-hole gem that rests against the nearby Kilbrannan Sound offering incredible vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. Accessible for high-handicappers, yet challenging for scratch golfers, Carradale Golf Club offers spectacular play that remains incredibly popular among local golfers.
The nine-hole course isn’t very long, measuring just 2,288 yards in length from the longest White tees, but that doesn’t mean Carradale can’t put up a fight.
The course begins with a steep, uphill par-3 that can deceive the inexperienced golfer, especially when you take into account the stunning view of the Kilbrannan Sound to your right. From there, the next couple of holes wind through a series of rollicking elevation changes that force the golfer to use their brain before their brawn.
Accuracy is vital when playing Carradale as the rough can punish and leave you with an awkward lie to try to save your score. The greens on Carradale have been described as “audacious” but they maintain an accessibility that provides good rolls off the putter for golfers of all skill levels.
If you are looking for a marquee hole, then the par-4 6th offers you the ultimate risk versus reward challenge as the 249-yard layout looks inviting for a nice tee shot and possible eagle opportunity onto the green nicknamed “Pudding Bowl,” due to its bowl-like shape.
The nine-hole course doesn’t take long to play, and that’s undoubtedly part of its allure as the quick opening nine will have you itching to hit the first hole again to complete your full round.
There are other courses in Campbeltown, home of the Kintyre’s Carradale Golf Club, that are well worth the visit, including three of the region’s best: Dunaverty Golf Club, Machrihanish Dunes Golf Course and Machrihanish Golf Club.
Dunaverty Golf Club sits along the southern coast of the Kintyre peninsula, creating a golfing atmosphere that is not only beautiful but incredibly challenging as the links course has fast greens and a short layout that requires precision and accuracy from all areas.
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Course is relatively new as the layout was constructed in 2009. The course is very charming due to its natural appearance and rough-around-the-edges exterior. Don’t expect a manicured country club setting at Machrihanish Dunes. This course delivers a truly authentic Scotland links experience.
Another nearby course, the Machrihanish Golf Club, is another splendid links-style layout that offers a slice of history with the modern trappings of current golf clubs. The 18-hole championship course is set against the native sand dunes and offers engaging golf coupled with an incredible view.
When you pair these three majestic courses with the best nine-hole layout in all of Scotland, you will certainly create the blueprint for a delightful golfing weekend.