Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club
Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club, Cardrona, South of Scotland, Scotland, EH45 9HX
0844 879 9024 | Golf course website
21 reviews of Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club
Played the course today 12/10/14.
Scenery and location (with hills and the river tweed) stunning.
Signage to the golf shop at back of hotel was poor.
Staff in shop very friendly and helpful.
The course is a great test, enjoyed it.
Condition of course was good for time of year. Tees were good, as was fairways too.
Looked like the greens had recently been cored - but for time of year they were great.
First time I have played here - I would recommend it and I will definitely be back.
Played this course on the 14/09/14;
Hotel reception - friendly
Golf bar reception - frosty
Course layout - excellent
Course condition - tees and fairways were average (at best) and the greens were extremely poor (1 out of 10)
Meal post golf - excellent
Overall - purely on the green condition, I would play other courses.
We decided to play Cardrona on a two for one voucher. I turned up before my playing partner quite early so decided to get some lunch. To cut a long story short I ordered a sandwich at the golfers bar to be told there was a 30 minute wait. The place was very busy, hardly a seat. With 60 minutes before my tee time I gave up and headed to Glentress (the mountain bike place a mile up the road) for a sandwich (very rushed but miles cheaper than the £5+ sandwich at Cardrona).
Turning up in the car park again I immediately made my way to where it said 'golf'. Arriving at the top of two flights of stairs at the front (and we both had trolleys) decided this cannot be right. We went into the hotel to ask and were told at reception to follow the building round to the back. Something still wasn't right though as there was no signage, and no sign of a golf course. Made our way down a grassy bank, negotiated the step (with trolleys), to find at the bottom a sign with three arrows on, pointing in different directions with no writing on! We were then told we had gone the wrong way by an employee. We were clearly visitors and hadn't a clue where we were supposed to be going. The staff too clearly had some attitudes.
It wasn't a great start. We then headed to the tee - starters hut but nobody in it. We had to ask the other groups what time they were out. Turns out they were running about 15 minutes behind schedule. Might have been nice to have been told at the shop. We actually would have had time to warm up briefly on the range - it would have been nice to have been given that option, especially as I had already rushed lunch.
Now to the course. There are many comments already on here, and I agree in most part. The course was dry so there wasn't the wet and muddy issue. It has been clearly built on a budget - some parts are quite nicely designed, other parts are very very dull. The par 3s in particular all seem the same and all about the same length, just under two hundred yards. Quite boring. It's a championship course so fairly 'stadium' like, with on the whole large greens, but you need them when your approaches are long, as you are playing into the wind.
Unlike the reviews I enjoyed the 14th. The houses add some character to the hole. If you go in the heavy rough you have no chance of finding your ball. In fact that's my biggest issue here - the heavy rough is ugly, very ugly, More like the kind of foliage you find on waste ground - thistles, nettles and generally grassless.
Yes it is slow going. The distance to the next hole is NOT that far though. 8-9 might be the longest but only because you have to cross the river and go under the road. Not far at all and certainly not far for a championship course.
The whole experience took us about 5 hours - looking for balls and waiting for the group in front to look for balls, and the length of the course overall.
I imagine Dave Thomas's heart sank when he was asked to design here. The land is not a patch on the Roxburgh or the other courses he has done, and I don't think the scenery is that nice. The place is run on a tight budget, I get the feelign it lacks investment and you are rarely far from the busy main road. One reviewer called it 'soul less' - and that's absolutely right.
We returned to the golfers bar for a drink. This time it was quiet. OK we will order some food now. Ah - no food kitchen has shut. We tried to order some nuts. No nuts, ok some crisps, alas no crisps. What a joke. How can the bar staff tell us that and not be embarrassed I don't know. He made some comment about crisps being 'on order'!
I played at Kingsfield last week. A completely different course and only 9 holes, but what a welcome. The young lad on the till went out of his way to explain the course and the signage was good. Food available before and afterwards. Complete extreme to the attitudes here.
So to sum up ok with half price voucher, but we agreed by the 10th we won't be going back. The course is fine for under £20 a head, but the customer service is poor. The staff don't think, they are just there in auto pilot. Has anybody been trained? Most visitors won't be paying half price and if the kitchens are open will actually be paying through the nose, so only one star there.
Played Cardrona on a lovely warm but breezy day.Didnt play well and was punished by wayward drives in the heavy rough.Course was in good condition and is defenitely worth a visit.I would pay for a buggy as its a long walk although pretty flat.Some excellent holes where you cant just stand and hit driver all the time.Well worth a visit
I played here yesterday, 29/07/12. & after speaking to lots of people who had played here previously, I was worried about the adipures letting in water again.
its a typical resort golf set up, and you are made to feel welcome, but in reality, im only here to play golf, I dont care much for the "but he didnt smile" kinda rubbish.
Anyhows, the course was fantastic, far drier than the dukes at St Andrews that I played three days earlier. (and I liked that too)
onto the course.
Hole 1 - I found to be a very good opening hole, very wide fairway, allowing you to ease into your swing, yes its three good hits, but at 500 yds its not a murderous par 5
hole 2 - another generous drive, then into a part,hidden green. a nice wee gem of a hole, and I was immediately impressed.
holes 3 & 4 are back downhill & downwind, measuring 420-460yds, they play much shorter than my 456 yd home hole.
hole 5 - gentle par 3, ok its 199 yds, but it plays about 170,
hole 6 - the big sweeping par 5, its generous enough, this was the wettest part of the course, where your drive could plug, but its wide enough, to be able to relax.
hole 7 - is the dogleg, very difficult drive unless you have played it. we all tried to cut the corner (as you do) but we lost a few balls between us.
hole 8 - wasnt very memorable, but the green was a test. again, a drive & a wedge, gives you a realistic chance.
the walks between tees were nothing like we thought, the longest being between 8&9, and it is lengthy. if you have played rowallan, then you know what lengthy is.
hole 9 - is a below average par3, perhaps below is harsh, but im trying to nitpick. 199yds, it again plays in the same direction as the par3 5th, so its a few clubs short. (a typical 7 iron 150 yd hitter would be just short)
hole 10 - for me, is a stunner, not so much the hole itself, but the backdrop. that hill in the background lets you see your ball soar into the heather. a bit like some holes on aberfoyle, murrayshall, gleneagles, (altho never played it)
hole 11 - is a slightly longer par3, and pretty basic too.
hole 12 - is another sweeping par 5. a friendly enough par 5.
hole 13 - is the last of the par 3s, and a wee test.
hole 14 - is starting to head back home, its another sweeping par5, (there is a theme here)i felt, some previous posters were harsh, in that there are houses around the greenside. its a fantastic hole. with a big two tier green.
hole 15 - is a driving test, with bunkers in the centre, with OOB on the left (housing side)the 2nd shot is friendly.
hole 16 - a fantastic test for the mind. the drive is into a valley, with trees tight on either side, the 2nd best tee shot on the course. the 2nd shot is pretty average, onto the poorest green on the course. (aesthetically)
hole 17 - is a big hard hitting hole, a generous landing area for the drive, that will leave you a 3-7 wood to the green, (well they all cant be wedges) a real testing hole, that i felt was never a SI 8.
hole 18 - is in the same direction as 1&17, so its into the wind, therefore making it a testing finish. I like the last hole to be a beauty, this definately isnt,
on the whole, i feel the walks arent as bad as people made out, the signage must have improved, (as we found our way around easily)
the drainage must have improved drastically, as my poor golf shoes were dry inside.
the par3s are samey, but the greens are tremendous and huge.
the par5s are sweeping and fair,(again into huge greens)
the big thing, that we all commented on, is that the majority of holes are hidden, so you have no idea if your on the course with anyone else, (in a different way from dundonald)
hidden gems is a regular golf phrase. i found a few yesterday. :)
Just back from a weekend break at the Cardrona Hotel and played the course twice and left with mixed feelings. Firstly, it's long - 6,500 yards off the yellows and some of the fairways are a little thin in places. There are one or two 'long walks' from green to tee which prompted the use of a buggy for round 2 (£27 which sort of makes you feel your being ripped off). The fairways are wide, but if you miss them it almost inevitably will lead to a lost ball as the rough is thick, juicy and knee high. When the wind blows, which it generally does there, added to a wide range of abilities on the course, then the pace of play is excrutiatingly slow. That said, there are some good holes on the course as well as one or two 'nothing' holes (mainly the ones where the houses are visible)and the greens are fine. As other reviews have shown, in and around the hotel it's not cheap. Everything comes at a price, particularly food and drink, and the standard of the hotel food is hit and miss. If you can get it on a good deal it's worth a visit.
Day two of our tour of the Borders, found us at Cardrona on 9/9/2008. Its six years since I last played here and the course is maturing nicely. It rained most of the way round, and really the course should have been closed, but I doubt if there was more than 10 hardy soles out there!! Even in these conditions the greens were in superb condition, and they are BIG, and typical of Dave Thomas designed courses, with lots slopes and borrows and probably 2 clubs or more from front to back on some holes. Many of the bunkers were flooded, and we were advised to play pick and place any where,a suggestion we welcomed, we were invited to play off any of the tees, a nice change.
The rough was vey punishing, and soon swallowed several of my balls; I would guess this was mainly due to the volume of rain restricting any form of cutting for several weeks. The par threes are fairly long and well protected and many of the par fives were not in range in three shots for us.
We took advice from previous reports on here and visited the spike bar, but we still thought the prices were excessive, an extra £3.30 to add to tot of brandy to coffee, and the quality of sandwiches (not even presented on a plate) left a lot to be desired. But that aside a great course, well worth the surcharge on top of the Freedom of the Fairways pass and I will look forward to playing it again in the future.
Played it in June 2007 and fortunately got on 2-fore-1 but what a waste of money
Great scenery great first hotel but after that I thought it was one of the worst courses I have ever played (out of around 300)
the layout the condition the cut of the bunkers were all crap
Yes it is good test of golf but if all courses had a layout like this ( about 800 metres walk from 8th green to 9th etc etc) I would have given up 20 years ago
I will not be going back even if they pay me
Good layout if a little typical of the modern style (large bunkers, large and raised greens) and in a spectacular & scenic setting. For the full green fee I had expected the condition to be near perfect at this time of year, but it still seemed a bit "new" i.e. some stones in bunkers, a few bareish patches on fairways and mottled greens (although they putted very truly and better than threy looked). In fact looked like course needed some rain. Worth a visit, more so on a discounted green fee.
This is the second time I have played the Cardrona and have to say I enjoyed it just as much as I did the 1st time. This was our 3rd game of a four day stay in the borders and although the weather wasnt great the course was still in reasonable condition. It did "lash down" for 2 holes and the course held a lot of surface water (they will have to sort this out if they seriously want to hold any high standard golf comps here) but the greens were quite receptive and were in descent condition.
The course is set in a stunningly beautiful setting but dont let the surrounding area put you off your game as the course will bite you hard. There are a lot of "risk and reward" holes with the 1st par 3 being a prime example of this.
I really enjoyed my game at the Cardrona and would defo play again although it is quite expensive.
Well worth a visit and if the ground staff get the few niggly problems sorted (ie lying water) the course WILL hold PGA qualifyers in the future.
Oh, one last thing - if your going to have a drink in the bar better take out a second mortgage - £3.50 for a pint of lager which is scandelous, and £6.00 for a pint of cider!!!!!
Played the Cardrona for the second time on April 25th 2007. Again it did not dissapoint. Some great holes too many to mention, course is long but that does not bother you when you have the scenery to match absolutely beautiful. Hotel beer prices a bit high so we had a pint in the spike bar which are cheaper, not much selection of food in here but after a round on this course you would not mind. Driving range ok but only allowed to use irons as cars pass to get to hotel ball prices reasonable 50 for £3, a must play in the borders
We played Cardrona during the special winter offer - £25 for a round and I have to say its one of the best £25 I've spent all year!!
The course is superb (especially for being such a new course) and the facilities are great too!
If your looking for a reasonably priced round of golf in the borders area get yourself down to the Cardrona for an excellent game of golf!
Cant recommend it enough and cant wait to play again next year in April!!
Fantastic Course. Wish I could have stayed longer.
Great Bargain. Go Now because prices are bound to go up in the near future, when it matures.
Not often do you shoot well over your handicap and rave about it.
Freedom of the Fairways recommended, if staying anywhere in the borders.
PLAYED THIS COURSE ON 20TH SEPT AND WAS VERY IMPRESSED.
IT HAS IMPROVED SINCE I VISITED LAST YEAR AND THE GREENS WERE EXCELLENT.
QUITE A LONG COURSE BUT FLAT.A MUST FOR ANY GOLFER IN THE BORDERS.
I played on this course on 18 July 2003 and found it to be a very impressive layout with wonderful greens.
Cardrona requires a little more signposting between holes as the geography can be quite confusing. Merchandise in the Pro Shop tends to be priced on the high side.
A great challenge with top class facilities.
A good course that will be a great course when it matures and when one or two very minor niggles are worked out. I played with a half price voucher published in the national press recently. If I had paid the full price I'd have been very disappointed with the niggles. Other than that the course is great, challenging and, whats more, relatively quiet at the moment. We went out and I think the first players behind us were three or four holes behind, with the guys in front two holes ahead. A challenging first with bunkers peppered liberally around, tough uphill second, then a deceptively difficult third all with the opportunity to mess the card up straight away. A great course.
Two of us fronted up to pay fifteen quid a head half price golf only to be told that as the greens had just been top dressed, we would be charged a tenner each - what an absolute bargain as this was a great course to play.
We had a really sunny day today (mid April!) and our one and a half hour trip through from Clydebank was amply rewarded in surroundings that just take the breath away.
A lot of money has been spent on a) USGA greens, b) heavy and strategic bunkering, c) planting of tree/gorse saplings all over the course - what a track this will prove to be as it matures.
The hotel is due for completion next month which will only enhance a great on course experience with proper changing and clubhouse facilities. I want to play the Roxburghe now to compare how well that course matches up to this Borders newcomer - I played at Kingsbarns last year and was blown away by how good a links course it was - this is almost the same standard of parkland course, it's that good, believe me.
Fantastic golf course set in beautiful surroundings. Played this course in March 2003. A good variation of holes, a mixture of short and long Par 3's and 4's, dog legs left and right and water coming into play on a couple of holes. Ta very good test of golf. The course was in very good condition and is one of the best inland courses I have ever played.
Played several times since it opened and each time it improves. The greens are large and there are bunkers a plenty! Large fairways but if you stray you will be punished. It is very quite at the moment so get on as the prices have already risen since it opened. As it is quite there is no need to rush the course - so take a good look at the surrounding hills of Peebles and Cardrona - an awesome place to play golf. Oh and buy the way make sure you are prepared this is a lung buster of a course!
This is brand new championship length course heading for the big league judging by the size of the hotel complex being built by what currently the 1st green. This course is lengthy as you would expect, with deep rough and water hazards to catch any stray shots. The greens are large and very well guarded by unforgiving bunkers. The design is first class and, whilst it is currently in its infancy, in my opinion this will become a great course in future. Play it now before the price goes up.
This brand new course will challenge The Roxburghe in due time, designed by the same man (Dave Thomas) with his liking for very large and numerous bunkers it is all ready a good test for all level of players. The greens are large and undulating and with the bunker placements it demands your concentration. A very large hotel is under construction on the course and with the buggy paths already in place it is obvious where they see their core market. My advise, play it as soon as possible whilst you can get on, ignore the fact there is not yet a clubhouse and few direction signs from green to the next tee, go and enjoy what I am sure will become a championship course in a few years time
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