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Golf Travel Guide: Loch Lomond

Written by  on Saturday, 24 September 2011
Golf Travel Guide: Loch Lomond

Twenty-five miles and well under an hour's drive from Glasgow, Loch Lomond is one of the most convenient areas for a British golfing break. But it does not rely on being on the doorstep of Scotland's biggest city to pull in the punters, it has the undeniable beauty and quality of its courses to do that.

Measuring 24 miles from north to south and as little as three quarters of a mile across, thin, wedge-shaped Loch Lomond is the UK's largest expanse of freshwater. Bordered by highland peaks, in the shadow of the towering Ben Lomond, and studded with verdant islands, this breathtaking spot is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

With all manner of activities, a rich history, and the vibrant culture of Glasgow a stone's skim away, the loch can provide the setting to all manner of fantastic getaways, but there is little doubt that the golfer will feel especially spoilt.

Courses in the area

It is little surprise that, in the land where golf was born, there is a plethora of courses to challenge players of all levels around Loch Lomond. We have selected a few of the exceptional choices below, but details of other fantastic courses can be found online.

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Golf Pass £50 - £80.

Five courses, including Buchanan Castle below, have joined together to offer a fantastic deal. For £50 or £80, you can play a round at three or all five of the clubs. If you submit three cards from those rounds you will be entered into the National Park Golf Challenge, with the best 16 golfers of each season invited to take compete for the Challenge Trophy.

Loch Lomond Golf Club - By arrangement

The exclusive club hosted 15 consecutive Scottish Opens – the traditional curtain raiser to The Open itself – between 1996 and 2010 and is regularly mentioned as being among the world's absolute best courses. Colin Montgomerie said:

"Wherever Loch Lomond is ranked, it ought to be higher."

The parkland course nestled between Ben Lomond and the loch itself does justice to the surroundings – it has two different Areas of Special Scientific Interest on it – and the majestic clubhouse, the refurbished Rossdhu House that served as the seat of the historic Colquhon Clan. To get a round, it might be necessary to make arrangements through an existing member, but any opportunity to play the 7,100 yard jewel should be jumped at.

The Carrick on Loch Lomond £75 - £125

The par 71 test is two courses in one, with a lowland outward nine sitting perfectly alongside the banks of the loch before the inward nine takes to the highlands. Golfers of all levels are tested with lagoons, sloping fairways and 118 bunkers but soothed too by the stunning surroundings, a feature that elevated holes make sure you will not miss.

Buchanan Castle £21 - £47

East of the loch and just south of the Highlands, is the forested course of Buchanan Castle, on the lands of the Dukes of Montrose. Like many of the courses in the area, Buchanan Castle was designed by renowned architect James Braid – winner of five Opens himself – whose courses demand accuracy above all else.

Accommodation

With cottage Bed and Breakfasts to 5-star hotels in easy reach, everyone will be able to find their perfect place to stay.

Lodges on Loch Lomond - Around £100 per night

Offering self catering with a large helping of luxury, these lodges sit within the 14 picturesque acres of the Arden Estate, right on the banks of the loch. The lodges come with en-suite bedrooms, fully fitted kitchens and full Sky TV packages. Guests can also use the spa and leisure facilities at nearby Cameron House, home of The Carrick on Loch Lomond.

Monachyle Mhor - Around £200 per night

Well off the beaten track, to the north-east of the loch, lies this tranquil gem of a family-run hotel. The rooms are a fantastic mix of the contemporary and traditional, the food is exceptional and the atmosphere is incredibly relaxing.

Premier Inn Dumbarton/Loch Lomond - From £29

Clean, simple and cheap. You know what to expect from this chain of hotels, but just because it is no frills and affordable does not mean it is not an excellent choice for those looking to explore the area. The rooms are spacious and the restaurant serves good pub fare.

Travel

By Train:

London to Glasgow average journey time is 4 and a half hours and costs from £114.70 off peak return.

By Plane:

London to Glasgow average flight time is 1 and a half hours and costs from £98 with Easy Jet and from £105 with British Airways.

Car hire with Europcar starts from £97 for three days hire of a VW Golf or similar (just enough room for the clubs!)

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James Cornish

James qualified as a PGA pro in 2000 and joined Chart Hills as Director of Golf in 2004. In 2011 he opened a golf academy at Chart Hills along with a highly qualified staff of experts in the field of psychology, strength & conditioning, nutrition and golf technique coaching.

 

He understands the importance of focusing on the whole of your golf game and at the Leaderboard Golf Performance Centre they address everything, be that technique, overcoming negative thought or working on overall fitness.