Cardrona - Borders - Scotland

Cardrona Hotel,
Golf & Country Club,
Cardrona,
Peebles,
EH45 6LZ,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1896 833 600

  • Laura Keay

  • Dave Thomas

  • Not known


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Cardrona

We think it's worth pointing out that the exclusive village of Cardrona is the first new community development in the Scottish Borders since the 18th century. It's a brave new building programme in an area that is rich in history with its standing stones and abbey ruins.

The Cardrona course is situated in the heart of a truly magnificent country setting where the valley meets the gushing River Tweed. Dave Thomas designed this 6,856-yard par 72 course and it opened for play in 2001. Cardrona bears Thomas's hallmarks - numerous large, sculptured bunkers and huge, subtly contoured, but sometimes narrow greens. Thankfully, there's little in the way of artificial mounding around the edges and consequently the course blends nicely into the natural landscape.

There are some fine holes, especially those on the front nine, which follow the meanderings of the river. And we have two favourites. The 6th is a great driving hole and you'll need to hold your nerve on the tee to avoid finding the magnetic burn, which has a habit of attracting golf balls. If you can do this and play a sensible second shot on this 527-yard par five, you'll be pitching on with your third and hoping for a birdie. Measuring 402 yards, the 7th is probably the signature hole and it requires an accurate drive, with trees on the right and bunkers to the left. The approach shot is even more of a challenge, to find the elevated and well-protected green.

It's hard to classify the Cardrona course. Some holes have a moorland feel, while others feel more like parkland and some are American-styled. We think it's a great resort course, which requires stout and straight hitting to score well. The facilities at the Macdonald-owned hotel and country club are first class and Cardrona is definitely a welcome golfing edition to the Borders.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Cardrona

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: The Cardrona golf course is a combination of mature parkland and woodland, with spectacular views of the Tweed Valley... everything is in harmony with its surroundings. Rating: 3.2 out of 6 Reviews: 12

played 7/9. overall impression is of a very good course in a beautiful setting badly let down by the terrible drainage - greens were good except one temporary. But so many boggy areas on fairways, worst of all were the paths which is unforgiveable as rectifiable with gravel so easily, presume shortage of money. so cardrona will henceforth be primarily memorable for puddle after puddle after muddy puddle. prices in the bar are steep and the comments on the rough are accurate.O areas of marsh\water hazard the ball could be visible but unreachable as no scoops provided. one water hazard was neither a ditch nor water but just a ridge of mud staked out! very disappointing. recommendable after a drought only.
2 / 6
Cardrona
September 06, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
3 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
played here today in an open,very very wet needs drainage big time, one par 5 on temp green, and at £2.70 for a bottle of coke, that providing you can get served, not a place I will be returning too!!!
2 / 6
Cardrona
August 21, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
4 people found this review helpful and 3 did not
Respond to above review
Once the tough pair of opening holes at Cardrona have been played, you can then enjoy the rest of your round as it’s a decent layout, albeit with one or two other blemishes. The 1st leaves you in absolutely no doubt that you’re playing a Dave Thomas track because there’s a desert full of penal bunkers sited in large clusters on the fairway - little chance here I’m afraid for the average golfer to ease into a round with a par five against the prevailing wind. The short par four 2nd doglegs right to the highest point on the course but it surely doesn’t need to feature such an unsightly artificial mound to the right of its elevated green, hiding the pin position for (most) golfers who don’t make the kink in the fairway. Holes 5 to 7 lie on the other side of the river and they form a lovely little triangle among the wetlands on this part of the property. You’ll also play the first - and easily the best - Cardrona Golf Course - Photo by Reviewerof the four par threes on the card at the 199-yard 5th as the other short holes (9 and 11, in particular) are rather dull.

On the back nine, the 12th is a fine par five but the returning 3-shotter at the 14th is something of an eyesore, played to a green that sits in front of an upmarket housing estate where the boundary between course and rural suburbia lacks any semblance of vegetation to soften the intrusion of brick and mortar. The subsequent run of three par fours before the home hole is good with each of the fairways a little tight at some point or other so accurate play off the tee is essential. I started and finished my round with the same ball but my playing partner lost a few during our game - fairways at Cardrona are generally wide and forgiving but if you do stray wide of the mark, you have next to no chance of finding your ball in the dense rough or watery wetlands.

Some might ask if that degree of difficulty should be in evidence at a resort course. Others might also question whether regular tees really need to measure over 6,500 yards when casual golfers seem to make up most of the groups playing here. Conditioning was very good from tee to green and large putting surfaces were impressively presented - even if the hole on many had been cut in obscure corners, a factor that became a little tedious after a while. Worth a visit if in the area (and they accept Top 100 Golf Club cards) but don’t expect an easy stroll along the banks of the River Tweed - as borne out by a SSS of 73 against a par of 72 from the yellow tees. Jim McCann
3 / 6
Cardrona
June 30, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
4 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
Paid a return visit after 7 years. The weather was beautiful and the views delightful. Unfortunately, the course (again) failed to impress. There are some excellent holes : the 3rd from its elevated tee and the loop of 5, 6 & 7. The 8th is a fine short par 4 as is 15. Sadly these holes are counter- balanced by some shockers. 1 & 2 are poor for different reasons - the 1st is the ultimate 'long slog' with Dave Thomas' signature bunkers everywhere, and the 2nd is ruined by the blind second shot. The 9th is a very nondescript par 3,as is 11. And there are few words for the 14th - surely the most boring golf hole in the land. A couple of other flaws : very long walks from some greens to the next tee; unbelievably thick rough just a few inches off the fairways meaning lots of searching for balls - usually in vain; and - yesterday at any rate - pin positions verging on the ludicrous. I was hopeful that Cardrona would have developed nicely but I'm afraid I was disappointed. In common with some other new courses it lacks character. Beautiful location yes but it ain't got no soul. In the afternoon I played Lanark and my faith in Scottish golf was instantly restored!!!
2 / 6
Cardrona
June 29, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
3 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
Judging by some of the comments below, maybe the writers should take a nanny, not a caddy the next time they go on a golf course. I played Cardrona last week and, although I thought I had made a mistake in booking when I read these reviews, it was a wonderful afternoon out. Sure, the greens were slow and not in great condition, but even the hallowed 'dancefloors' of Loch Lomond suffered at the hands of the worst winter weather for years. The fairways, though, were in great shape. The holes were generally pretty forgiving - it is a resort course, after all - and some were admittedly a bit bland. But what an inspiring location! And with a hotel guest green fee of just £25, it was great value.
5 / 6
Cardrona
August 24, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 3 did not
Respond to above review
My work golf society had an outing at Cardrona yesterday, most of of had real high expectations before we arrived.The course is set in a fantastic area and the layout is excellent however the greens were in a terrible condition.We had booked the high tea option, when we asked for the food options we were told its Steak Pie, nothing else. This was a first for us and we had not been informed of this when we booked the outing.One more thing was it was the first time we have ever played a course where no one was working on it??If more time and effort can be spent on the course condition it would be a fantastic course.As for the food, for a MacDonald hotel they really do need to pay a visit to other golf clubs and compare what others offer in comparison.We would not recommend this course and will not be going back.
3 / 6
Cardrona
July 13, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
3 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
The setting is fantastic. That is the only good thing about this course. The course was far too open - didn't need to plot or think your way round - driver off most tee's and a mid to high iron in from there. All par 5's were reached in two, with not long clubs either. The greens were very very slow - and didn't run true either. I played the course a couple of weeks ago, in a dry spell in glorious sunshine. It is true about the time to play this course - players jump in on the 9th tee from the car park over the way and interfer with play. Not able to take a wood off the practice range - too short. Beaware of miss hits on the 18th from the range. I wouldn't play Cardrona again. Shame, as the hotel and facilities are good.
1 / 6
Cardrona
July 07, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
3 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
This course should be rated as 4-5 stars but for one reason has been marked down. The rough. First indiciation was when the Pro stated I should expect a 5 hour round (2 ball, quiet day, with buggy?) Any course which has you taking driver off most tees should be a little forgiving and first indications were great i.e. 30 yard fairways, however you are only one bad kick away from a lost ball. Playing off 4, it has been a long time since I lost 9 balls in one round, only one of which did not initially bounce on fairway, green edge, etc... 21 lost balls between the two of us, knee high, parkland rough. The incredible part is that we didn't find ONE ball that bounced off the fairway (and I'm takling obout 4 feet off the short grass). Absolutely crazy & a crying shame on what was an otherwise a great layout. If in area visit the Roxburgh which offers a more realstic, tough but fair, version of championship parkland golf
3 / 6
Cardrona
July 06, 2009


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
Response
Ally
July 09, 2009
I hope you've passed on these thoughts to the Course Manager. If what you say is true, then someone needs to get a grip of the situation quickly. Sounds like a horrible place to play as currently setup.
David Lumb
August 03, 2009
5 hour round and many long walks from green to tee- often with no direction advice.In my view this course is over-rated - it was average in my view.
Jim Snekin
August 04, 2009
The course is in a great setting and has some excellent holes whilst a few others are straight-forward.The greens were in decent nick with some bunkers ahaving matting visible through the sand.the courses looked like it needed some attentio in my view.
Our 4-ball played Cardrona in a monsoon on the 29th of September at the end of the summer from hell. Only 22 handicapper Kev left with a shred of golfing credibility. Nevertheless, the post-match review (post-mortem?) was peppered with superlatives. The only criticism we four well-travelled golfing geniuses could muster was a lack of signage directing golfers from some greens to the next tee. Cardona is an absorbing test but the fairways are actually relatively generous – I hit a few and I’m no Faldo. The real challenge comes from the imaginatively constructed, generally raised and invariably well-protected greens which call for a sweetly struck, high flying and soft landing approach (and not the punchy hooks, grass-cutters or dribblers that make up my extensive repertoire). The greens are undulating without ever appearing unnatural and the surfaces were quite slick and very true. For me there are a couple of holes that could contend for my all-time top 18, six or seven other very good ones, lots of very decent ones and only one filler (the 2nd, if you are interested). Cardrona is a tad better than some courses I have recently reviewed as “very good” but not quite up to the “excellent” Loch Lomond, so I’ll stick with “very good”. However you rank it, whatever label you stick on it, however many “balls” you award it – you WILL enjoy Cardrona. Derek, Edinburgh, September 2008.
5 / 6
Cardrona
October 02, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
Adjacent to the River Tweed, with the Border hills as a backdrop, Cardrona is wonderful setting for a golf course. This is a typical Dave Thomas design golf course , expensive with loads of bunkers, where you profit from straight hitting, And debit if your risk and reward shots don’t come off. Measuring just over 6,500 m from the regulars you have to take your “A” game to score well here however, even you are not scoring well, the aforementioned scenery is enough to soothe even the most furrowed brow. I played this course just as it opened in 2003 and before it had really bedded in, so, it was with some excitement that I approached my second visit, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. The hotel, now fully functional, adds to the experience and the maturing course is just how I remembered it. The course opens with a stiff par 5, score a par here and, believe me, you are happy. The second is the first risk and reward hole, a par 4 which the big hitters can reach, but beware Mr. Thomas’ bunkers that await those who are willing to take the Tiger line. I could go on and detail the rest of the holes but it is just easier to say that they are a delight but watch out for water,( especially at the tough 7th) which comes into play at many holes. As I said in the first paragraph this is expansive, so expect some long walks in between holes, but don’t let that put you off. Cardrona is a tough, but great fun golf course, so play it if you can, but, don’t forget your sand wedge. MPPJ
4 / 6
Cardrona
June 28, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 3 did not
Respond to above review