Carlisle Golf Club was founded in 1908, though there are apparently records of golf having been played in the city thirty-two years before then. The club acquired its present site at Aglionby in 1936 and commissioned Charles Mackenzie, Alister MacKenzie's brother, to set out their new eighteen holes. Shortly after, this layout was modified by Theodore Moone, before Philip Mackenzie Ross then remodelled the course in 1944.
According to Frank Pennink's Choice of Golf Courses: "In 1938 the move to its present site was made. Designed by Theodore Moone, a well-known writer and golf architect and minor amendments in 1973 by Frank Pennink."
Measuring a modest overall length of 6,273 yards, this mature parkland layout is set out on gently undulating terrain, close to where the A69 joins the M6. Only three of the eleven par fours on the card play in excess of 400 yards from the back tees with the 289-yard 5th hole probably rated the best two-shot hole on the property. You’ll also find a fine set of par threes here at holes 2, 4, 13 and 17.
The club was honoured to have the R&A designate the course at an Open Regional Qualifying venue in recent years, beginning in 1996. The English Golf Union also thought highly enough of the course in 2010 when the club was asked to host the English Seniors Championship.
Having driven up from southern England in the morning, Carlisle was the starting point for a short trip around Dumfries & Galloway for me and my brother in early August. Although the course is usefully less than a mile from the M6 motorway there was little intrusion from traffic noise. The course is predominantly parkland with a sprinkling of heathland, set amidst rolling terrain surrounded by farms. One of the features of Carlisle are greens that are narrow and long. The Par 3 4th has one of these long and narrow greens and is also a plateau. Failure to find the putting surface leaves a tricky up and down. The following hole is a fun and potentially drivable par 4. I also liked 11 and 12 with the latter having a particularly sharp dog leg. The par 4 16th unusually features a massive oak tree in the middle of the fairway. I am not a fan of the short 17th – a short hole with water on three sides and no obvious bale-out area other than a green-side bunker.
The course condition was good. Carlisle is a very useful stopping off point on a journey between Scotland and southern England and we would probably play here again.
We played Carlisle in March this year on the way up to Scotland, it's ideally placed and we really enjoyed our round.
Excellent value, very friendly members, and some good fun golf over undulating ground and plenty of trees.
The last few holes are a little bit of a loop in a field so we cut them out to finally get in front of a slow match in front - can't comment on them !