Flat terrain and wide, forgiving fairways are the distinguishing characteristics of Edinburgh’s Carrick Knowe golf course, which plays 6055 yards, at par 70. The Council run Carrick Knowe course is very central to Edinburgh City centre, yet it’s still fairly pretty, with many trees lining the fairways and surrounding the greens. For those living near Balgreen Road Carrick Knowe golf course is just a few minutes walk away; so you can make the round of golf without a car. For others a car park is provided, which you can access off the end of Glendevon Park.
The course begins with a perfectly straight par 4 coming in at 346 yards, the biggest challenge here is keeping your concentration as the trains rattle along the track adjacent to the hole. Noise is one of the defining characteristics of Carrick Knowe golf course, with the later holes buzzing with the sound of traffic whizzing along Corstorphine Road. The noise isn’t the only problem you’ll encounter at Carrick Knowe Golf Course - its adjacent to rows of houses, from which children hell bent on causing trouble on the course appear; like the proverbial rats from a drainpipe. While playing my round of 18 I witnessed bunkers being used as obstacles on BMX trails and children whacking the fairway with one or two of their own clubs, while paying players waited to take their shots. On one of the holes I heard some players being subjected to verbal abuse from the children, after they were asked to move off the fairway.
So if you can tolerate the noise, probable annoyance and possible confrontation with the children who flock to the course then Carrick Knowe makes a fairly relaxing, less challenging round of golf.
The par 4 17th plays very generously at 235 yards; so this affords a comfortable birdie, and a decent try for eagle. The last 9 holes were more enjoyable for me; with the par 11th quite refreshing.
None of the holes at Carrick Knowe are particularly difficult - finding the bunkers requires very wayward shots. There isn’t huge amounts of rough and this coupled with wide fairways make it a good course for less experienced golfers to navigate. The greens were on the whole well maintained and played fairly quick. Given the space available the course designers have done a fairly good job, although some holes did begin to feel like you were just walking back from where you’d come from i.e. some of the holes play parallel to each other, with little separating the two fairways.
The clubhouse is compact, with the attendants section particularly tiny. Although the changing rooms are a decent size. Just outside the clubhouse is a practice green, which is useful while waiting for your tee time. It’s advisable to book slots at Carrick Knowe golf course and the management do try their best to enable people to adhere to the booked times. However, we were told to hang on while the group infront of us started, even though they were waiting on someone turning up. Eventually the guy turned up and twenty practice shots later by each of the three group members meant the course became very congested. Luckily we got to play through, but not until the fifth hole.
I payed Â£18.50 for the weekend round of golf, although with the Edinburgh Leisure Card this would have been reduced by Â£4. Midweeks rounds will set you back Â£15.50 or Â£10.50, dependent on your card status.
I probably will play Carrick Knowe again, but only when short of time and not wanting to travel far. As per the Edinburgh Council golf courses I think Silverknowes is better on almost every level than Carrick Knowe, so I would recommend a round there over Carrick Knowe. Still it’s good to have choice and Carrick Knowe provides 18 holes of city centre golfing, which is quite a perk. You can contact Carrick Knowe golf course on 0131 337 1096 and view a map of their location . The Edinburgh Leisure website has more details.