Course preview: The Carrick, Loch Lomond, Scotland
Doug Carrick is among Canada’s leading golf architects, having created Angus Glen, Bigwin Island and Eagles Nest, among others.
In the past two years he’s had the chance to branch out a bit — including a project called, interestingly, The Carrick next to the Loch Lomond course in central Scotland. The course has been built in a traditional Scottish heathland style (nice, considering how many new courses in the UK look like they were pulled from the American heartland) and is situated on an extremely hilly piece of property. Despite that, apparently the course is still very walkable.
It is being developed by the DeVere Group, which operates the wonderful Cameron House hotel on site. The only problem has been with the National Park Planning Authority, which have delayed the project for months. Once expected to open this summer, it is now delayed until at least early 2007, despite some of the holes having been completed for nearly three years at that point. There’s environmental protection and then there’s bureaucracy. It is clear which camp this falls into.
The site offers amazing views of central Scotland in one of the most breathtaking areas of the country. Of course it will be compared to its next door neighbour, the Weiskopf/Morrish designed Loch Lomond, but the DeVere people seem to think Carrick’s course will hold its own. And this one will be open to the public, unlike the highly restrictive Loch Lomond.
So we’ll just have to wait to see this finally finished — which presents an excuse to go back for another jaunt around Scotland. In the meantime, Carrick’s office could be involved in a number of projects, including one in Ireland, one in St. Kitts and another in India.