#2: Cadrona Golf Course, Cadrona, Near Peebles
Cadrona sits tucked into a beautiful valley on the banks of the River Tweed near Peebles in the Scottish Borders. It‘s an idyllic spot with a brilliant Scottish welcome. But if you are coming to play golf, bring your A game!
The course is owned and operated by Macdonald Hotels and our stay there, qualified us for a reduced residents green fee. As it was Sunday many of the locals had pre-booked the tee. They currently have approximately 132 members. And as the delightful woman, Bobbie, in the Pro Shop explained, that is 130 men members and 2 ladies - of which she is one! It seems that the degree of difficulty puts many women off becoming full playing members. And after playing the course myself, I fully understand.
While this particular Lady did not score very well on her own round: she found Cadrona a wonderful challenge with spectacular scenery criss-crossing the banks of the River Tweed. Here is the happy walk to the First Tee.
As you can see, the sun was shining, the wind was blowing and possibility soared. The same as it is with every walk to the first tee of a golf course for me: a genuine happy smile on my face and a spring in my step. But I am quickly brought down to the current state of my game. It reminds me of the words my father said to me repeatedly, “When she is good, she is oh so good. But when she is bad she is rotten!’ And so it is with my golf game.
The second hole shown below was my favourite. It’s a difficult, uphill par 4 with its green protected by some nasty (read deep) bunkers. It’s back drop is the ruins of Neidpeth Castle which more than made up for my poor play. The atmosphere is stunning.
Fortunately I managed to find myself comfortably beyond this one pictured here. But I was in the next one, and it was not an easy out, especially given the wind. But no excuses here: it was/is a great hole despite my 8.
I knuckled down after that and my golf got better. And I even managed to make the turn with a par on 9. Ironically, my putting was the best part of my game.
As you cross over the Tweed again to the back nine, there is the following sign:
This explained to me the lack of anglers. The River Tweed was in full flow and it seemed like the perfect day to fish for the river is sheltered by its high banks from the wind. But it was a Sunday and some things don’t change in Scotland.
The back nine played as long as it was, with the wind changing directions as did each hole. It was a struggle to maintain concentration. The trees were amazing and they frame the course like a picture - even trying to grab at my ball with a few of their branches. But the constant challenge made our par’s on 17 that much sweeter. Finally, the golf ball had behaved!
The round ended with the sun on the surrounding hills .... While the scores left much to be desired from our golf, we had five par’s between us and we were happy ladies on, and off, the links!
On the golf side: Cadrona is 6035 yards for women, with par 73. It has five par 5’s and generous fairways. The course is flat, but there is a bit of distance between tee and green. It is easy to walk, but they do have buggies for hire as well as pull trolleys. They also have a driving range and a nice practice putting green.
Best thing about the course: The friendly welcome from Bobbie in the Pro shop!
Here is Ann enjoying the putting green. She got a hole in one on her first putt so she figured she had practiced enough!
On the hotel side: The MacDonald Cadrona Hotel is great. The rooms are spacious, clean and the golf view rooms are terrific. Breakfast is top class, especially the buffet. And the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. They have a lovely bar and sitting area where you can have your evening meal as well. The fitness room is state of the art and the pool is very nice. And most importantly, the Spa is terrific. We had taster facials and short massages: we wish we had had the full treatments. Well worth the visit.
Best thing about the hotel: the friendly staff!