Two beautiful golf courses on our return to the heart of Cheshire. Winner of England’s Best Golf Hotel at the World Golf Awards.
The Golden Bear team of Jack and his son Steve worked their magic on Carden Park’s Nicklaus course and it opened for play in July 1998. It was quickly recognized by a leading golf magazine as one of the ten best new courses to have opened since 1996.
The historic 17th century Carden Park estate occupies some 750 acres of prime Cheshire countryside and has become a golfing Mecca in the northwest of England; it’s worth a detour on the way to the links wonderland between Liverpool and Blackpool.
So, what is it really like? Well, it’s a tough golf course but then it would be, wouldn’t it, if Nicklaus had a hand in it, it was bound to be challenging. The park-like ground is not always conducive to all-weather golf, but the drainage has been installed well.
The conditioning of the course is generally good and the holes are typically Nicklaus-like, pleasurable but eminently fair, everything is laid out clearly in front of you.
There are two double fairways, there’s plenty of water and many strategically placed bunkers. Additionally, as is normal on Nicklaus courses, there are plenty of teeing areas, five in total. Consequently, it makes the course playable for golfers of all standards. Measuring a chunky 7,045 yards from the black tees to a leisurely 5,211 yards from the reds.
In essence, the Nicklaus course at Carden Park is fun and it holds your interest very well. It isn’t the most inspiring piece of parkland in the world, but Nicklaus has made full use of the land that was readily available. Despite being in its relative infancy, the Nicklaus course at Carden Park has already played host to the PGA Seniors Tour on two occasions.
The Cheshire course arguably has the most dramatic holes of any at Carden Park and offers many challenges along the way with natural hazards to test your golfing skills.
Situated at the back of the estate, the golf course has beautiful views across to the Welsh hills and beyond. The bunkers have been designed to flow with the natural contours of the landscape and you will need to be swinging well to keep out of them all!
If you have a competitive streak we recommend you take the longest drive from the 9th hole and nearest the pin at the 15th hole, a stunning downhill shot with a wooded backdrop. This is the start of the famous finish on the Cheshire course.
The 16th is a demanding uphill dogleg hole which also just happens to be narrow and treelined and the 17th is one of the best and most picturesque par 3’s in the whole of the county.
The 18th tee is set upon a cliff overlooking the estate and offers wonderful views of the excellent clubhouse in the distance.
Many golfers actually prefer the Alan Higgins-designed Cheshire course to the more famous Nicklaus layout as it offers greater variety as well as being much prettier than its more high profile sibling.
The hotel is excellent throughout and the brand new Spa which opened back in January 2020 will only enhance the experience, for lady golfers in particular.