Golf in a place with ‘lake’ in the name might not inspire confidence among the slicers and hookers, but the courses in the Lake District are second-to-none (and, we promise, a round here is not an endless launching of balls into the drink). There are a few excellent tracks spread out across the area, and Lake District golf courses are known for their undulating terrain and natural beauty.
Whether you’re keen to spend your trip traipsing through eighteen day after day, or just want to find out where to hit a few balls while you’re away, read ahead: this is our guide to golf in the Lake District.
Where are the best golf courses in the Lake District?
There are numerous Lake District golf courses, and your enjoyment of them will obviously depend on your skill level, although most are suitable for everyone from beginners to scratch players. We’ve listed these in order of difficulty, from least to most.
Grange Over Sands Golf Club
A century old, Grange Over Sands Golf Club is a nifty little course has plenty of history to go along with an excellent course and a gorgeous clubhouse. At just 6,044 yards, it’s great for mid-to-high handicappers as there is plenty of space on the fairways, and the rough isn’t too thick. There are a number of water hazards on this parkland course, and it displays the beauty of the Lake District National Park while still being somewhat secluded. Add the fact it’s less than a ten-minute drive from Windermere, and you’ve got yourself the perfect little escape.
Green fees here are incredibly reasonable, with a round setting you back a measly GBP 15. Buggy and cart hire is available, as is club hire from the well-stocked Pro Shop.
Eskdale Golf Club
Eskdale Golf Club is an undulating parkland course that was designed in part by three-time Open Winner Henry Cotton. A relatively short track at 5,494 yards, this Par 69 in the heart of the Lake District is replete with natural beauty and enough tricky holes to almost ruin the gorgeous views. The signature hole, the 14th, is a Par 3 reminiscent of the 17th at Sawgrass, with a near-floating green. The course is quite secluded, and in the background you can see the peaks of Scafell Pike and Great End. Open to the public, it’s the perfect place to get a quick round in during your trip.
Green fees are a very reasonable GBP 25/round, so you can get away here without breaking the bank.
Penrith Golf Club
A hidden gem among the various Lake District golf courses, Penrith Golf Club is nestled in Eden Valley, an area that lives up to the name. The course is over a century old, but the facilities are incredibly modern, with a six–bay driving range and a three–hole practice course. The greenkeepers do an excellent job of keeping the course playable in pretty much all conditions, so even if you’re popping over for a winter game, you’re likely to get out. There are plenty of hazards and tight lies to keep this course interesting, but it’s still quite playable for more casual golfers, making it a great little addition to any golf trip.
Green fees are GBP 35/round before 1pm, GBP 25/round between 1 and 4, and GBP 20/round after on the weekdays. On the weekend it goes up to GBP 40/round (or GBP 45/day, if you want to go round more than once) before 1pm, GBP 30/round between 1 and 4, and G BP 20 after.
Windermere Golf Club
Windermere Golf Club is a Championship course is located right in the heart of the Lake District and has been compared to illustrious courses like Gleneagles. Established in 1891, Windermere weaves through the national park, mixing gorgeous scenery with some of the hardest golf in the Lake District. The course is deceptively short at 5,122 yards and a 67 Par, but don’t let that fool you: the fairways are narrow, the greens tight and quick, and the undulating terrain means even slightly wayward shots are punished. The facilities are also second to none on this parkland course, which has a beautiful clubhouse and excellent restaurant attached at which you can enjoy the panoramic views of Morecambe Bay to the South and the Pennines in the East.
The course is open to the public, and green fees in the ‘summer’ half of the year (29th March to 31st October) are a reasonable GBP 40 for weekdays and GBP 45 at the weekend. In the ‘winter’ season, this drops to GBP 30, regardless of day of the week.
Royal Birkdale Club
While the famous Royal Birkdale club is an hour or so drive from the Lake District, if you are a keen golfer in the North West of England, then you must try and get on this Championship Golf Course. Home to the Open Championship on numerous occasions and recognised as one of the best and most historic courses in the world, a game at this golfing mecca will be the sort of thing you remember forever.
Open Championship quality does mean Open Championship green fees: it’s GBP 250/round during the summer months (April to September) and GBP 185 for the rest of the year, but the outlay is worth it.
Where to practice
Sometimes, you want to have a few swings and shape some shots without the hassle of committing three hours to a round. Or, maybe your fellow holidaymakers have gone for a walk or cycle or swim that you didn’t really fancy, and you have an hour or two to kill. Either way, there are plenty of places to hone your game in the Lake District without indulging in a full round.
Kendal Golf Driving Range is an excellent facility, with ten wide, covered bays, hire clubs to rent, and even lessons available. There is an attached pro shop, and if you need it there are also changing rooms, lockers, and showers. Located just a short drive from the centre of Kendal, it’s easily accessible, and the staff are incredibly friendly and helpful.
Carus Green Golf Club has one of the best ranges in the area and is open to those who just want to hit a few balls. They also provide free club hire as part of the ball rental, so if you or your group didn’t bring any equipment it’s no problem. The attached pro shop is fully stocked, the staff are all very knowledgeable, and the course itself is also stunning, in case you do end up wanting to go out for a few holes.