The course was originally founded in 1908 but the current layout did not come into being until Philip Mackenzie Ross remodelled it following the second World War.
Easily accessible from the M6 motorway it would be a good stop-off on route to or from Scotland or a good base if playing a few of the other interesting and underrated courses in Cumbria.
Mostly played amongst mature trees there is a touch of heathland to the course at times and in the dry conditions I enjoyed in June 2023 there was some nice roll out on the course and it played ‘firm and fast’.
The course which has hosted regional qualifying for the Open Championship on half a dozen occasions has some interesting holes but maintains a consistent feel to the entire layout. It has also hosted the Men's English Seniors Championship, the Ladies North of England Championships and many other Championships, both amateur and professional during its 100 plus years history
There is an attractive quartet of short holes. The 2nd is a classic par-three whilst the 4th has a long, narrow and sloping green with a pond to content with. The 13th is a little gem hidden away amongst a cloister of trees in the heart of the property whilst the 17th has surely wrecked many a good scorecard with its fronting burn.
The par fives are all gettable, even the 558-yard downhill 15th where two ditches must be navigated.
As for the two-shotters there are some solid holes. I enjoyed the approach into the slinging 6th, the plateau green at the 8th and approach into the 12th.
Carlisle doesn’t do a lot wrong and was exceptionally presented when I played. It is a good and fair test of golf. If you are looking for something a little different and willing to accept the odd bad bounce then nearby Brampton would make a good pairing companion for a trip to Cumbria.