However, I finally got chance to play it on an early July morning in 2023 and was generally pleased with what I found.
Penrith, founded in 1890, lacks the refinement of Carlisle, doesn't quite get the juices flowing like Brampton or Windermere might, nor will it appeal to some like Appleby does but it is still certainly in the conversation when discussing the best inland courses in the County.
Situated on Beacon Hill above the historic market town of Penrith - once the home of King Richard III and located between the Lake District and Eden Valley - you get some lovely views but because the course is predominantly tree-lined a lot of these would-be vistas are blocked or partially hidden. The best view on the course comes at the short 10th where the Lakeland Fells provide a glorious backdrop.
The course is a par 69 and plays just 6,148 from the tips. The routing is split into two distinct parts segregated by a road. Holes 1-4 and 13-18 play on the clubhouse side of the lane whilst the 5th to the 12th are played on the opposite side.
There are some fine holes throughout but I preferred holes 5-12 as the terrain here is a little more interesting. The opening and closing stretch is traditional parkland whereas the middle section has a little bit more going for it with more undulating topography and better green complexes.
The introduction to the middle part of the course is a tough assignment with the climbing fifth, a par-four at 470-yards! No surprises for guessing it is stroke index 1. Holes 6 and 8 have glorious drives from high tees to fairways well below whilst the 7th is also a good hole.
This part of the course also contains back-to-back short holes which work really well in tandem. The 9th hole is a 214-yard hole played to a fairly narrow green and into the stiff breeze I faced was a brute of a hole. Then the 10th is a mere flick with a wedge at just 121 from the Whites (93 from the yellows). It is a beautiful looking hole but with an upturned green that is well-bunkered it is no pushover.
Penrith would a great stop-off when traversing the M6 to or from Scotland but equally would make a great base if enjoying a prolonged period in the area.