Mar Hall - Earl of Mar - Renfrewshire - Scotland

Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort,
Earl of Mar Estate,
Bishopton,
Nr. Glasgow,
PA7 5NW,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 141 812 9999

The Earl of Mar Estate lies within a 240-acre wooded property on the south bank of the River Clyde, to the west of Glasgow. The centrepiece of the estate is a substantial building that was formerly named Erskine House (designed for the Blantyre family by Sir Robert Smirke, the architect of the British Museum) and it was constructed between 1828 and 1845.

The magnificent old baronial mansion was completely refurbished and it reopened in 2006 after a multi million pound refit as the 5-star Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort, its new name recalling the former ownership of the estate by the Earl of Mar, holder of one of the oldest peerage titles in Europe.

Dave Thomas designed the estate’s new golf course – adding another 18-hole layout to a bourgeoning Scottish course portfolio that now includes The Roxburghe and Cardrona in the Borders, Newmachar and Spey Valley to the north – and play got under way here at Mar Hall in the summer of 2010.

As you might expect at a resort location, the emphasis is on playability, with generously proportioned fairways and large, gently contoured greens throughout. With an overall length of no more than 6,507 yards from the back tees, the Earl of Mar golf course appeals to the strategically minded golfer through the clever integration of mature trees in the design.

Laid out in the shadow of the Erskine bridge, the fairways are parkland in nature, configured as two loops of nine holes, each of which return to the front of a proposed new clubhouse that will sit above the fairways, between the River Clyde and Mar Hall, facing across to Bowling and the Kilpatrick Hills beyond.

Initial memberships are targeted toward the corporate sector but attractive stay and play packages are available, along with daily green fee rates for individuals or small groups of golfers.

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Reviews for Mar Hall - Earl of Mar

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Description: With an overall length of no more than 6,507 yards from the back tees, the Earl of Mar golf course at Mar Hall Golf Resort appeals to the strategically minded golfer... Rating: 5.8 out of 10 Reviews: 15
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David Baxendale

This should be a great golf course. Some lovely, well planned holes. Beautiful scenery and views of the Clyde. However course maintenance and TLC just is not there. Litter, bunkers not raked, downed branches on fairways, beer bottles in bushes, a million broken tees on tee boxes etc etc. Just feels shabby and unloved and needs to pick its ideas up quickly or its on the slippery slope.

March 11, 2022
3 / 10
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George

Played mar hall on 8/3/22 At the pro shop the views are stunning and I really enjoyed the opening 3 holes but after that it went downhill fast. The 4th hole green side bunker was full of stones. After noticing this I kept an eye out and a good few bunkers had loads of stone in them, then the 5th hole was missing the flag as was the 10th. The overall condition of the course was poor and I’m shocked mar hall has made it into the top 100. I have recently played multiple much better courses that are not in the top 100. Course itself could be good but it’s not getting maintained correctly.

March 08, 2022
2 / 10
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Oliver Cram

The earl or mar hall course has a lot going for it. The views are lovely and the course is a good test of golfing skill. It is fairly long despite its par of 70.

When i played the greens were on the slow side, but it was in the shoulder season, would love a return in the summer to get a better idea.

My main memories of the round are the beautiful scenery and some big uphill carries. Would definitely recommend.

March 03, 2022
6 / 10
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Robert Mcallan

I played Mar Hall in autumn 2018 with a good friend. We both enjoyed the course and the layout. We found the course to be very enjoyable to play, it lived up to every yard as we found it very soft going. Drives were not rolling too far and on some of the longer holes we really noticed the difference. The greens were in good condition and the balls rolled reasonably well. As to be expected the rough was thick and pretty tough to get a good strike out of it. The course has the feel of most modern parkland tracks. We got the green fee on a mid week rate so it was reasonable. Solid and enjoyable all rounder.

January 24, 2019
6 / 10
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Ian Henley
We were fortunate to play the Earl of Mar on the sort of Scottish summers day you always hope for and therefore we saw the course, it's location and the grand Mar Hall hotel/clubhouse at its best. Earl of Mar is a very convenientEarl of Mar Golf Course - Photo by reviewer location positioned around 20 minutes from the centre of Glasgow and 10 minutes from Glasgow Airport and it portrays the true appeal of playing golf in Scotland as it feels a world away from the city. Earl of Mar is located on the Banks of the River Clyde and has the stunning back drop of the imposing Kilpatrick Hills on every hole. In fact much of the course plays alongside the water on what is a relatively tight strip of land. The Erskine Bridge shadows the course as you play between the third and fourth hole and is an added back drop to the course.

Earl of Mar starts with a good par 5 where the drive has to be threaded through a tight line of trees to where the fairway opens up from where you can see the slightly elevated and will protected green. The second is a great par 3 and typifies the strength of all the short holes. From the back tees a number, including the 2nd, are around 200 yards and demand accuracy Earl Of Mar Golf Course - Photo by reviewerwith a combination of well protected bunkering and some with good undulations (the shorter tenth an example).

The third and fourth are both par 4's and complete a very strong start to the course. The third hole is all about the positioning of the drive where if you can catch the slope you are leaving yourself a short pitch to the green. The fourth is the first of the holes beside the river and it tees off under the Erskine Bridge. This is a challenging par 4 and is both long and well guarded by bunkers and a small lake that runs the length of the left side of the fairway. Strategic placement of mature trees dictate the playing of holes 7, 8 and 9 as you return to the start before the second nine loop.

We actually enjoyed the back nine more than the first and it was principally defined by a series of excellent par 4's of greater length thanEarl of Mar Golf Course - Photo by reviewer 400 yards. The 11th, 12th, 16th and 18th are all strong examples, but as you move back towards the water you play the delightful 14th, a shorter par 4 played from a slightly elevated tee which invites a strong drive to a wide fairway from where the green opens up. Respite comes at the par 5, 15th when the long hitters can reach the green in two, but the final 3 holes offer a tough finish.

The Earl of Mar represents a good test of golf, it has enough here to keep all standards of golfers interested and so it is a course that offers more than just being a resort venue. The course is though relatively young at around 4 years old so it needs time to mature. In addition investment in the course keeping pace with playing volumes is important if it is to have designs on hosting professional tournaments going forward. Mar Hall is overall in a great location given its proximity to Glasgow and as well as the golf it offers itself as a gateway to Loch Lomond area and the Trossachs National Park. Ian Henley
July 22, 2014
6 / 10
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Jim McCann

I wasn’t going to post anything for my third visit here today as I’ve already submitted two reviews but then I noticed the last reviewer had only given the course one ball, which is grossly unfair. I live seven miles from Mar Hall and I can tell you MOST courses in Earl of Mar Golf Course - Photo by reviewerthe area will be largely unplayable in November - I don’t care how good the package deal might be at Mar Hall or anywhere else in the Glasgow area, avoid inland golf like the plague and head to the coast between November and February!

This is a terrific track where, every time I’m here, I enjoy the playing experience a little bit more. Even the stretch from 11 to 13 went up in my estimation today as it really is a demanding three hole sequence with each of the fairways playing to tough, elevated greens.

It may still be a wee bit immature and it might be a tad “too corporate” for some but Mar Hall’s a well constructed, modern course that offers a fine test of golf to those who can appreciate it for what it is.

Jim McCann.

August 18, 2013
7 / 10
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Phil
Stayed at Mar Hall over the first weekend of November 2012. Usually play a Links Course for our annual trip but read so much about this place and the package deal was quite good so thought we would give it a go.Hotel was excellent if a little expensive - £15 for a Club Sandwich I recall but the rooms and facilities were very good. The bar staff found it difficult to itemise bills but were otherwise pleasant enough. Now on to the Course - it's a summer course of that there is no doubt. The greens had been hollow tined two weeks previously and we had been assured that it wasn't too wet and they had recovered well - this was a lie. It was aqua golf on the Saturday and the course should have been closed as it was flooded in many areas and there was no relief from casual water even on the fairways - so much so that we teed it up on the Sunday.The greens were as bad as I've played - there is nothing else to say, they were terrible and I'm being generous with these comments believe you me !Won't be rushing back and have learnt my lesson - Links golf every time, every trip, every year !
November 25, 2012
1 / 10
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allan mcmillan
I set out on a damp and breezy morning to tackle this lovely parkland course. The test is on straight away as you play uphill dogleg to the distant 1st green. The downhill dogleg 3rd is interesting as it sits right beneath the erskine bridge! The quality of the greens was good and althoughthe bunkers were large, they were not too difficult to escape from. The 6th hole is lovely, as you play alog the banks of the river clyde. What i didn't like about the course were the holes where great mature trees were situated right in the middle of the fairway, as thisd cost me one or two strokes. The long par 4 11th (stroke index 1) is where I did best, firing a 4 iron approach on to the green to get a well deserved par. The dogleg 14th, playing towards the river was another good hole, as I gained my 4 again. The course is over 6,000 yards and is a strategic test for any golfer. The facilities in the hotel were excellent, and I enjoyed my day on this Dave Thomas course.
September 17, 2011
8 / 10
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Jim Robertson
Having an in-builtf suspicion both of new developments and Dave Thomas designs I approached Earl of Mar with a degree of trepidation. I should not have worried. On a beautiful, still April morning the front nine was quite splendid. There are no weak holes with several standouts: the dogleg 3rd with its green right under the Erskine Bridge, the 4th with water down the left, the terrific 7th with large trees dotted along the fairway and the 9th complete with sloping green.There is no doubt that the front nine is much the better of the two halves. After the cute wee 10th there is a hiatus with three poor holes where the lesser quality of the turf is in keeping with the unimaginative layout before things get back on track with the fine downhill 14th. In the closing stretch only the quirky 16th lingers in the memory.The grandeur of the front nine easily merits Earl of Mar five balls.
April 21, 2011
8 / 10
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Jim McCann

I had the opportunity to play here again today - only ten months after I first reviewed Earl of Mar as a brand new course -- and I must say I’m really glad that I returned so quickly. I’ve changed my opinion on the left doglegged 3rd which tumbles down towards the river (probably because I wasn’t stymied behind a tree this time?) as it’s a visually stunning hole that’s way better than I remembered from last time.

The wonderful 7th really is a cracker, with its pair of imposing trees in the fairway barring easy access to a two-tiered green surrounded by three bunkers. The 9th is another great hole, played uphill to a raised, wickedly contoured green, ending the front nine with a flourish.

In truth, the back nine doesn’t really get the pulse racing for a bit and holes 11 to 13 are not quite as aesthetically pleasing as those already played - but maybe that’s just my skewed perception because the first two of this trio are pretty tough, ranked stroke index 1 and 3 on the card.

The doglegged short par fours at the 14th and 16th were just as engaging as I’d found them the last time, with the latter snaking sharply left to an interestingly-contoured, shelf-like putting surface.

Overall, I think the trademark Dave Thomas mounding and bunkering (that I’ve found slightly irritating on some other courses) has been incorporated into the design in a very sympathetic manner and the greens -- most of which are enormous -- were a little on the slow side again but still a joy to putt on. I know the set up here is heavily geared towards the corporate sector but ordinary club golfers in the Glasgow area and beyond are missing out if they overlook this place, especially as there are very attractive twilight green fees on offer.

Jim McCann

April 19, 2011
7 / 10
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