Jeremy Ellwood visits Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort on the banks of the Clyde just ten minutes from Glasgow Airport
Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort Review
Par 70, 6,507 yards
Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort is an impressive hotel with a Dave Thomas-designed parkland creation, which is now ten years old. The Earl of Mar course is set over gentle slopes by the Erskine Bridge above the River Clyde.
It belies its youth with its maturity and offers fine views down to the river and across to the Kilpatrick Hills. Several holes flank the banks, perhaps most memorably the par-5 15th as you play towards the bridge.
You get up close and personal with the imposing structure on the 2nd tee, a strong downhill par 3 to a green well-framed by mature trees, then drop down towards the river on the 3rd before playing along it in an easterly direction for three holes. You then have trees on the fairway to negotiate on the long par-4 7th.
The back nine starts with a very pretty, short par-3 protected by three or four big trees, with the 12th then a fine-looking hole that plays gently up towards the hotel and bridge along the higher terrain. You descend back down to the river banks on the short par-4 14th past one or two sizable bunkers then turn along the river on that 15th hole to play directly towards the bridge.
The hotel building at Mar Hall Golf and Spa Resort is a grand, gothic affair looking out over the course. The building was restored to its former glory in 2004, with many original features retained in its conversion to a five-star hotel boasting 52 rooms and suites.
Chandeliers and elegance abound in the high-ceilinged Cristal Restaurant, where local Scottish produce is the order of the day. Perhaps best of all, Mar Hall lies just 10 minutes from Glasgow airport.