Designed by Dave Thomas and opened for play in May 2010, this links course stands on the banks of the River Clyde on 240 acres of the historic Earl of Mar estate.
The course has a resort type in feel, the emphasis has been placed on playability to ensure golfers enjoy the round and leave with a feeling of scoring well in the home of the sport. Large fairways and undulating greens butt up against the tranquil river and the Erskine Bridge shadows the course on numerous holes.
Although a resort course that doesn’t mean that the Earl of Mar is a walkover. The opening par is a good test of golf, your drive needs to be threaded through a tight line of trees before the fairway opens up and you can see the elevated and protected USGA specification green.
It’s not long before you reach the signature hole, the 449-yard fourth. A long, straight par-4, it demands a good drive down the middle of the fairway to open up the green for a medium to long iron approach shot. Trouble awaits either side of the fairway along the length of the hole, 3 of the course’s 59 bunkers lay thirty yards short of the smooth putting surface, these and it’s gaping green side bunkers must be avoided.
It’s difficult not to soak up the surroundings on a course of such beauty and history. An original Round House, surrounded by two ditches and a wall dating back to the Bronze Age, was discovered on the estate and is preserved underground beneath the third hole. And amongst the wide variety of trees there is a giant Redwood (Wellingtonia), which was planted to celebrate Wellington’s victory over Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.