After Stuart Manley’s win at Rowallan Castle last week, the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour is head 30 miles north for the MarHall.com Scottish Classic.
Ahead of event number 11 of the season Jamie Darling, PGA professional at Mar Hall, gives us his ‘Inside Track’.
Earl of Mar Golf Course
â€œIt is a parkland golf course which runs along the side of the River Clyde. It is very flat and has a links-like layout to it, stretching across the length of the Clyde. We are lucky to be built on a raised, shingle beach, so we have excellent drainage. It drains like a links course but plays as a parkland course.â€
â€œThe golf course tends to drain in a matter of hours if we have heavy showers, and the greens are built to withstand two inches of rain within an hour. The drainage is fantastic and that is one of the courseâ€™s key selling points. Even beside the River Clyde, where you would expect it to be quite wet, the drainage is second to none.â€
â€œThe course is in absolutely fantastic condition. The greenkeepers have been preparing really well for the event and the course is in great shape. It is only two years old but you would think it has been around for 20 years because it has matured so well. It is built on mature land, so it doesnâ€™t have the feel of a new golf course and it has bedded in really well over the last two years.â€
â€œWith the weather we have had I would say the rough is the biggest hazard right now. It has been a little more humid and that has helped the rough grow a little. At just over 3,500 yards this isnâ€™t the longest golf course but you do need to be strategic off the tees given the rough and the position of the bunkers, which are quite big and very well placed. If you get into the bunkers you will struggle to get to the green with your second shot. That makes club selection off the tee key to success around here.â€
â€œThis is our first big tournament so it is hard to judge, but Marc Warren is attached to the club and his best round is around seven under par. It will depend on conditions, if it is quite calm I expect we will see some low scores but if there is a bit of wind coming down the Clyde it can become a struggle to get round in par.â€
â€œIt is fundamental to keep the ball in play off the tee but that wonâ€™t be easy on some of the holes. Our greens are pretty big, sloping greens so you can get some very tough pin positions. Ideally you need to be hitting in from the fairway so you can control your golf ball properly because you could play yourself into three-putt territory.â€
â€œThe golf course was designed in a way that most golfers will use pretty much every club in their bag. All the par fours are different lengths to vary your club selection.â€