How Murrayshall carved out a place among Britain’s top golf resorts

Built in 1664, Murrayshall House, which stands near Scone, was owned by the family of Sir Andrew Murray for 260 years.

In the early 1660s, Sir Andrew sought a location in the heart of Perthshire for a manor house that reflected his family’s long history of public service and offered refuge from the blows and thrusts of Scottish politics.

So he built Murrayshall, which has been lovingly maintained by generations of owners and today ranks among Scotland’s finest golf resorts.

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“We have views to die for here at Murrayshall,” said managing director Gary Silcock. “The topography of the land is beautiful. Money can’t buy that. It’s our greatest asset.”

The 365-acre estate offers two parkland golf courses — with 18 and nine holes — and an expansive driving range as well as expert tuition.

The visitor to Murrayshall is struck by the quiet dignity of the estate, which reflects the sensitive way in which the historic building has been transformed into a luxurious four-star country house. The 365-acre estate offers two parkland golf courses — with 18 and nine holes — and an expansive driving range as well as expert tuition.

Built in 1664, Murrayshall House, which stands near Scone, was owned by the family of Sir Andrew Murray for 260 years.

The house was modernized in the 18th century and again in 1864. The property continued to change hands and then in 1973 a group of businessmen bought the house and decided to make the most of the extensive land .

They transformed the estate and created the luxury hotel you see today. Today – under the ownership of Stellar Asset Management – Murrayshall has two main objectives; to become a leading golfing destination and the focal point of its members’ leisure activities.

Murrayshall is in a beautiful setting

The management team are focused on upgrading Murrayshall’s “experiential journey”, at a time when the leisure sector rebounds from restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

They want to create a club where every member sees Murrayshall as more than just a place to enjoy golf; it becomes part of their way of life.

They also aim to recapture the look and feel of 1980s Murrayshall, using the same sand used on the PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles.

Mr Silcock, who previously worked at Gleneagles, La Manga Club and The Belfry, said: “Our aspiration at Murrayshall is to become one of the top 25 golf resorts in the UK.

The surrounding countryside offers many fascinating walks

“To achieve this, we plan to add a spa and increase the number of room offerings, as well as a new branding and stronger identity for restaurants and bars.”

Murrayshall’s development plans are also expected to give Perthshire’s economy a boost.

“We have a request in the planning stage to build holiday lodges on the site currently occupied by the driving range,” Mr Silcock said.

“If the plans are approved, it would create an additional 200 jobs and add £10-15m a year to our turnover over a 10 year period.”

Perthshire offers plenty of stunning views

Mr Silcock also pointed out that this development will raise millions of pounds in tax, providing support for public services.

“Our plans are aimed at maintaining the integrity of the domain,” he added.

“We also benefit from the strong labor pool in the hospitality sector around Perth.”

Hundreds of homes are being built around Perth and Scone, showing the size of the potential local market for attractions like Murrayshall.

“Murrayshall has always had an excellent reputation for fine dining and weddings, and since its acquisition by Stellar Asset Management in 2018, investment has been ramped up,” Mr Silcock said.

“Stellar offers the agility to get around quickly in a place with three million people less than an hour’s drive away. Edinburgh Airport is just 45 minutes away by car.

Today – under the ownership of Stellar Asset Management – Murrayshall has two main objectives; to become a leading golfing destination and the focal point of its members’ leisure activities.

“We hope the business will become less seasonal,” he said. “Perth is booming with a large number of house sales as it becomes a suburban base for Edinburgh and Glasgow.”

Stellar’s backing means Murrayshall can grow fast or stop and think based on changes in the economy.

“The business is well placed for the Scottish and UK market as well as international customers due to our proximity to the airport,” said Mr Silcock.

Last year Murrayshall appointed Clarke Lutton as head of golf, a further sign that the resort is raising its game.

Aberdeenshire-born and a former tourism professional, he joined Murrayshall from Gleneagles where he served as a PGA Professional from 2018. He previously held positions at Brisbane Golf Club, Australia, and Doha Golf Club, in Qatar, where he worked for 11 years.

. He brings with him a wealth of experience to Murrayshall, having played alongside some of golf’s most famous names such as Rory McIIroy and Bryson Dechambeau.

The Murrayshall team created meandering ditches and reshaped the greens to improve course conditions. Work was also carried out to improve drainage and reinforce the bunkers.

Anyone who sets foot on the course today cannot fail to be impressed by the majestic calm of Murrayshall’s setting. You may also want to venture beyond the estate and explore a host of intriguing walks in the surrounding hills, taking you to follies and memorials that reflect Perthshire’s colorful history.

Murrayshall’s restaurants have also undergone a rebrand, with Eolas Restaurant serving dinner and breakfast and Cairns offering all-day dining. Diners can enjoy sweeping views of the landscape that once fascinated Sir Andrew Murray.

Later this summer, Murrayshall will host an Order of Merit event, featuring 80 of the PGA’s top professionals, and a ProAm tournament that will showcase the revamped course.

Murrayshall has been at the heart of Perthshire public life for over three centuries. With such ambitious owners, you feel the brightest days are yet to come.

Greg Wright stayed at Murrayshall in Perthshire for two nights.

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