Most people journey to Scotland to play the established traditional links courses, but the newest kid on the block is bringing them back to Scotland.
Castle Stuart opened last year to great fanfare, as it is the second ambitious project by Mark Parsinen, the visionary behind Kingsbarns near St. Andrews. Located just outside of Inverness and minutes from the airport, Castle Stuart is the latest must-play course in the Highlands.
With a decidedly American approach, Parsinen teamed up with Gil Hanse to build a course that is designed to send golfers home with a smile.
The generous fairways mean most tee shots provide an approach from the short stuff. Almost every green has the gorgeous backdrop of the Moray Firth, which often includes Fort George, the Chanonry Lighthouse or the Kessock Bridge. Yet my favourite view is looking down 130 feet at the starting holes.
The beautiful art deco clubhouse, the service-oriented bag drop-off and conveniently located driving range together give the course a modern feel.
This is Scottish links from an American's POV, which means great seaside sandy-based terrain combined with the level of service one finds at home.
Lastly, Loch Lomond declined the Barclays Scottish Open this year, opening up an opportunity for Castle Stuart to host the tournament. Traditionally held the week before The Open, the return to a links course should attract a few more North Americans looking for a warm-up before Royal St. Georges in July. Many are curious to see how the course stands up to the pros as they tackle Scotland newest great course at 7400 yards from the championship tees.
Next up: Royal Dornoch
on 2011-08-19 13:57 by Travel Impresarios
The World Rankings for 2011 were just released and Castle Stuart made its debut at #56.
Check it out - Golf Magazine's World Rankings