There’s a case, often made, that Royal Dornoch alone is worth a journey to the Highlands. It is of course but treasure hunting links golfers will be pleased now to find new loot at Castle Stuart. Opened for play in July 2009 with instant honors from Golf Magazine as the “Best New International Course” of the year, Castle Stuart is the work of Americans Mark Parsinen (Kingsbarns) and Gil Hanse.
Castle Stuart is a meticulously maintained modern links found along Moray Firth with wonderful views over to the Black Isle, thirty minutes from energetic Inverness and a stone’s throw from the airport. Six holes hug the shoreline while the others are played overhead, on an escarpment that divides the entire golf course. As such you are never not looking at the sea plus it provided Mr. Parsinen with opportunities to create his “infinity” views which produce striking photographs and shaky golf swings. A true links course in every sense. A visit to the Highlands for World 56 Castle Stuart and World 16 Royal Dornoch would often include Nairn and Brora, plus Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay on the way up or down.
Castle Stuart Golf Links distinguishes itself with its unique course features such as:
- The Rumple
- Revetted, natural bunkers
- Infinity edges
- Landscape mosaic
- Sleeper details
- MacKenzie perspective
Sitting on the Moray Firth, the scenery is extraordinary; views of the Kessock bridge, Chanonry Lighthouse, Ben Wyvis, and of course Castle Stuart, which can be seen looking from the tee through pin on the fourth hole, add to the beauty of the links course. Not to mention the Art Decor architecture of the stunning clubhouse that offers extraordinary panoramic views of these landmarks. Watch Gordon Dalgleish’s latest Google Earth Video Tour to gain a better sense of the logistics of the Highlands area.
It’s a common misconception that you’ll only find cold rain and wind in the UK. Castle Stuart Golf Links and the Highlands of Scotland enjoy a very micro-climate, as they receive only 27 inches of rain a year. It’s also one of the the brightest and sunniest areas in the British Isles.
Although it’s played just a week before the Open Championship, the Scottish Open is still recognized as one of the most favorable tournaments on the European Tour. So much that 2.5 hours of the final two days of play from both the 2013 and 2014 Scottish Opens will be televised on NBC. Read more about the broadcasting contract and to find out when and where the Scottish Open will be televised, click here.
The Scottish Open was first played in 1972, has been hosted on world-renowned venues such as St Andrews, Haggs Castle, Gleneagles, Carnoustie and Loch Lomond. Defending champion Jeev Milkah Singh among others will be looking to join Ian Woosman and Ernie Els, the only two players to have won multiple Scottish Open titles.