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Scottish Golf

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Aberdeen &
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Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...

Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick...

Northern Highlands
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Castle Stuart
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See it on

Castle Stuart Golf Links

Something important happened on the Moray Firth coast in 2010 -- something that set the world of golf ablaze with ooohhhs and aaahhhs! A new golf course was born. But this is no ordinary golf course, it's the newest Scottish links course. So highly touted that, although it's the new kid in town and still in its infancy, it has managed to capture the renowned Scottish Open, played for the past 15 years at Loch Lomand.

Castle Stuart was voted Best New Course in 2009 by GOLF MAGAZINE. And they're not just talking about the best golf course in Scotland. No, they voted Castle Stuart 2009 best new golf course in the world! GOLF DIGEST USA said, "Castle Stuart might be the most perfectly conceived and executed design ever built." WOW! Kind of makes you want to reschedule your vacation time and head on over to Bonnie Scotland ASAP.

Castle Stuart 10th fairway and green
A view overlooking the 10th fairway and green. Need we say more!

Castle Stuart Golf Links has a great pedigree. It was co-designed by Mark Parsinen and the American golf architect Gil Hanse. Parsinen said, "I fell in love with links golf in the British Isles 40 years ago and have spent the past 15 honing certain links sensibilities, firstly with the crafting of Kingsbarns in Fife and now with Castle Stuart in the Highlands." And it seems they brought something a bit different to links golf at Castle Stuart, something every amateur golfer loves...... W - I - D - E .fairways.

Parsinen and Hanse believe that position off the tee is more important than just hitting it long, and so they designed wide fairways to reduce the possibility of lost balls. But just because you're in the fairway doesn't mean you'll have a good shot at the green. It all depends on your skill. If you're out of position off the tee, you'll need all the skill you have to land it on the green with a make-able putt. But the excitement of a successful approach shot when you're out of position and you have to get creative is one of the great pleasures in links golf, isn't it? And that's what the architects included in their design.

Castle Stuart 11th
Coming into the 11th green. Short, long, left or right is trouble. Better keep it straight. Photo courtesy of Fraser Cromarty.

Hosting the Scottish Open, which generates a huge amount of publicity, is boosting Castle Stuart's profile. Their bookings are already up 115% from a year ago. But despite their immediate success, the golf course promises to freeze the "shoulder season" Stay and Play deals for the next few years. Bravo!!

This is obviously a challenging golf course but because of the generally wide fairways, it's do-able even for a high handicapper. And it's drop-dead gorgeous. So even if you have a bad day at golf, it will certainly not be a good walk spoiled.

Golfnook rating -- Birdie

After one viewing of this, you'll be packing your suitcase. Castle Stuart flyerover.


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