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Castle Stuart Golf Links - Home to the Scottish Open
Rarely has any golf course opened to such instant universal acclaim as Castle Stuart Golf Links (pictured above). Lying just two miles from Culloden House, this man-made championship links course was the brainchild of Mark Parsinen. Spectacularly set and sublimely designed, Castle Stuart Golf Links is something truly special and destined to become one of the best courses in the Scotland and the world.
Construction of the course began on a dramatic, split-level 430 acre site hugging the coastline of the Moray Firth in June 2006. Castle Stuart is the work of American architects, Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse. Parsinen is of course best known for his contribution to that masterpiece of modern Scottish links design - Kingsbarns Golf Links, near St Andrews - but unlike Kingsbarns, this man-made links required very little earthmoving. Castle Stuart exploits the natural contours and elevation changes of a superb site and is unashamedly old fashioned, using many elements from the “Transitional Era” (1890-1935) – also reflected in the striking circular Art Deco Clubhouse. The rumpled fairways are wide, with undulating ground and angles of play the main course defense. Bunkers are derivative of early open sandy links play – raw-edged and unkempt sandy areas, with revetting only on steep faces and heavily trafficked areas. The greens are relatively small, with much of the movement built into edges and margins, and often spectacularly sited on infinity edges against the dramatic backdrop of the Moray Firth and landmarks like the Kessock Bridge, Fort George or the Chanonry Lighthouse.
This young pretender has carried off the impossible, having been open less than 2 years not only was it awarded Scottish Golf Course of the Year 2010 but it has now secured a European Tour event and will host the coveted Barclays Scottish Open starting in July 2011
Royal Dornoch Golf Course - Ranked 11th Best Course in the World
Although golf at the Dornoch links dates back to 1616, the club itself dates from 1877 when the Sutherland Golfing Society applied to play golf over the links. It was King Edward VII who bestowed the title 'Royal' on Dornoch Golf Club in 1906. As might be expected the club has a rich history and an association with some of the greatest golfers of the past.
Initially designed Old Tom Morris in 1886 and later modified by JH Taylor and Donald Ross, this course has undergone many subtle changes over the years, mostly lengthening. It has won accolades from many quarters not least from Open champion Tom Watson making it one of the most popular golf courses in Scotland.
The course, like many historic links, goes almost straight out and straight back, but the angle changes subtly at each hole; the greens are big and undulating and many are plateaux requiring well hit shots; nothing is hidden, but it requires a golfer playing at his best to see it all and adjust his strategy. There is plenty of room off the tee, but where to place the drive depends on the wind and the pin positions.
Nairn Championship - Ranked 46th Best Course in the World & Host of 2012 Curtis Cup
Nairn Golf Club, this Traditional Scottish Golf Links Course was created form a wilderness of whins and heather and talents of professional and amateur alike. Founded in 1887 and added to and extended by Archie Simpson, Old Tom Morris and James Braid it is now one of the best course in Scotland. It is regularly chosen for national championships, including the Scottish Amateur, Scottish professional and in 1994 hosted the 'Blue Riband' of the Amateur Calendar the 'Amateur'Championship. Nairn hosted the 37th Walker cup in 1999.
The magnificent New Clubhouse which was built in 1990 is the envy of many and adds to the pleasure of playing at Nairn. As well as the challenging Championship Course,
Other local courses include –
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
Boat of Garten