Castle Stuart Golf Course – Is this the new Kingsbarns or have we stumbled across something even better?
Set amongst the impressive sand dunes of Inverness, a golfing masterpiece has emerged that looks set to challenge the ancient golf links of Scotland. In the mould of Kingsbarns and the Castle Course, which have received rave reviews despite their relative infancy, Castle Stuart offers a golfing experience that captivates the mind and tests every element on in your golfing armoury. With impressive vistas across the Moray Firth, it not only is pleasing on the eye but has been designed to ensure every level of golfer is tested to the very best of their ability. With undulating fairways and greens golfers must place each shot in the perfect position to ensure their next shot is as easy as possible, a shot on the wrong side of the hole can leave a perilous chip shot over a pot bunker, this course is not for the faint hearted!
These uneven lies are caused by the use of ‘rumple’ (natural depressions of the land – seen left) which gives the course an ancient and pure feel. The ‘rumple’ effect can cause uneven lies and bring the very best out of your short game as strike and judging the roll of uphill and downhill lies becomes paramount to getting the ball up and down and securing par. With the par-72 layout measuring more than 7,000 yards from the championship markers golfers getting anywhere near this mark will have to be supreme players in the wind and of the rights and wrongs of links golf. The need for accuracy off the tee is paramount with 8 holes bordering the Moray Firth and Castle Stuart Bay, if the wind howls there will be plenty of heart in mouth shots as tee-shots starting in the water are gently caressed back into the fairway. One of the best features of Castle Stuart golf course is the use of natural sand dunes and superb earth works which gives each hole a private amphitheatre feel.
The land which Castle Stuart is built upon has a history which dates back to the times of Mary Queen of Scots. Some of the features which Gil Hanse and Mark Parsinen have designed give the course a natural feel which ensures your golfing experience is as pure and ‘ancient’ as the links courses of Scotland which have defined its golfing history. The only element which separates Castle Stuart from the likes of St. Andrews or Muirfield is the condition of the course which due to its age does mean the greens and fairways are slightly softer than their older compatriots. This slight criticism is only due to its youth and also if you are comparing it simply against other links course, the layout at Castle Stuart, in my opinion, can stand up against any course in the UK links or otherwise.
Anyone travelling to this special golfing area of the highlands is spoilt for choice when deciding on their next golfing holiday. With the likes of the MacDonald Aviemore Resort, Boat of Garten, Nairn and Royal Dornoch all within easy reach this looks set to become a new golfing destination built upon age old roots. Your Golf Travel.com offers golf tours to Castle Stuart starting from just £289 per person including two night’s bed & breakfast and three rounds of golf, for more information simply call 0800 043 6644 or visit www.yourgolftravel.com.