Scotland, United Kingdom
This stunning championship course at Castle Stuart opened in 2009, and already has a remarkable history hosting some of the world’s leading golfers in the European Tour’s Scottish Open on four occasions. The spectacular setting overlooking the Moray Firth offers visitors a memorable seascape punctuated with local landmarks such as the Kessock Bridge, Chanonry Lighthouse, Fort George and Ben Wyvis.
Designed by Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse, the Links Course at Castle Stuart is regarded as a model for modern golf course architecture, being fun, engaging and playable for golfers of all abilities, whilst challenging for the very best. At Castle Stuart, nature bequeathed an opportunity for a links golf course to enjoy a rich landscape texture of whins, gorse and broom, heather and marram – a landscape mosaic of rugged beauty. It is a true links experience with rumpled fairways, offering changes in lie and stance; partially revetted, natural bunkers and infinity edge greens that allow the scenery and key landmarks to be put on display.
The course has won plaudits from some of golf’s leading players and writers, including Phil Mickelson – winner of the 2013 Scottish Open at Castle Stuart and one week later the The Open championship – who said: “It should almost be a prerequisite to play Castle Stuart before you are allowed to design golf courses.” Three years later, when the Scottish Open returned to Castle Stuart, Mickleson added: “I love coming back here. I love Castle Stuart. I’ve loved the golf course even before I played well in 2013.”