Excerpt from my 2009 article on Castle Stuart
Castle Stuart is Mark Parsinen’s follow-up to Kingsbarns, and as such, nothing is being left to chance. Work started on the pay-and-play course in 2006 and every care is being taken to ensure this northerly track plays and looks as good as its predecessor.
Located six miles east of Inverness and banking onto the Moray Firth, the site is blessed with fantastic outlooks across to the Kessock Bridge and the Black Isle, and now there’s a golf course to match the vistas. “We’ve worked hard to bring heather and marim into the mix and not rely on gorse,” says Parsinen. “When we did Kingsbarns, it was monochromatic – tight-mowed fairways, sheep’s fescue and roughs, and the gorse took three or four years to grow in. Here we already had mature gorse, so from day one the landscape mosaic was more interesting.”
This time, Parsinen shared the design responsibilities with Gil Hanse so while there will be undoubted similarities to the Fife course, there’ll also be some changes. “People will notice a difference in the greens and the recovery issues they’ll face,” he said. “The greens will be smaller but once you’re on them, you’ll have a more manageable putting situation.”