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Scotland’s Castle Stuart Gets New Owner & Second Course

The thirteen-year-old Castle Stuart, one of the Scottish Highland’s premier seaside links golf courses, has been acquired by Cabot Golf Developers. The name will change to ‘Cabot Highlands’ with the rebrand.

Castle Stuart Golf Links opened in 2009 to wide acclaim. The golf course was designed by Gil Hanse and Mark Pasinen alongside the Moray Firth, near Nairn Golf Club and almost opposite Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club. The golf course ranks No. 4 on Golfweek’s Best list of modern courses in Great Britain and Ireland, and No. 72 in The World by Golf Digest.

Adding further to the announcement is a brand new course to the existing 18-hole layout. Works will begin under the watchful eye of American Tom Doak who designed Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand and Streamsong Blue in Florida. The Cabot Highlands Resort, as it will be known, will feature 36-holes of golf in the Scottish Highlands, designed completely by Americans and owned by a Canadian-run firm. Other prominent golf courses in Scotland designed by North Americans include Kingsbarns (Kyle Phillips), Trump International Links Aberdeen (Martin Hawtree).

Image of the Northern Lights over the Caslte Stuart Clubhouse, Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness, Scotland
Castle Stuart’s Art Deco Clubhouse, Moray Firth, Scotland.

CEO and Co-Founder of Cabot Ben Cowan-Dewar mentioned in a press release: “We are honoured to be a steward of the land and carry the original vision for the property forward. Our goal is to create unforgettable memories in magical places, and there are few places in the world more awe-inspiring than the Scottish Highlands.” 

The new golf course at Castle Stuart, soon to be Cabot Highlands, will play around the existing castle where the old Castle Stuart name was drawn from. The golf course will have significant water frontage but will sit lower than the first course, with less wind exposure, wide fairways and dramatic-yet-practical bunkers. Anyone who has played Doak’s golf courses will be accustomed to his style of golf course design which a wide range of shot-making on a relatively open expanse, but the wrong shot can cause nightmares. As always, his greens are subtle and nuanced. 

With planning for the golf course will begin in Autumn of 2022 and construction will begin in 2023, with completion in 2024.

Image of the 9th green and clubhouse at the Castle Stuart Golf Links, Inverness, Scotland
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