Castle Stuart Blog
The official course record of 64 set in the Barclays Scottish Open is shared by Graeme McDowell, Angel Cabrera, and Paul Lawrie – all winners of ‘major championships’ (Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach; Angel Cabrera, the 2007 US Open at Oakmont; and Paul Lawrie, the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie).
World Number One Luke Donald wins 2011 Barclays Scottish Open. After a freak storm shortened the tournament to 54 holes, Donald surged from 1 shot back of the leaders with 9 birdies in the final round to win by 4 shots. The Barclays Scottish Open was Donald’s first win as World Number One.
Finding a winning hamburger may sometimes be as elusive as winning an important golf tournament. In Scotland most hamburger is very finely ‘single’ ground using very lean meat. Compared to these ‘steak-like’ hamburgers, American burgers are coarsely ‘double’ ground leaving more air porosity to carry just enough fat for flavour. At Castle Stuart, our burgers are 97% mature Scottish Highlands topside beef (hung for 14 days), ‘double’ ground coarsely (5mm diameter), with 3% topside fat, and cooked with finely diced onions sauteed in butter with sea salt and cracked black pepper added. At 7 ounces, a tasty feast for the King of the Castle for sure.
‘Loo’ with a view. Castle Stuart’s clubhouse enjoys stunning panoramic views of the Moray Firth and defining local landmarks. Every aspect of the clubhouse design emphasised sharing these views with the westerly orientation in order to enjoy them while basking in the afternoon sun often seen shimmering across the firth. The views and setting sun are to be enjoyed from the outdoor patios to the exterior clubhouse decks to the men’s locker room to the top floor lounge to, yes, even the men’s locker room ‘loo’ and showers. Our question was simple: why not? So as the links course itself has been designed with the views in mind, so has every element possible in the clubhouse. Why not!
The ‘finialled ogee’ open crown spire atop Castle Stuart is the defining architectural element of the now ‘listed’ castle built in 1625 as well as the logo symbol for Castle Stuart Golf Links established in 2009. When Mary Queen of Scots returned to Scotland in 1561, she gave the land surrounding and including the site of Castle Stuart to her half-brother James Stuart and granted him the title ‘Earl of Moray’ and he ruled Scotland as Regent on her behalf. Castle Stuart was built, however, by James Stuart, the 3rd Earl of Moray. The defining open crown spire was clearly influenced by other medieval crown steeples and spires, perhaps even the crown spire of St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, erected in 1495 (see top photo image). The open spire logo element of Castle Stuart Golf Links pays homage to its direct and indirect Scottish lineage.
Tomatin distillery have joined forces with Castle Stuart Golf Links, The Nairn Golf Club & Royal Dornoch Golf Club to launch the Tomatin Single Malt 54 Hole Pro Am. The event will take place from the 1st – 3rd of October 2012 and over 75 teams will compete over these world famous links courses for a share of the £60,000 prize fund. Further information can be found at www.highlandgolflinks.com
On Wednesday the 24th of January Scotland’s golf industry took over a small corner of Orlando in which to host it’s annual industry golf day. The event is now in it’s 8th year and 76 individuals representing a who’s who of world golf tourism gathered together at Osprey Ridge Golf Course for a great networking day prior to the 2012 PGA Show.
Castle Stuart Golf Links was exhibiting at the 2012 PGA Show in Orlando as part of the Highlands Golf Links booth on the Scotland Stand. The show is now in it’s 58th year and plays host to 41,000 Golf Industry Professionals and over 1,000 golf related brands and products from all over the world and is therefore a great platform in which to tell the golfing world about the wonderful Links golf product available within the Highlands of Scotland.
Castle Stuart Golf Links has been conceived in homage to the aspects of links golf that make it a game about “shot-making, creativity and imagination… where you can still loft a high ball, but you can also make use of contours to play more inventive shots that roll up to the target… it’s all about the running game… the core of FineGolf” (Lorne Smith). We at Castle Stuart embrace the game on the ground and agree with Lorne Smith of finegolf.co.uk about the endearing playing characteristics of fast-and-firm fescue-based playing surfaces on the sandy-soil structures that define the perfect links land. In Castle Stuart’s course design, we have emphasised the following:
“On the whole, let the player see the result of a good play; let him see his shot carry a hazard, his drive take a favorable contour, or his approach nestle close to a pin… Green contours and especially those at the edges should reflect the topography of surrounding landforms and be readable or at least intuited from considerable distance. Intuitive perception from distance is important; green contours and those at the edges have meaning to the links-style forward release of the ball and therefore to angles of approach which result from lines of play chosen at the tee. Some driving lines should be rewarded with angles into green contours that are favourable (e.g., that can gather a releasing ball toward a desirable position or deflect a release from an undesirable one) or easy to gauge (e.g., that allow a straight-and-true release rather than a deflecting one); conversely, other driving lines should result in angles which turn green contours from supportive or manageable to troublesome or confounding. Let the player come to realize that some contours within the green and near its edges are to be used while others are to be avoided; contours are always to be considered; greenside bunkers and abrupt falloffs (a severe form of contour) should be coordinated with the concept of contours and approach angles. Greens and their immediate surrounds should be generous enough to constitute manageable targets under windy conditions, and should provide for running shots under the wind, especially from the preferred angle of approach” (excerpted from Castle Stuart Course Design Goals 2004 by Mark Parsinen).
And as Lorne Smith has noted, Castle Stuart is “a unique, fast-running course in a stunningly picturesque location. The philosophical heart of the design of this course is in the right place.” If links-style opportunities for playing an inventive ground game versus an aerial-approach-only game seem of interest, please visit and enjoy Lorne Smith’s website finegolf.co.uk and read the article “The Finer Things in Life” about Lorne Smith in Golf Monthly UK after downloading the PDF attached here.
Including winner Ernie Els, four of the top eight finishers at the 2012 Open Championship held at Royal Lytham & St Annes played in the prior week’s Scottish Open at Castle Stuart. Six of the sub-par rounds in the Open’s Sunday play in windy conditions also competed in Sunday’s winds in the final round of Castle Stuart’s Scottish Open. A number of the competitors at Royal Lytham & St Annes called the prior week’s play over the links at Castle Stuart a perfect preparation for getting their links shot-making in order. Castle Stuart’s welcome letter in the Scottish Open Tournament Programme set the tone for its role by concluding, “Our goal for the course has always been that it not be difficult for the sake of being difficult, but rather that it be interesting and engaging; and in this particular event, that it offer an opportunity for each competitor to find his ‘links groove’ for the following week’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes. We expect to see birdies, eagles, fascinating turns of fortune, and an exciting finish to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. We will applaud a champion whose score goes low because the best players in the world are that good”
Jeev Milkha Singh wins the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff with Francesco Molinari. Singh is the highest-ranking Indian on the European Tour having won 20 professional tournaments worldwide including the 2006 Volvo China Open, the 2006 Volvo Masters, and the 2008 Barclays Singapore Open. He first broke into the top 100 in 2006. Congratulations on his final round score of 67, the lowest score in Sunday’s ‘testing’ wind.
Former Open Champion Paul Lawrie visited Castle Stuart Golf Links on Friday, the host venue for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, to open the new season and launch an exciting new green fee special offer initiative.
Every person who purchases a day ticket for the event will receive a £10 voucher or indeed a £25 voucher on purchasing a season ticket that can be redeemed against a green fee at Castle Stuart. Only one voucher can be used on any single green fee or local four ball. Vouchers are only valid for the 2013 golfing season at Castle Stuart, from March 22 to November 24