Sunday, August 14, 2011

Castle Stuart Golf Links

           Being in close proximity to both Dornoch and Nairn, Castle Stuart Golf Links is definitely the “new kid on the block” being only two years old. Located in Inverness, Scotland, it is a rural course, and is worth the long drive. When I was offered the chance to go play Castle Stuart with a group of St Andrews golfers for a mere 25 pounds, with free transportation, I jumped on the opportunity.

            The day we played the course was some of the worst weather in which I have ever played golf. We saw every form of weather, short of snow, during the four-hour beating.  There was hail which felt like getting shot with BB guns, horizontal rain which stung any exposed skin, high winds which put any shot above the ground at its mercy, and sunshine which made us sweat under our Galvin Greens. The moment at which I knew Castle Stuart was a good course was while standing on the 18th fairway, having lost eight or so balls, covering my eyes for fear of having them put out by hail, and thinking, “I wish I could go around again!”
            Six of the holes on the course are bordering water. These holes are truly on the water and when the tide is high, water can be splashing up next to the tee boxes, greens, and fairways. One of the best examples of this is on the first hole with a hillside of gorse on the left, and the water splashing on the player’s right. The 10th is a spectacular hole with the player hitting from an elevated tee down to the fairway, which has the water running down the entire left side. The remaining twelve holes that are not bordering the water are no letdown. The views are spectacular and each hole poses a challenge to the player. 
            The Scottish Open was just held at Castle Stuart. The course received tons of rain before and during the week, which led to a shortened event and very low scoring. I hope that this low scoring and the poor conditions don’t taint anyone’s view of Castle Stuart and what it has to offer. I will hopefully make a trip back to the rural location within the next year!

***A more extensive blog post with more hole descriptions and pictures will be posted upon a future trip to the course. 

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