Review for Castle Stuart

Reviewer Score:


At Castle Stuart, Mark Parsinen and his team believe they’ve improved on Kingsbarns. I think they’re right, but only in the tiniest details, which is of course what it gets down to when you start talking about courses as wonderful as these two. I guess Castle Stuart is more spectacular, just, to look at I mean, with carefully considered views, or rather their revealing is carefully considered. And I guess Castle Stuart is just a jot more fascinating to play. I say that because the differences between a good shot and a bad shot here are incredibly subtle. And the bad shot won’t result in a lost ball. The fairways are massive. In fact, you won’t even know you’ve hit a bad shot until you play again and reconsider the hole very very carefully. It’s like Augusta, before the Tiger-proofing (Parsinen loves Alastair Mackenzie). And with the changes in elevation it’s like Dornoch (Parsinen often plays there). I adored the third hole, a 300 yard par four played to an infinity green. There’s bunkering at layup range, none at greenside, but there are brilliant swales and hollows short and left which did for me this time but which I’ll be ready for the next. I loved five, the simple sweeping dogleg with a hidden bunker behind the green. I loved nine (the green especially). And I loved 17 and 18. Hey, I loved them all. I’d originally visited in winter but returned on September 10, 2009, and the course looked excellent. Some rough, but not much, is still to grow in. The greens will be better in their second (full) year, the fairways too. I believe this might soon be the best course on the British isles. It’s worth mentioning that all the staff we met there, from top to bottom, were professional and charming. It’s quite an experience: California comes to Inverness. ANGLOSCOT

Date: September 16, 2009

Read all reviews about Castle Stuart

Read all reviews from this reviewer