The work of entrepreneurial golf designer Mark Parsinen and renowned course architect Gil Hanse, Cabot Highlands (formerly known as Castle Stuart) played host to three consecutive Scottish Opens between 2011 and 2013 and hosted it once more in 2016 – when Alex Noren sealed the victory.
On the Moray Firth with views eastwards towards Chanonry Point, north to the Black Isle and west towards the Kessock Bridge and Dornoch beyond, this is an exhilarating setting for golf.
The course has been designed to be playable by golfers of all standards. As such, it’s relatively generous from the tees. However, there’s an emphasis on placement with the drive
The green complexes are sloping and it’s important to approach these from the correct angle in order to get near the pins. This is a layout where strategy is to the fore. The short par-4 3rd provides a good example of this. It’s drivable with a favourable wind but anything narrowly missing the putting surface will leave a fiendishly difficult pitch. The correct way to play the hole is to lay up and approach with a full wedge shot.
Golfers must be aware of the areas of ‘rumple’ – small hillocks and hollows – as well as the partially revetted bunkers. It’s an extremely versatile course and it is no surprise that it’s already hosted four Scottish Opens. The course is set over a fabulous stretch of coastline with a number of the most striking holes played right along the water’s edge.
Cabot Highlands eye-catching, art deco-inspired clubhouse offers panoramic views of the course and surrounding countryside from all three floors