At Castle Stuart, Mark Parsinen collaborated with Gil Hanse on a links course that rolls over the cliffs and along the Moray Firth.

Images: getty

Castle Stuart Golf Links in Scotland, one of the world’s top 100 GOLF courses, has a new owner, a new name and big plans on the way.

On Monday, Cabot, the company co-founded by Canadian businessman Ben Cowan-Dewar and Bandon Dunes developer Mike Keizer, announced the acquisition of the Scottish property, which it has renamed Cabot Highlands. Course operations will continue uninterrupted, but improvements to the destination are underway as Cabot plans to add accommodations, real estate for sale and, specifically for golfers, a second 18-hole course, designed by renowned architect Tom Doak. .

“Our goal has always been to create lasting memories in magical places, and that certainly fits the bill,” Cowan-Dewar said. “It’s such a wonderful destination in such a beautiful part of the world, the opportunity was almost too good to be true.”

Five minutes from Inverness Airport and within striking distance of renowned Highland courses such as Royal Dornoch, Nairn and Brora, Castle Stuart has been a darling of the design world since opening in 2009. It was designed by Mark Parsinen, who also built Kingbarns. , in St. Andrews. At Castle Stuart, Parsinen collaborated with Gil Hanse on a link that runs over cliffs and along the Moray Firth, with endless, water-backed greens and long views of the Highlands. The course ranks 77th on GOLF’s current World Top 100 list and has hosted the Scottish Open four times.

Castle Stuart has hosted four Scottish Opens.

Images: getty

The purchase of Castle Stuart is the latest headline move for the Cabot team, whose growing portfolio of destinations includes Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (home to two of the world’s top 100 GOLF courses, Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs) and a pair of highly anticipated projects: Cabot Saint Lucia, planned for the end of 2022 on the island of the same name; and Cabot Revelstoke, currently underway in British Columbia. Earlier this year, Cabot also acquired its first US property, 45-hole World Woods, Florida, which is currently undergoing renovations and has been renamed Cabot Citrus Farms.

At their destination in the Highlands, Cowan-Dewar said he and the Cabot team were proud to carry on the legacy of Parsinen, who died in 2019, aged 70. Alongside the original Castle Stuart course, Parsinen had long envisioned a par-3 course and a second 18-hole course. This recently completed short course will have its grand opening next year (it’s currently open to limited preview play). Construction of the new Doak-designed 18, which will be routed around a 400-year-old castle, will begin next year with an opening scheduled for 2024.

Real estate sales will begin in Cabot Highlands in 2023.

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A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a contributor to GOLF Magazine since 2004 and now contributes to all GOLF platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Have Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.