Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

The real beauty of the visually striking Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links is its clever design – generous off the tee before asking sterner questions of your approach play

Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links
Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links 9th hole and clubhouse
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)

Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links Key Information

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
AddressDalcross, Inverness, IV2 7JL
Phone Number01463 796111
Green Fees£140 - £405
Visitor Times7 days
Slope Rating141 (Black), 136 (White), 132 (Green), 135 (Blue), 128 (Red)
Designed byGil Hanse
Golf Monthly Verdict

Castle Stuart Golf Club - general view

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A great modern take on the Scottish links, Castle Stuart delivers on a number of levels. It's visually stunning and presents a firm but fair challenge, with many highly memorable holes. The playing surfaces are of excellent quality and the clubhouse and practice facilities are top-notch to boot.


– Beautiful setting for golf with views across the Moray Firth

– Great example of the modern links course

– Fabulous facilities - A wonderful clubhouse and a brilliant putting green!


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 20

This beauty of a modern links on the Moray Firth, created by the late Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse, has been a firm fixture in the top-30 of our rankings since first making its entry in our 2011/12 edition.

The early holes on both nines play in different directions along a lower shelf right beside the Firth, with the water highly adjacent on the right heading out, and the back nine then playing away from the clubhouse and vast putting green in the opposite direction with the Firth in play for a hook.

The course is laid out over two levels with the later holes on both nines climbing to a plateau set above the Firth, where cracking views across to the Black Isle threaten to distract you from the task in hand at almost every turn.

Thankfully, generous fairways allow room to manoeuvre off the tee on many holes, with considerable additional thought often then required on the approach, where a variety of potential pitfalls await miscues both major and minor.

The green complexes are simply magnificent, with bunkers and run-offs waiting to catch errant balls, and a number of the greens themselves capable of perplexing the most able of putters at times should they stray out of position.

It is the splendour of the views, coupled with its playability off the tee, that has prompted many a golfer to rate Castle Stuart among the very best modern courses in the UK. There’s much less scope for your enjoyment to be compromised by a disappointing – and expensive - lost ball count.

Among a host of good holes, the short risk-reward par-4 3rd stands out for its sheer ingenuity, not to mention beauty.

It’s eminently reachable in the right wind, but with the Firth awaiting a cut or block, the tendency is to end up on the left if you go for it. From here it will sometimes be tricky to salvage even par, let alone the birdie you were eyeing up on the tee.

The well-executed shot is suitably rewarded, while the poor shot could leave you scratching your head. Isn’t that the way golf should be?

The clubhouse offers tremendous views and excellent food and drink. Take a moment to test your skills on the enormous putting green - Great fun.

Castle Stuart Golf Links

The early holes on the front nine have the Firth on the right (Photo: Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Richard Healy UK&I Top 100 panel
Richard Healy

A fantastically testing design, ripples, rumples  and elevation changes offer a wide variety of challenges and choices for the player. The design is intriguing, each combination of challenges (greens with no bunkers, infinity greens, pot bunkers, risk reward holes running out to the estuary, and other hazards) offer variety, draw the most from players and ensure you are kept thinking the whole way round.

Tim Browne UK&I Top 100 panel
Tim Browne

The setting is lovely and the iconic clubhouse looks terrific. The views over the Moray Firth are excellent. A very enjoyable test of golf. The creator, the late Mark Parsinen, would have been very pleased how this facility has developed over the years. I am sure Cabot will continue the good work in the future.

Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links Location

Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links Green Fees

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1st May - 31st OctRow 0 - Cell 1
18 holes£270
36 holes£405
18 holes PGA/BIGGA member£90
18 holes Scottish Golf Member£140
36 holes Scottish Golf Member£240

For further information on booking, contact the club via their website.

Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links Scorecard

Castle Stuart Golf Links scorecard

(Image credit: Cabot Highlands)

Best Courses Near to Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links



Nairn delivers typical Scottish links golf. It’s an out-and-back layout with the sea visible on every hole. Recent improvements by Tom Mackenzie have greatly enhanced the offering.

During the summer months the fairways are fast-running and covered in humps and hollows. The greens are famously true and can become perplexingly pacey.



The philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie said of his home in Dornoch, “If there is heaven on earth, it is here.” It is a captivating place that will leave an indelible imprint on the memory.

It’s a beautiful setting and an equally attractive golf course, the holes blend so naturally with the surroundings it would be hard to believe it has not existed since time began.

Best Places to Stay Near Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links

Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness - Book now at
Set in four acres of beautiful gardens, the Kingsmill Hotel has a spa, a swimming pool and free parking. Inverness city centre is just one mile away and Castle Stuart is just a 15 minute drive. Guests have full use of the leisure club, with a sauna, steam room, spa bath and gym.

Culloden House Hotel - Book now at
An elegant Georgian, country house hotel. There are 28 bedrooms, lavishly furnished and individually styled. There's great food and dining and the hotel is just a short drive from Cabot Highlands.

Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links Gallery

Cabot Highlands Castle Stuart Golf Links Historical Top 100 Ranking UK&I

  • 2023/24 - 20
  • 2021/22 - 21
  • 2019/20 - 19
  • 2017/18 - 21
  • 2015/16 - 23
  • 2013/14 - 25
  • 2011/12 - 25

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a dress code at Castle Stuart?

What is the speed of play policy at Castle Stuart?

The website states - "Castle Stuart honours tradition by operating as a walking facility. All matches should keep pace with the match in front and cooperate with rangers when requested to do so. Golfers not keeping pace on the course will be asked to ‘stand aside’ to allow faster groups through."

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response