Arnold Palmer to Design Second Castle Stuart Course

Next week's Scottish Open host Castle Stuart is set to get a second championship golf course

Castle Stuart

Planners have given the go-ahead for a second championship course to be built at Castle Stuart Golf Links to be designed by the Arnold Palmer Group

Arnold Palmer to Design Second Castle Stuart Course

Castle Stuart Golf Links, near Inverness, Scotland, is set to have a brand new championship golf course.

Planners have given their unanimous support for a second course to be built.

Detailed plans to develop the new course, which will be known as the Palmer Tribute course, were lodged with the Highland Council in October.

It will be positioned adjacent to Castle Stuart's current golf course which hosts the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open next week.

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The council’s South Planning Applications Committee approved the proposal, with committee chairman Jimmy Gray saying it was an extremely welcome development.

Castle Stuart

The Kessock Bridge is seen in the distance from the 17th green. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Stuart McColm, general manager at Castle Stuart Golf Links, said: “We are extremely pleased that the committee has approved plans for a second world class course at Castle Stuart Golf Links.

“This decision will allow preparations to continue towards construction getting under way later this year.

“The new course will provide a huge economic boost for Inverness, the Highlands and Scotland. It will strengthen the Highlands’ position as a leading golfing destination and, along with new transport links, help visitors regard it as a gateway for visitors to the Home of Golf.”

“Together with the Arnold Palmer Group, we are acutely aware it has to be developed in the correct way, with community backing and with the support of local and national statutory bodies to protect a sensitive environment.

“As a report to the committee pointed out, our work on the existing course has demonstrated we can create something with worldwide appeal to bring benefit to the area while working within the regulatory framework.”

Castle Stuart

The 17th hole at the Arnold Palmer designed Tralee Golf Club in County Kerry, Ireland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

In 2014 Castle Stuart was awarded the GEO Certified ecolabel, an international symbol of ‘great golf environments’, which recognises golf clubs that have met high standards for performance in nature conservation, water and energy efficiency, ethical and environmental supply chain, pollution control and community engagement, one of only a handful to be awarded in the UK.

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The Palmer Tribute course will be seven-time major winner and Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer’s first course in Scotland.

The Arnold Palmer Group (APG) is investing in the current partnership at Castle Stuart and senior architects from the Arnold Palmer Design Company (APDC) are lined up to join the on-site team to design and build the new course.

Arnold Palmer visited Castle Stuart last year and said the team’s aim is to “create something truly special”.

Around 30 jobs will be created during the initial 14-month construction period, whilst 10 of those will be retained for a further year.

Castle Stuart

An additional 20 jobs will be created on site, including greenkeepers, clubhouse staff and a marketing, sales and admin team.

Seven holes will have the iconic 17th century Castle Stuart in sight, ten holes will have sea views and five will feature a local burn as both a strategic and an aesthetic element

Castle Stuart Golf Links opened in 2009 and has achieved global acclaim in its first seven years.

It staged the Scottish Open for three successive years from 2011-2013, with the 2013 championship, won by Phil Mickelson, reaching a worldwide television audience of more than 500 million.

The championship, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management and the Scottish Government, returns to Castle Stuart from 7-10 July 2016.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5