Played by NCG: Castle Stuart
Reason for a Castle Stuart Golf Links review
The Highlands has been the area of Scotland I have been wanting for visit for a few years and tick off some bucket list courses. I first saw the club on TV a couple of years ago hosting the Scottish Open and had to see it for myself.
Where is Castle Stuart?
A 15-minute drive from Inverness and, crucially, the town’s airport. We drove from Leeds which was just over the six-hour mark.
What to expect
A first-class experience from start to finish. Driving in through the gates you are greeted at the bag drop, walk into the clubhouse and you can see out onto the course an amazing panoramic view backgrounded by the sea, perfect practice facilities and a short walk to the best bit – the 1st tee.
For people lucky enough to have visited Kingsbarns it reminded me much of there – amazing service, amazing course which is friendly off the tee but protected by undulating greens and big run offs.
So many to choose from with so many stunning holes down the coastline, but for me it has to be the short par-3 11th hole hitting straight out into the sea with a wedge to a well-guarded green.
The par-3 17th also deserves a special mention as a fantastic hole but it was a 3-iron rather than a wedge!
My best bit
I found the fairway off the 1st tee then hit a 9-iron to the heart of the green. It was quickly followed by my worst bit – a three-putt.
What to look out for
The greens here are crazy undulating. They can tuck pins away on little plateaus and if you get on the wrong side of these getting up and down is near impossible.
That said other pins can be in bowl like areas in which it all feeds in and lends a hand.
When I go back
I would say get there in good time and don’t rush to leave. A couple of pints and a putting competition on their practice green after is almost as much fun as the real course.