INVERNESS, Scotland -- Scotland has another world-class links golf course: Castle Stuart Golf Links.
Located in the Scottish Highlands capital of Inverness and developed by Mark Parsinen (the same man who created Kingsbarns Golf Links in St. Andrews), Castle Stuart is another modern links with its own twist on Scotland's centuries-old game.
The golf course features six holes played on a natural, low-lying piece of land, followed by the remainder of the course playing high above it. There are many little subtleties to Gil Hanse's design, including many holes that dogleg toward the sea. Many of the greens have open backdrops, creating an "infinity" affect, which offers nice views but makes depth perception from the fairway an issue.
Opened since 2009, the course was selected to host the Barclays Scottish Open on the European Tour. Castle Stuart, however, isn't a course designed for pros. It's a forgiving course off the tee, where many bunkers only come into play due to very poorly played shots. The defense of the course comes in the greens, which break subtly and can yield some very challenging pin locations.