The Home of Golf is enjoying a surge of new projects
CABOT HIGHLANDS, Inverness
In June 2022, golf development firm Cabot announced plans for its first property in the UK. The brand, known for its established Cabot Cape Breton property in Nova Scotia and projects in progress in Saint Lucia, British Columbia, and Florida, acquired esteemed Scottish links Castle Stuart on the Moray Firth, where it plans to build a second course by Tom Doak to add to the original Gil Hanse layout. A short course is in progress and is scheduled to open in 2023, while Doak’s layout is expected to be ready by 2024. The new Cabot Highlands will include upscale, modern cottages inspired by the Scottish countryside and also feature restaurants, retail, and community gathering points.
DUNDONALD LINKS, Ayrshire
As part of a £25 million investment by owner Darwin Escapes, Dundonald Links in western Scotland has transformed into a luxurious modern golf resort with the addition of a new clubhouse featuring a Michelin-caliber restaurant, a whisky tasting room, 22 hotel rooms, and 18 luxury lodges (two-, four-, and six-bedroom options), with access to a private practice putting green. The resort also made enhancements to the golf course, designed in 2003 by Kyle Phillips, adding a new halfway house called “The Bothy,” as it prepares to host its fourth Ladies Scottish Open in 2022 and Final Qualifying for the Open in 2023.
THE ANGUS, Dundee
Work is set to commence this summer on a £100 million golf resort on the Shank of Omachie in the Angus countryside. Built around a signature golf course designed by 2011 Open champion Darren Clarke—complete with clubhouse, driving range, and golf academy—The Angus will be the area’s first five-star hotel, with 175 guest rooms, rooftop sky bar, spa, leisure facilities, and accommodations in 160 houses and 10 luxury lodges. With a planned opening of 2024, the project is expected to generate 300-plus jobs and more than £40m annually to the local economy, according to The Herald Scotland.
The R&A has submitted updated plans to Glasgow City Council for turning the existing golf course at Lethamhill into a new community golf facility. Plans for the new development, expected to open in the spring of 2023, include a 52-bay, floodlit, double-decker driving range, 9-hole course, short game area, and “adventure golf” as well as non-golf amenities such as paddle tennis courts and nature trails. A hub building will house a café, retail space, and nursery, and be large enough to host community events. “Our aim is to create a destination for golf that is welcoming and attractive to all members of the family,” says Chief Executive of the R&A Martin Slumbers.
ST. ANDREWS BAY, Fife
News broke in April 2022 that a bid had been initiated to establish a new golf course at the Fairmont St. Andrews hotel, two miles from the town of St. Andrews. Owners of St. Andrews Bay Development, which purchased the site in 2019, are aiming to redevelop the existing 18-hole Torrance and Kittocks courses into one world-class design. Mackenzie & Ebert, known for its work on various Open Championship venues, has been recruited to create the new course with hopes of cracking the world top 100 and attracting European Tour events. The proposal suggests the new course will incorporate the best parts of the existing layouts and make better use of the landscape: According to Martin Ebert, as many as eight greens could be perched on the edge of cliffs overlooking St. Andrews.
COUL LINKS, Sutherland
A new plan has been submitted to build a golf course at Coul Links on the shores of the Dornoch Firth after the original proposal was rejected by Scottish Ministers two years ago for environmental reasons. A local group called Communities for Coul (C4C) delivered a plan that includes restoring and protecting the Coul Links Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on the east coast of Sutherland as well as a world-class golf course. Once again, developer Mike Keiser and designers Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw have committed to build the project if permission is granted. The new plan is said to address concerns raised in the former application, including reducing the amount of land used and mowing fairways out of native grasses.