Golf Monthly - - Rory Mcilroy -

I’d played Cas­tle Stu­art twice be­fore, and my feel­ing af­ter the lat­est visit was that there can be few, if any, bet­ter mod­ern cour­ses in the UK than this splen­did lay­out along the Mo­ray Firth.

The de­sign is in­ge­nious. Usu­ally there is plenty of room to ma­noeu­vre off the tee, then con­sid­er­able thought re­quired on ap­proaches, where nu­mer­ous pit­falls – bunkers, run-offs and tricky greens – await mis­cues.

The front nine opens up with the Firth highly ad­ja­cent on the right, while the back nine plays away from the club­house 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 that of­fers up com­mand­ing views and some ex­hil­a­rat­ing golf.

Among a host of ex­cel­lent holes, the short risk-and-re­ward par-4 3rd stands out. It’s em­i­nently reach­able in the right wind, yet some­times tricky to make even a par should you miss in the wrong place. Isn’t that the way golf should be? Stats: par 72, 6,553 yards W: castlestu­art­ GF: £190 per round; £235 per day

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