DETAILED plans have been submitted to Highland Council for US golf legend Arnold Palmer’s first course in Scotland.
More than 50 jobs could be created with the proposed building of the Palmer tribute course at the renowned Castle Stuart Golf Links in partnership with the Arnold Palmer Group.
Plans to develop the course adjacent to the existing links have now been submitted to Highland Council.
It is hoped approval for the new multi-million pound course will be granted in January to allow work to begin next spring, just a couple of months before Castle Stuart hosts the Scottish Open for the fourth time in six years.
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 current on-site team to design and build the new course. The intention is to complete the project in late summer of 2018, ahead of an official opening the following year.
It is predicted that about 30 jobs would be created during the initial 14-month construction period, with ten posts retained for a further year. An additional 20 jobs would be created on-site, including greenkeepers, clubhouse staff and a marketing, sales and administration team.
The Palmer Tribute course is earmarked for a 95-hectare farmland site close to the Inverness-Aberdeen rail line and the Inverness-Ardersier road.
Routing of the new course would ensure that at least seven holes would have the iconic 17th-century Castle Stuart in sight, with ten holes having sea views and five having a local burn featured as both a strategic and an aesthetic element.
Arnold Palmer, who visited Castle Stuart in July, commented: “We are all delighted that the plans for the course are now submitted and look forward to breaking ground next year.
“We have waited a long time to develop our first course in Scotland, the home of golf, and working with the skilled, professional and enthusiastic team at Castle Stuart, we aim to create something truly special.”
The land is already zoned for two golf courses as well as a hotel and guest lodges. It is envisaged separate plans will be put forward at a later stage for proposed infrastructure developments.
Stuart McColm, general manager at Castle Stuart Golf Links, said: “The new course would provide a huge economic boost.”