Arnold Palmer team to take stake in Castle Stuart


Arnold Palmer team to take stake in Castle Stuart
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Castle Stuart owner Mark Parsinen has announced the Arnold Palmer group has become a partner in the Scottish Highlands resort, and its design team will work in collaboration with him on the resort’s second course, which is planned to start construction early next year.

Parsinen said that the two groups had been in discussion for over a year, and that work on the new course’s routing was already well advanced. Palmer architects Thad Layton and Brandon Johnson will both work on the project, alongside Parsinen, Castle Stuart general manager Stuart McColm and course manager Chris Haspell. Construction will be handled in house.

“We were over there for two weeks recently with Mark and his team, and on that visit we jointly came up with a routing plan,” Layton told GCA. “The site is to the south west of the existing course, and the routing is essentially out and back. There will be a new dormie house near the start of the course, which will play around the old castle.”

Brandon Johnson added that, although a routing had been agreed, he anticipated it would be tweaked, and that the course would be built very much in the field by agreement between all concerned.

“For us, the chance to design in the field is a great opportunity,” he said. “It will be a lot of fun, but it’s also a chance to buck the received wisdom that a big name design firm just draws plans and then leaves it at that. Working with Mark is invigorating – he is a very intelligent person with lots of ideas. It’s really a team approach – Mark is client, partner and friend, and we’re all in this together.”