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Cabot buys Castle Stuart and unveils plans for new course and luxury property development

9.57am 28th June 2022 - Course Development - This story was updated on Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

Canada-based golf resort developer Cabot has announced the acquisition of Castle Stuart Golf Links in Scotland. It has revealed plans to change its name to Cabot Highlands and build an additional 18-hole course designed by Tom Doak and a property development.

Ben Cowan-Dewar, CEO and co-founder of Cabot, said: “Castle Stuart has been considered a benchmark of exceptional Scottish golf since it first opened 13 years ago. We are honoured to be a steward of the land and carry the original vision for the property forward. Our goal is to create unforgettable memories in magical places, and there are few places in the world more awe-inspiring than the Scottish Highlands.”

Located just five minutes from the Inverness Airport, and within driving distance from some of the most famous courses in the region, including Royal Dornoch, Nairn, Brora and Skibo Castle, Castle Stuart’s golf course is routed along the shores of the Moray Firth, and enjoys panoramic views of well-known landmarks, including Kessock Bridge and Chanonry Lighthouse.

Designed by the late Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse, Castle Stuart features holes framed by the water’s edge on one side and bluffs on the other, with rumpled fairway contours and infinity-edged greens that seem perched on cliffs directly over the sea. The property also features an art-deco inspired clubhouse, a practice facility and a putting green. A new short course is open for preview play and is set for its official opening in the 2023.

Cabot plans to build a second course designed by golf course architect Tom Doak. Located on a pristine piece of land, the course will play around Castle Stuart’s 400-year-old castle. The course will incorporate natural contours, meandering through hillsides and expansive open land with several holes along the water. Planning for the course will begin in fall 2022 and construction will begin in 2023 with a planned opening in 2024.

“I’m thrilled to partner with Ben Cowan-Dewar and the Cabot team,” said Doak. “We have been searching for the perfect destination for years. Our goal is to create a distinctly Scottish golf experience that appeals to players at all levels with an authentic links-style course that puts the golf holes front and centre.”

Real estate will be a key component of the community with sales expected to begin in 2023. The property will feature cottages with upscale, modern touches inspired by the alluring landscape of the Scottish countryside. When homeowners are not in residence, their homes will be available as luxury accommodations for visiting guests. The Cabot Highlands property will be completed with retail, restaurants and communal gathering points.

“I couldn’t think of a better partner than Cabot to lead our next chapter. The work that’s been done at Cabot Cape Breton on the courses and within the community speaks for itself, and I know our beloved founder, Mark Parsinen, would be proud of the plans ahead to fulfill his original vision for the destination,” said Stuart McColm, general manager of Castle Stuart and the forthcoming Cabot Highlands. “Not only is this significant golf news, it is also a major boost for the regional economy of the Highlands.”

Neil McInnes, Corporate Finance Partner at Grant Thornton in Scotland, said: “The acquisition of Castle Stuart by Cabot will bring significant investment and jobs to the local area, further boosting the North of Scotland’s visitor economy. Cabot is a world-class operator of high-quality resorts and we are delighted to have supported them on this transaction through our international network.” 

Cabot’s portfolio of resorts currently includes Cabot Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, the Cabot Saint Lucia resort community set to open in early 2023, and Cabot Revelstoke in development in British Columbia. Cabot recently announced the acquisition of its first US property in Florida, soon to be known as Cabot Citrus Farms.

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