This week Jack Nicklaus has been in Stonehaven, some 10 miles south of Aberdeen, following the announcement that the 1,500 acre Ury Estate is to become home to a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
The spectacular site, which spans at least 160 acres of the Mearns countryside, has commanding views extending to the North Sea and, says the Nicklaus design team, “offers unrivalled landscape for a memorable golf experience.”
Jack Nicklaus himself says he is looking forward to the challenge of infusing his course design with the incredible Mearns scenery, including the majestic centrepiece of Ury House. The house, which has been empty since the 1950s, will be restored to its former glory and converted into the golf clubhouse, complete with function and conference facilities.
This will become only the second Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Scotland, following The PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles, which opened in 1993 and has been chosen as the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Under the investment plans, the picturesque estate is also to be the location for an extensive range of much-wanted outdoor leisure facilities for the local community, as well as creating hotel facilities to blend in with the awe-inspiring estate setting.
FM Developments Ltd of Edinburgh was granted planning approval last year to create the golf course. Graeme Webster, of Niblick Golf Design, designed the initial course and will work with Nicklaus Design on the construction of the new course.
In May, FM Developments lodged its master plan with Aberdeenshire Council for its golf and leisure resort at Ury Estate. Hotel accommodation apartments would be created within the picturesque walled garden area, with golf lodges in the valley overlooking the golf course.
A series of four hamlets around the edge of the estate is also included in the plans. The inspiration for the design of the hamlets originates with the traditional layout of villages in the Stonehaven area.
Richard Milne, director of FM Developments Ltd, said, “It is a great honour for someone with such stature as Jack Nicklaus to put his name to Ury Estate. It reinforces our faith in the potential of the estate to become a golf resort with an abundance of leisure facilities for the local community and to attract visitors to Stonehaven and surrounding areas.”
The Stonehaven proposal, which has been welcomed by the local Stonehaven Community Council, comes on the back of Donald Trump’s plans for a £1 billion development on a stretch of links land near Balmedie, to the north of Aberdeen, which are still awaiting planning permission.
Last month the FM Group unveiled plans for a £682m golf resort venture in Cape Verde islands. The project, which includes a £1.5m agreement to develop a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, was reported by Golf Business News.com on 14th June. www.golfbusinessnews.com/news/news.asp?storyid=3779