Castle Stuart Golf Links may be closed for the winter, but the work doesn’t stop.
Director of Golf Jeremy Matte will spend much of January in his native US promoting the course and the wider Highlands to potential visitors and also taking the best ideas from other clubs back to Scotland.
Starting on 9 January, Jeremy will spend 14 days, travelling hundreds of miles, touring golf facilities in South Carolina and Florida. Beginning at Hilton Head National on Hilton Head Island, his hectic schedule includes the Arnold Palmer-designed Wexford Plantation, Colleton River club, the historic Secession and the quirkily named Old Tabby Links (another Palmer design).
Moving to Kiawah Island, Jeremy will call in at the Ocean Course, which hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, and the neighbouring Tom Watson-designed Cassique course where he started his golf career as a caddy in 2002.
Quail Hollow in North Carolina follows, then Old Collier and Naples National in Florida, before he aims to visit Grey Oaks and Fiddlesticks Country Club, before heading north to Orlando and Orange Tree Golf Course.
Isleworth Golf and Country Club and Bay Hill, HQ for the Arnold Palmer Group, come next, before Jeremy continues his trip by attending the annual PGA Merchandise Show along with other members of the marketing group Highland Golf Links, of which Castle Stuart is a member.
“I’ll be encouraging people I meet to come to Castle Stuart and the Highlands of Scotland to experience links golf”, said Jeremy. “Part of the reason I picked these clubs to visit is that they have members and pros who are used to travelling to Scotland.
“We had a record year for visitor numbers this year and that is something we want to build on in 2018.
“A lot of the clubs in Florida are closed in July and August due to the severe heat so that is a good time for their members to come to Scotland. The weather isn’t important to them, other than some people are disappointed when they come here and it isn’t windy or doesn’t rain, as they haven’t had the full links experience.
“I’ll be pushing the air services from Inverness, including the improved schedules from KLM and BA, and how close Castle Stuart is to the airport.
“We have an ideal location from where to start an itinerary in Scotland. Golfers can play Castle Stuart, Nairn and Dornoch and then perhaps finish at St Andrews which makes it extremely attractive.”
As well as the golfing operations side, Jeremy will be looking for ideas for the Castle Stuart golf shop and the food and beverage business.
“The golf shop also had a record year with total volume of sales up. I’ll be looking at what fashion and trends are popular in the US and look to take these back home.
“Chef has also asked me to take pictures of the menus at all the clubs I visit so he has some fresh ideas for our visitors for the new season.”
Jeremy will be writing blogs during his trip. Follow his progress at
Facebook – @CastleStuartGolf
Twitter – @CastleStuart