Castle Stuart has moved up five places in GOLF’s latest Top 100 Courses in the World ranking.
The Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse designed links, voted the magazine’s top new international course when it opened in 2009, is now placed at No 66 on the list, which was unveiled in the magazine’s December 2019 edition.
In all, 13 Scottish courses – and 30 from Great Britain and Ireland – made the Top 100. Castle Stuart was placed above Whistling Straits, venue for the 2020 Ryder Cup, and just below Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St Annes, which staged The Open championships in 2014 and 2012 respectively.
The list was compiled by GOLF’s group of 80 well-travelled course raters who assigned values to a list of more than 430 eligible courses to come up with the final rankings.
They said of Castle Stuart: “GOLF Magazine's Top New International Course of 2009 has maintained its early lofty results thanks to a brilliant Gil Hanse/Mark Parsinen design that was effusively praised by Phil Mickelson — and that was before he won the 2013 Scottish
“Highlights include wide fairways, wild and woolly bunkers and panoramic views of the Moray Firth and the Scottish Highlands.”
Ran Morrissett, GOLF's Architecture Editor who oversaw the rating panel, said the criteria “didn’t prioritize ‘toughness’ as a means to greatness, an en vogue assessment style in the early days of course ranking. Rather, it sought the middle ground between challenge and fun”.