Cabot, the Toronto, Ontario-based golf and lifestyle brand, is expanding to the ancestral home of golf. Already well-known for, among many things, the Cabot Cape Breton property in Inverness, Nova Scotia, they will now have a property in the town of the same name in Scotland.
Official word came on June 29 that Cabot had acquired acclaimed Castle Stuart in the Scottish Highlands. While the name will remain with the continued legacy of the Castle Stuart Golf Links, the overall development will be re-branded as Cabot Highlands. That will give room for the development of additional amenities, including another 18-hole golf course, this one designed by Tom Doak.
“Castle Stuart has been considered a benchmark of exceptional Scottish golf since it first opened thirteen years ago. We are honoured to be a steward of the land and carry the original vision for the property forward,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, CEO and co-founder of Cabot. “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 is part of the rich fabric of golf in the Scottish Highlands. Routed along the shores of the Moray Firth, the course overlooks panoramic vistas and well-known landmarks including Kessock Bridge and Chanonry Lighthouse. Designed by the late Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse, Castle Stuart’s rugged natural landscape can be described as a throwback to golf as it once was. The course 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 set for its grand opening in the 2023 season.
Cabot plans to build a second course designed by acclaimed 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 Tom Doak, architect. “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 center.”
Real estate will be a key component of the community with sales expected to begin in 2023. The legacy 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. Beyond golf, the destination offers incredible natural beauty and ample outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, fishing, falconry, horseback riding and more. The nearby city of Inverness is located ten minutes away and offers opportunities to experience the vibrant Scottish culture through Victorian-era marketplaces, cathedrals, museums and restaurants. The Inverness area also houses some of Scotland’s top whisky distilleries, many of which offer guided tours and tastings throughout the year.
“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.”
Cabot Highlands now takes its place among a quickly expanding Cabot portfolio that includes Cabot Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, and the evolving/emerging destinations of Cabot Cabot Saint Lucia, Cabot Revelstoke (British Columbia), and Cabot Citrus Farms in western Florida.