Mark Parsinen, along with fellow Californian Kyle Phillips, transformed an abandoned farm into the magnificent Kingsbarns at the turn of the century and the American, this time alongside Gil Hanse, has produced another gem in Castle Stuart, just outside the capital of the Highlands, Inverness.
Thanks to 100 per cent pure fescue being planted into pure sand the look and playability of the fairways, greens and even rough can be controlled while the wild appearance of the bunkers has been worked at tirelessly. Both nines begin with the first three holes hugging the firth, with the Kessock Bridge in the distance going out and Fort George coming home.
The opening tee shot is possibly the most daunting of the lot, with gorse left, water right and a massive waste bunker short – though the more positive will eye a fairway 50 yards wide.
The good news is, from there it opens up and then opens up again. Parsinen, a fan of the Old Course and Augusta National, allows for waywardness making it a very playable and enjoyable experience.
The Highlands has always been an extra special golfing retreat – think Royal Dornoch, Nairn & Brora – and thanks to this new addition it has been raised another notch.