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New Palmer course approved

Proposals for Palmer Tribute layout approved by local council with work set to begin later this year

By Chris Johnston

Planners have given their unanimous support for a second championship golf course to be built at the renowned Castle Stuart Golf Links in partnership with the Arnold Palmer Group.

Detailed plans to develop the Palmer Tribute course adjacent to the existing links, which hosted the Scottish Open, were lodged with Highland Council last October.

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The council’s South Planning Applications Committee approved the proposal, with committee chairman Jimmy Gray saying it was an extremely welcome development.

Stuart McColm, general manager at Castle Stuart, was pleased with the development. “This decision will allow preparations to continue towards construction getting under way later this year,” he said. “The new course will provide a huge economic boost for Inverness, the Highlands and Scotland. It will strengthen the Highlands’ position as a leading golfing destination and, along with new transport links, help visitors regard it as a gateway for visitors to the Home of Golf.”

“Together with the Arnold Palmer Group, we are acutely aware it has to be developed in the correct way, with community backing and with the support of local and national statutory bodies to protect a sensitive environment.

“As a report to the committee pointed out, our work on the existing course has demonstrated we can create something with worldwide appeal to bring benefit to the area while working within the regulatory framework.”

The Palmer Tribute course will be golf legend Arnold Palmer’s first course in Scotland.

The Arnold Palmer Group (APG) is investing in the current partnership at Castle Stuart and senior architects from the Arnold Palmer Design Company (APDC) are lined up to join the on-site team to design and build the new course.

Golf legend Palmer - known as The King - visited Castle Stuart last year and said the team’s aim is to “create something truly special”. It is predicted that about 30 jobs will be created during the initial 14-month construction period, with ten posts retained for a further year.

An additional 20 jobs will be created on site, including greenkeepers, clubhouse staff and a marketing, sales and admin team.

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