Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 2
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 2
The par-5 second hole at Castle Stuart Golf Links penalizes wayward shots both left and right, and the green is the first of the course's hallmark "infinity greens. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Images
Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 4
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 4
The namesake castle lies not far behind the green of the mid-length par-3 fourth hole at Castle Stuart Golf Links. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 6
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 6
The approach to the deep, narrow green at Castle Stuart Golf Links' par-5 sixth hole is as intimidating as a shot can get: trouble right and left, and certain death if you go long. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 7
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 7
Playing the long par-4 seventh at Castle Stuart Golf Links demands that you not only find the snaking fairway from the tee, but also that you choose the proper angle in, as the green is guarded by banking to the right and the old sea cliff on the left. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 17
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 17
At 224 yards from the tips, the 17th hole is the longest par 3 at Castle Stuart Golf Links, and easily the most intimidating from the tee (even with the friendly tournament signage). Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 18
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - hole 18
The par-5 closer at Castle Stuart Golf Links presents a perilous downhill approach to another infinity green. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Castle Stuart Golf Links - bunkers
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - bunkers
The bunkering at Castle Stuart Golf Links is at times dramatic and at times artistic, but it is generally not as penal as the bunkering at more classic links courses. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Castle Stuart Golf Links - infinity greens
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Castle Stuart Golf Links - infinity greens
Castle Stuart Golf Links' hallmark feature is the infinity greens, which appear to drop straight off into the Moray Firth. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Castle Stuart - clubhouse and practice green
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Castle Stuart - clubhouse and practice green
The practice green at Castle Stuart Golf Links lies below the Art Deco clubhouse, whose copious windows offer 180-degree vistas across the firth to the Black Isle. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Scottish Open champion Jeev Milkha Singh
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Scottish Open champion Jeev Milkha Singh
Jeev Milkha Singh hoists the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open trophy. Courtesy of Aberdeen Asset Management
Phil Mickelson
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Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson launches a powerful drive from the championship tees on Castle Stuart Golf Links' 18th hole during the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. Courtesy of Aberdeen Asset Management

Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness, Scotland: A championship track accessible to all skill levels

INVERNESS, Scotland -- Castle Stuart Golf Links , just north of Inverness, opened in 2009 but is already gaining international renown as the site the 2011 and 2012 Scottish Opens.

For wandering golfers taking a tour of Scotland's great courses, Castle Stuart would be an excellent introduction to links golf.

The fairways are wider than most links, the rough is not quite as penal, and the undulations in the fairways and greens are not overwrought, as on some modern links layouts.

Yet the routing takes full advantage of the wonderful vistas out over Moray Firth, and the prevailing wind can turn a leisurely round into a real battle.

Players will be presented with a varied collection of holes requiring approaches from all possible angles and heights, along with a number of "infinity greens" that appear to drop off straight into the sea.

After your round, enjoy a hearty meal and a cold pint in the impressive Art Deco clubhouse while taking in even more spectacular views of the firth.

Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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Castle Stuart Golf Links near Inverness, Scotland: A championship track accessible to all skill levels
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