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David_Tepper

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Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« on: March 28, 2016, 03:46:48 PM »
Just noticed there is now a website for Mike Keiser's Coul Links golf project just north of Dornoch. It includes a nice photo gallery of stunning property.

http://www.coullinksgolf.com/ 

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2016, 05:23:32 PM »
Just noticed there is now a website for Mike Keiser's Coul Links golf project just north of Dornoch. It includes a nice photo gallery of stunning property.

http://www.coullinksgolf.com/


David -


This web site has NOTHING to do with the course itself. The author, Ian Hosrfield, has put it up on his own and he is completely unaffiliated with the project's principals.


It is, however, a good source should one want to see a collection of the press clippings from various publications as well as photos some of which I sent to Mr. Horsfield. That is as far as it goes.


Environmental and feasibility studies remain in progress with an update due around mid-summer.
Cheers,
Ian


David_Tepper

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2016, 05:26:03 PM »
Ian -

Thanks for the clarification. I see some of the pics in the gallery are yours. Good shooting!

DT

MClutterbuck

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2016, 09:47:53 AM »
Ian -

Thanks for the clarification. I see some of the pics in the gallery are yours. Good shooting!

DT


Is the small lake permanent? Will it be part of the course? That will be unusual for a links, right?




David_Tepper

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 09:58:33 AM »
"Is the small lake permanent? Will it be part of the course? That will be unusual for a links, right?"

MClutterbuck -

It is likely too early in the routing process to answer that question.

Yes, ponds/lakes on a links are unusual.

DT

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2016, 10:38:01 AM »
You know, it's selfish as hell of me but I really hope this never gets built. Or at least not until I am done traveling to Scotland.


The folks at Golspie and Brora already lust after the kind of money that Dornoch visitors pay, and a Keiser course between Golspie and Dornoch will likely bring them enough traffic to spoil one of my favorite places anywhere.


It's bed enough that Royal Dornoch is wall-to-wall with guys like us paying $200 to play.


Sigh.


K
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

James Brown

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2016, 10:51:49 AM »
You know, it's selfish as hell of me but I really hope this never gets built. Or at least not until I am done traveling to Scotland.


The folks at Golspie and Brora already lust after the kind of money that Dornoch visitors pay, and a Keiser course between Golspie and Dornoch will likely bring them enough traffic to spoil one of my favorite places anywhere.


It's bed enough that Royal Dornoch is wall-to-wall with guys like us paying $200 to play.


Sigh.


K


I reluctantly have to agree with this sentiment.  As much as a respect the Keiser team, I think this will lead to Dornoch losing its out of the way charm.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 10:56:46 AM »
Is Bandon any worse off because of its influx of courses?

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2016, 11:15:00 AM »
Is Bandon any worse off because of its influx of courses?


If you're a golfer who loves quality golf at a reasonable cost.... yes.


There's ZERO chance I am going to Bandon, simply because it's been turned into a place that can get $300 for a round of golf.


I am retired, and as Stan Dodd has said, my wife and I need to be conscious of our "golf per diem."


We've played a few high dollar courses that are too expensive, but inevitable--The Old Course, Prestwick, Royal Dornoch.


I played yesterday with a Canadian who's a member at Red Mountain Ranch and he said, "I lover golf, but I'm not paying two or three hundred dollar for a round. There's no golf worth that."


He's probably wrong, but we have enough $300 courses, especially in Scotland.


FWIW, when members of Brora and Fraserburgh expressed their jealousy of the course down the coast I warned them to be careful what they wish for. A tee sheet full of visitors EVERY day, glacial pace of play except for those few hours set aside for members, etc., etc.


So yes, in my world places like Bandon have helped make the game more expensive and more exclusive.. to it's detriment.


K
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Thomas Dai

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 11:42:24 AM »
Is Bandon any worse off because of its influx of courses?


Out of interest was there much golf of note near Bandon before Mr Keiser's development?


Even if Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart and Skibo/Carnigie were suddenly removed from the face of the planet they'd be plenty of quality golf courses worth travelling to play along the Moray Firth coastline.


Atb

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2016, 11:49:03 AM »
Is Bandon any worse off because of its influx of courses?


Exactly. Plus, ask the people in Nova Scotia and Tasmania, too.


Progress will always have detractors and that is understood. Shit, there are people in Dornoch TODAY who resent RDGC and how it messes up their town, impedes access to the beach, etc. But, ask the shopkeepers, restaurant owners, waiters, merchants, etc...


One of the goals of the project is to attract more visitors to the area to benefit the local economy. As in benefitting the people who live in the town year round. There are second courses going in at Aberdeen and Castle Stuart and perhaps a Nicklaus course in Inverness...? Dornoch is being smart.


Perhaps traffic at Coul Links will ease congestion at RDGC (at least after 10:30 am). Perhaps more people will play Brora and Golspie instead of driving up to Dornoch for one day then returning to Inverness in their van. Maybe they will stay in Dornoch and visit the other courses. Perhaps new golfers will go to the Highlands instead of to Ayrshire or Edinburgh. Only 10% of all golfing visitors to Scotland go to the Highlands and, last I heard, golf tourism is one of the most vibrant parts of the Scottish economy.


Sure, it is understandable that there is concern about turning a bucolic hamlet like Dornoch into a tourist mecca, but the region does need a sustainable revenue base for it to be a viable economy for future generations. It's not Team Keiser who is promoting this, it's the Highlands and Islands Enterprises (http://www.hie.co.uk/). HIE, from what I have heard, is very suppportive of the project as is the town of Dornoch. Why are there so many hotels and homes for sale in Dornoch today?


Regarding the "Lakes" at Coul....that is seasonal flooding from a tidal pool and stream that are on property. There are no lakes and ponds.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 05:43:13 PM by Ian Mackenzie »

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2016, 11:53:08 AM »
"Is the small lake permanent? Will it be part of the course? That will be unusual for a links, right?"

MClutterbuck -

It is likely too early in the routing process to answer that question.

Yes, ponds/lakes on a links are unusual.

DT

I didn't look at the photos but assume these aren't lakes but Dune Slacks which often get flooded on a seasonal basis. Most dune systems will have some dune slacks which were usually created in the low lying areas as new ridges were formed due to accretion.

Often the routing process stays away from them, sometimes they are utilised. In the summer they are often characterised by different flora and fauna rather than lying water.

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2016, 12:03:41 PM »
Is Bandon any worse off because of its influx of courses?


Out of interest was there much golf of note near Bandon before Mr Keiser's development?


Even if Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart and Skibo/Carnigie were suddenly removed from the face of the planet they'd be plenty of quality golf courses worth travelling to play along the Moray Firth coastline.


Atb


Before 1999, there was ZERO golf of note around Bandon, OR. Mike Keiser is revered in Bandon at a level that is incomprehensible to most.


Yes, Thomas, you are certainly correct that there would be plenty of quality golf.
And, if there was viable industrial growth in the local economy, your hypothesis would have some serious merit.


And, if only I could make more putts, I would have won that qualifier last year...;-)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 05:42:07 PM by Ian Mackenzie »

Mark Pearce

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2016, 12:43:38 PM »
Ian,


What has viable industrial growth got to do with the number of existing golf courses in the Moray area?  I'm not sure what point you are making or think Thomas is making.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Joel_Stewart

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2016, 01:27:07 PM »
I probably shouldn't comment but I'm told by a reliable source that this course is now 50-50 on being built.

There's an ongoing winter bird study and in the summer another bird study based on nesting.

Furthermore this winter the property in question was heavily flooded. Bill Coore is on site this week to see if this will be an ongoing problem.

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2016, 02:30:33 PM »
Ian,


What has viable industrial growth got to do with the number of existing golf courses in the Moray area?  I'm not sure what point you are making or think Thomas is making.


SSSorry, Mark, my answer to Thomas was woefully incomplete as my phone was ringing at work.
My point was that, prior to the 1970's and early 80's following Ben Crenshaw's and Tom Watson's visit to Dornoch, the area was still quite unknown to the "outside world".




And, it's WAY too early to speculate on the viability of the project.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 05:41:47 PM by Ian Mackenzie »

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2016, 02:41:30 PM »
The potential dangers of this project are twofold in my opinion. Firstly, it could make more courses in the area prohibitively expensive for the local player which would be detrimental to all concerned and I would hope that MK would chose to follow the example set by Castle Stuart in this respect rather than the no peasants attitude of Mr. Trump. Secondly, the fact is that top end Gfs are sustainable largely due to the US golfer and should this market collapse for any reason then some clubs and other businesses based around them may suffer greatly. I hope that HIE (Highland & Islands Enterprises and others so in favour of this project ensure the financial eggs are placed in many baskets not just the one.

However, I am certainly very much in favour of this project and hopes it will get off the ground. As for the winter drainage, if they are sensible and close down in the winter season this will be much less of a problem.

Jon

ps. Ian, Skibo plays no significant part in the golf scene up here. As for what to tell local 16 or 17 year olds well maybe about the many non golfing opportunities there are for employment in the Highlands. I am afraid what you understand is well wide of the mark as the Inverness, Moray and Cromarty Firth areas are very vibrant both economically and culturally. Very few youngsters are flocking to Edinburgh and of those who do many return after a few years.

Jon

Thomas Dai

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2016, 03:05:08 PM »
The potential dangers of this project are twofold in my opinion. Firstly, it could make more courses in the area prohibitively expensive for the local player which would be detrimental to all concerned and I would hope that MK would chose to follow the example set by Castle Stuart in this respect rather than the no peasants attitude of Mr. Trump. Secondly, the fact is that top end Gfs are sustainable largely due to the US golfer and should this market collapse for any reason then some clubs and other businesses based around them may suffer greatly. I hope that HIE (Highland & Islands Enterprises and others so in favour of this project ensure the financial eggs are placed in many baskets not just the one.


Ian,


If my earlier comments were confusing then apologies. Jon has however now summed up what I was trying to get at rather nicely.


Lovely part of the world.


Atb

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2016, 03:17:02 PM »
The potential dangers of this project are twofold in my opinion. Firstly, it could make more courses in the area prohibitively expensive for the local player which would be detrimental to all concerned and I would hope that MK would chose to follow the example set by Castle Stuart in this respect rather than the no peasants attitude of Mr. Trump. Secondly, the fact is that top end Gfs are sustainable largely due to the US golfer and should this market collapse for any reason then some clubs and other businesses based around them may suffer greatly. I hope that HIE (Highland & Islands Enterprises and others so in favour of this project ensure the financial eggs are placed in many baskets not just the one.

However, I am certainly very much in favour of this project and hopes it will get off the ground. As for the winter drainage, if they are sensible and close down in the winter season this will be much less of a problem.

Jon

ps. Ian, Skibo plays no significant part in the golf scene up here. As for what to tell local 16 or 17 year olds well maybe about the many non golfing opportunities there are for employment in the Highlands. I am afraid what you understand is well wide of the mark as the Inverness, Moray and Cromarty Firth areas are very vibrant both economically and culturally. Very few youngsters are flocking to Edinburgh and of those who do many return after a few years.

Jon


Thanks, Jon - apologies for the generalizations.
Was speaking only of Dornoch where I have spent time in the past three years.


I believe that Mr. Keiser made a very interesting proposal to RDGC, but it did not gain traction.


Have heard that Trump now offers local memberships.


I would bet that there will be accommodations made to local golfers at Coul Links.



Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2016, 04:48:45 PM »
Ian,

no problems about the generalisation but to suggest that the youth of Dornoch is leaving for Edinburgh is far fetched indeed. That they have to look outside Dornoch is not really a surprise as Dornoch is really quite small. You are indeed correct that Trump does now offer a locals rate and at just 135 I am sure the doric speakers are flocking in to play the world's greatest course as will the incredible bargain rate of 165 for all other Scottish residence.

Jon

Tim_Weiman

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2016, 05:41:48 PM »
Is Bandon any worse off because of its influx of courses?


If you're a golfer who loves quality golf at a reasonable cost.... yes.


There's ZERO chance I am going to Bandon, simply because it's been turned into a place that can get $300 for a round of golf.


I am retired, and as Stan Dodd has said, my wife and I need to be conscious of our "golf per diem."


We've played a few high dollar courses that are too expensive, but inevitable--The Old Course, Prestwick, Royal Dornoch.


I played yesterday with a Canadian who's a member at Red Mountain Ranch and he said, "I lover golf, but I'm not paying two or three hundred dollar for a round. There's no golf worth that."


He's probably wrong, but we have enough $300 courses, especially in Scotland.


FWIW, when members of Brora and Fraserburgh expressed their jealousy of the course down the coast I warned them to be careful what they wish for. A tee sheet full of visitors EVERY day, glacial pace of play except for those few hours set aside for members, etc., etc.


So yes, in my world places like Bandon have helped make the game more expensive and more exclusive.. to it's detriment.


K


Ken,


Part of me is sympathetic to your perspective, but for the sake of discussion, I must ask:


As far as making the game in Scotland more "expensive and exclusive", is it really "places like Bandon" or is it the ease and relatively low cost of international travel?
Tim Weiman

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2016, 06:26:43 PM »
Ken,


Part of me is sympathetic to your perspective, but for the sake of discussion, I must ask:


As far as making the game in Scotland more "expensive and exclusive", is it really "places like Bandon" or is it the ease and relatively low cost of international travel?


Well, that "expensive and exclusive" comment referred to golf in general, not to Scotland.


I admit that there are a lot of factors that have conspired to make it so costly to play golf.  In most of the US I am pretty convinced that "tournament conditions" on a daily basis along with the CCFAD problem are most likely more of a problem.


The yahoos I play with here are SO concerned about conditioning that it supersedes almost any other considerations.


That and the fact that there still seems to be a market for CCFAD golf, at least here in AZ where I am currently, is a big contributor.


I did work for GCSAA for nine years and I think in some regards superintendents have been their own worst enemy. They have killed themselves trying to produce perfect turf, now American golfers think it should be the norm.


In Scotland, cheap travel might be a factor, I'm more inclined to think that it's due to economic stratification.  Folks like my wife and I, are not the folks running up the price of golf.


I've seen, and had a drink with, the "check list" golfers who make it possible for RDC, Cruden Bay, Nairn GC, et. al, to get the price they do. Cheap travel might be a factor, but I doubt it.


Let's be clear. I realize that my whining isn't going to change things one bit, any more than the griping by the Brora and Fraserburgh folks I've talked to will change their situation.


i was told that RDC's ferilizer budget would fund Golspie's entire greenkeeping operation for a year. Now, that's not the way it should be IMHO, but it gives you an idea of why they're a little jealous.


OTOH, we stayed in Golspie last year for about a week and we could walk out and play almost any time we liked. Much as I appreciate the big-name courses, I like the other ones even better.


Here's the deal... virtually everything about American golf either makes me sad or pisses me off.


I wish that weren't the case, but it is.


And exporting American golf to Scotland makes me sad... and it pisses me off.


K
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Kalen Braley

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2016, 06:56:09 PM »
Perhaps American golfers go to Scotland to escape other whinny, fanny pack toting, loud talking American golfers!!

Sincerely,

John K

James Brown

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2016, 09:42:24 PM »
Perhaps American golfers go to Scotland to escape other whinny, fanny pack toting, loud talking American golfers!!

Sincerely,

John K


I do.


And I don't want more development around Dornoch, which will only bring more Americans! 

James Brown

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2016, 09:45:36 PM »
Is Bandon any worse off because of its influx of courses?


I'm not sure Bandon is the right comparison here. 


Perhaps a good comparison might be mid-20th Century St. Andrews.  Once St. Andrews became a real global destination, it changed in irreversible ways.  Did the dozen new courses built around St. Andrews improve that place really? 

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