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Eoin Riddell

Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2016, 07:38:13 AM »
Ken,

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.

Interesting statement! if Golspie have managed to run their Whole greenkeeping operation for less than 13k I would be shocked!!! 



PPallotta

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2016, 10:05:57 AM »
Ken - some excellent posts there. It used to be (or at least seems to have been) the case that the bloated and over-priced and over-hyped courses were precisely the ones that I didn't want to play, i.e. the CCFAD from the 80s and 90s with their cart-driven routings and endless downhill tee shots and elaborate driving ranges peopled by vaguely smug corporate types and vaguely pretentious would-be "players" who not only didn't mind paying too much for a round of golf but actually saw it as a personal point of pride that they could. The problem you seem to be highlighting is that, today, the over-priced and over-hyped courses peopled by aficionados who not only don't mind paying too much but actually see it as the cost of quality golf "the way it was meant to be played" are precisely the courses that I would want to play.

Peter
Btw, check out Ed's thread on Cardigan Golf Club.

       
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 10:07:36 AM by Peter Pallotta »

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2016, 05:01:45 PM »

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2016, 09:23:52 AM »
I have restrained from commenting on this project for a while until more information became available. I now feel feel there is enough known to share my take.
Having: been a member in the past for 10 years, , married a gal from the town, been fortunate to have as a father-in-law,  the late Dr.John Macleod,  club Captain, member for 50 years, and town Doc working with, and after, his father's passing, I feel I have a balanced  perspective on what RDGC and the town has been historically.
Dr. Macleod wrote the book on the club's history, which he completed shortly before his very sad passing in 2001.
He was a thoughtful, kind and wise man who listened a lot, and chose his words VERY carefully before rendering a opinion.
I will never forget his astute words about making changes to the club OR town of Dornoch.

 He said," Kris, it's not what you do, it's what you DON'T do ...that retains the specialness of a place!"

That succinct and BRILLIANT statement will serve as the underpinning for what follows.

First, make NO mistake, Americans are driving this project full stop. The H&I folks will support ANYTHING that brings MONEY to the area. But without Mr. Warnock and  Mr.Keiser leading on this....ZERO happens.
Mr. Keiser is a class act. So are C&C,, his designated design team.
He has a proven record of world class golf property creation, as do C&C, that is generally VERY sympathetic to the environment.

All that said....THIS property needs to left as it is!!!!!!

The property is in EMBO, NOT Dornoch. I'm SURE that those public meetings will reveal MANY locals AGAINST this PARTICULAR site being MUTILATED!!!!
Dr. Macleod ,and countless others in the Dornoch area have known of that estuary dunes land site FOREVER! But they KNEW.... it was too precious and special as an ecosystem to be tampered with!!!! He felt it should be LEFT ALONE to function as the AWESOME entity it is.
He is not alone in that rationale.

ANYONE ....
with a brain, that can appreciate the unique nature of that place, while checking their greed and ego at the edge of the path to that ground... can come ONLY to that conlusion!!!

If Mr. Keiser, a man I rate highly, had a shred of the respect for nature,  and the humility to do the right thing he claims....he would reflect on that reality and decide NOT to move forward on changing that ground.
I do not know much about Mr. Warnock, other than he has a VESTED interest in filling his B&B,  ,and while helping restore that historic building in the town is noble... it DOES NOT give him the right to destroy that ground in EMBO for PROFIT!!!!

There are certain places on this planet that simply need to be left alone.
THIS GROUND is one of them!!!!
PERIOD. END OF STORY.

Looking deeper at why? This ENTIRE coastline is ravaged... FREQUENTLY.... by fierce storms.The second course at RD, the Struie, known as the "lower course" by the locals, was and is often BLASTED by gales and heavy flooding. In fact, the new holes Donald Steel put in had to be REDONE, at considerable cost ( 300k plus if memory serves me rigjt) after one such event in the 2000's!
 That land is VERY close to the edge of the Dornoch Firth,
as is the estuary area of Coul Links!
Wind driven storm surges... remember we're talking the North Atlantic Sea here, push seawater WELL inland regularly.
No way you are going to prevent that impacting the golf at Coul Links, if you are anywhere close to the shore(VIEWS) without SIGNIFICANT altering of that ground.
The bird life that inhabitats that sensitive estuary dunes land is among the most special in Scotland.
Keiser's other projects have NEVER disturbed that type of special ground!!!! Even Trump's property doesn' t come CLOSE to matching what exists there at Embo.
I was fortunate enough to walk Machrihanish Dunes, on the west coast of Scotland, during the early days of it's creation. It REMAINS the most environmentally  responsible golf course built ANYWHERE in Scotland, or tbe world for that matter, in the last 50 years given all that DMK and Evan Grant, who oversaw creation and grow-in as Head Superintendent, had to contend with.
The site had quite a few SSI areas with rare plants. That site also doesn't even compare to the diversity of wildlife, or development complexity of the Coul Links site.

Another somber point to ponder...Dr. Macleod told me that RD was VERY VERY quiet, regarding visitor play, for SEVERAL years, after the Lockerbie downing. I don't think I need to illuminate anybody what would transpire were a similar episode to repeat itself. This is ESPECIALLY true TODAY. Ironically, it would be the very links offerings Mr. Keiser has created in the US, that folks can now enjoy stateside, that would provide a less risky alternative for Americans should such an event occur. While there are plenty of other worldwide golfers who visit to play up thete, US visitors are the fuel that drives this project.

Earlier stories on this Embo site spoke of only a small starter's hut, and a super light footprint. The latest article, kindly posted by Mr. Tepper, speaks of a practice area, pro shop and CAFE! You MUST be joking Mr. Warnock!!!!!! The mushroom cloud is already gathering size and the plan hasn't even been submitted!
As to the need for ANOTHER course of Dornoch's stature to ensure the region's economic vitality. ... BS  to that!!!!
The region is LOADED with great/good golf. BRORA is an absolute cracker of a course! Two rounds on RD and one there are MORE than enough reason for staying OVERNIGHT in Dornoch. Tain, Golspie and the nine hole charmer at Portmahomack (SP?)  across the Dornoch Firth, near the not to be missed Oystercatcher dining spot,  offer plenty of nice, additional links options for extended stays.
A C&C Coul Links will only draw more belt notcher, trunk slammer
types, mainly Americans that are ALREADY going to come up to play RD!
Marketing ALL of the upper Highlands region BETTER is what's needed.... NOT a NOT COOL LINKS on THAT site!!!!
As to price creep in the extortionate greens fees enjoyed by the top courses up there now....Nairn got very proud of themselves and bumped their number in the late 90's...Castle Stuart, due to having to PAY for their land,  as opposed to the common ground land so many older Scottish links offerings  benefit from,  and modern construction costs, made it a lock  that a high green fee would be a given.
Royal Dornoch will ALWAYS be the best golfing experience in the Highlands so long as they don't ruin what they have.!!!!!! The club, to their credit, has been modest in raising their green fees...and this, in the main, has been IN RESPONSE to what the other facilities up there have charged.
The zeal for more quid is a powerful tonic that can overwhelm many.... I just hope those that REALLY care...about that area's OVERALL health, follow that telling statement cited at the beginning of my remarks by Dr. Macleod. He dearly loved the game and revered the Dornoch area.
You can NOT have economic sustainability WITHOUT environmental sustainability!
Do the right thing Mike, let the model for ALL you have done for everything in golf ALONE ...and continue to enjoy it as it IS!!! Dornoch, like ALL of the world's great RURAL locales, needs to evolve SLOWLY.
Coul Links should REMAIN as it is... that would be the COULEST legacy Mike could EVER leave the birthplace of his vision for superb, remote links golf!!!!!!

Hopeful cheers,
Kris 8)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 02:58:12 PM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2016, 11:46:39 AM »
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


Ian


As a matter of interest, what connection do you have with the project or the individuals involved or are you just an interested bystander ? (are you a local ?)


Niall

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2016, 12:06:00 PM »
I have restrained from commenting on this project for a while until more information became available. I now feel there is enough known to share my take.


So much for restraint!


Kris, you used ALL CAPS an awful lot in your post, but the word MUTILATED stood out.  How can you say the site will be mutilated, when [I suspect] no real design plans have been submitted?  I worked around areas of SSSI on the new holes at The Renaissance Club, and I can assure you they didn't let us disturb anything of significance there, despite the pushing of my client.

Your argument about the economics and an argument about the environmental impact are two separate things, even though you may be right that sometimes local governments tend to overlook one for the other.  Highlands and Islands, like most governments, not to mention private developers, think the solution is to bring more tourism money to the area and to get the people with the money to stay longer and spend more of it.  They would argue that it's "not a zero-sum game," but I might argue the other side of that.  Still, that's very different from saying the land is going to be mutilated by building a golf course.  Someone might have said the same thing about Royal Dornoch, centuries ago, had they had silly Internet discussions back then.


Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2016, 12:43:12 PM »
Tom,
I'm sorry the caps and strong language startled you. I stand by every word of it.
In my opinion, and that is what my remarks are, ANY disturbance of THAT ground, even for superbly done, minimalistic golf, IS MULTILATION.
My feelings for that area are as strong as anyone not born there.
I've seen Dornoch change quite a bit since I first visited there in the late 90's. Much of that change, outside of some better dining, hasn't added  a lot to the quality of life there. If you have visited there as much as I have/did, you'd render a similar opinion if you are the man I believe you are.
Much of what makes that Highlands area so captivating is the rugged natural beauty that is on full display. "Progress" is nibbling away at it,  but so far the feeling still has the goods. When you continue to degrade that, the specialness is soon lost.
John Muir said it best," Nothing dollarable is safe" when he referred to exploitation of our world's natural resources.
 This project is a 2016 poster child validating that statement...sadly currently being promoted by folks who are smart enough to do othetwise.

Without a healthy planet....there can not be a healthy economy....
anywhere. The two are "interdependent," not separate subjects.

Let me ask you....have you ever said no to designing a site because you felt was too special to change?

K 8)

« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 01:44:29 PM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2016, 01:07:09 PM »
Kris


What Tom said on the "development" of the original Dornoch course and indeed the various significant changes that have taken place over the years. Also as someone who argued against the development of Balmedie on environmental grounds I'm doubtful that Embro is in the same league in terms of being environmentally sensitive . A closer comparison might be Mach Dunes and even that site was grazed by cattle up until it was developed.


However I think the real issue here is the nature of any development which I think is also the concern of Ken and possibly your late father in law. I'm assuming here that the development is likely to happen in some shape or form given a willing landowner, a fairly keen developer and the likely-hood of planning being granted.


Dornoch has already changed significantly over the years and to see that you only need to look at the club itself. Betterment has arrived and isn't likely to go away. In my own mind it would be better to see a more modest development along the lines of Mach Dunes in terms of the lightness of touch on the landscape allied to a certain homespun charm with the add on development. Not sure if that is the type of development that Mike Keiser would be interested in.


Niall



Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2016, 02:06:24 PM »

Let me ask you....have you ever said no to designing a site because you felt was too special to change?



I have, though only two times that I can recall.


You're clearly very emotionally wrapped up with that particular piece of property in saying that it should never be touched by anyone ... I always have some hesitation about such statements when they amount to neighbors telling a landowner what he should not do.


The rest of your argument seems to be tied up in "not changing Dornoch," as if it's supposed to stay the same forever.  That rarely happens anywhere, and generally only in places where the people who have moved there in the last twenty years want to close the door behind them.  That also has nothing at all to do with building a golf course sensitively, on a sensitive site.


I'm not sure what Niall is talking of in terms of "development."  I am party to none of the particulars about this project, but in general, Mr. Keiser has no interest in developing housing, and only in developing lodging for golf to the extent that it can't be met by the local infrastructure.  I think he just wants to build a golf course.

Dave McCollum

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2016, 02:20:41 PM »
As the owner of a course in a relatively isolated, wild place where all kinds of recreation happens besides golf, we have plenty of wildlife.  I wont inventory the species because Id leave out hundreds.  As with the Cape Wickham thread, habitat can be created to benefit nesting/breeding areas.  Our experience is that the critters just move in take advantage of whats there.  They cause some damage to the course, like the porcupines currently eating the bark and killing trees, or the burrows of marmots, so we do a tiny bit of management.  Given this diversity, it would seem like a golf course is a pretty good place to live.

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2016, 02:32:00 PM »
Niall,
I respect and agree with a lot of your thoughts. I agree that there has been change in the club. That isn't always a good thing, and certainly isn't justification for blessing other changes.

Unless the fix is in, I believe this project, on THAT ground, faces a much stiffer challenge than many realize.
I agree that Machrihanish Dunes is the best comparison out there....but it had FAR more prior human disturbance than the Coul Links site.
The Embo site is complex. Thete is significant diversity in topography  and what inhabits it, both regularly ...and seasonally, migration wise.
There are existing dunes capable of offering protection and buffering from storms, but I can't imagine  any scenario that wouldn't involve significant disturbance... to the pristine ecosystem that resides there now.
I'm no tree hugger, change nothing ever zealot. I adore links  golf, and am the first to champion and applaud RESPONSIBLE golf evelopment.
Bandon, Kingsbarns,Castle Stuart, Machrihanish Dunes, Streamsong
Cabot , and many others are in that realm.
THIS Embo site simply has too much unique quality to it for approval.... for ANYTHING.
Let me ask....is no ground worth leaving alone that might yield a great golf course?
 I would assert that the folks that believe it's acceptable to alter any ground, regardless of what is there currently, for golf,  are a BIG reason the game suffers such scorn from the non-golfers on the planet.
Sometimes saying no to something, even if it has a lot of upside.... is the right course of action. That's the case with THIS site from my view.
K 8)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 03:03:54 PM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2016, 03:07:58 PM »
Tom,
I'm glad you saw the need to say no on passing to change special ground. To do it twice is laudable.
I've seen that Embo ground with my own eyes.

This IS one of those cases.

As an owner or architect, who wouldn't want to create something there!?! It's as good as it gets. But what mother nature and the big guy have there now trumps ANYTHING man could put there.
I have tremendous passion for that which I care deeply about.
It's who I am. My reasoning is sound as a pound why THIS site should be off the table for development.
You say Mike just wants to build a golf course....he's built quite a few already and Sand Valley, an epic, RESPONSIBLE project is well underway. His son,. and their team are going to exhaustive lengths to tease back the native seed bank and restore that which the Red Pine plantation altered.
They ARE as responsible  stewards of the land as anyone  in golf creation today.
It would be a crowning  achievement to plant the flag on a links course minutes from RD, the birth place of his business model  vision. There are other parcels that area has to offer. To degrade that  Embo site is not just building a golf course...
sorry.
K 8)

« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 07:19:58 PM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2016, 03:27:22 PM »
"Those had raised a myriad of environmental and other issues which have to be addressed. Towards that end a team of independent consultants had been commissioned to undertake research into the site ranging from its biodiversity and topography to hydrology and archaeology." 

"A traffic management report has also been initiated. Mr Warnock and Mr Keiser are reluctant to see increased traffic on the single-track Loch Fleet road and are considering a bespoke shuttle bus service from Dornoch town square. Over the winter fortnightly bird studies have also been conducted on the site, which starts three miles north of Royal Dornoch Golf Club and runs along the Dornoch Firth at Loch Fleet."

Unless I am mistaken, the Coul Links site to date is not an SSI-designated area. That makes it different from both the Machrihanish Dunes and Balmedie/Trump sites, which were SSI-designated properties before golf courses were proposed to be built on them.

In light of the above quotations from the Northern Times article I have linked, it appears a thorough and expert analysis of the Coul Links property will be conducted regarding the suitability of building a golf course there.

Why don't we wait to see how how those reports turn out before passing judgement on this project?   
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 03:34:14 PM by David_Tepper »

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2016, 04:13:30 PM »
David,
It doesn't need to have a SSI designation to know it's special!
Didn't matter the SSI limitations for Trumps dump- got railroaded through  didn't it? How'd that turn out...he packed up like a little child, and all those jobs...yeh right!
Sorry champ. Not all of us wait for the snake oil when we know something is a no go.
You have a flat there in Dornoch you let out, correct? No vested interest there at all? C'mon.
Do yourself a favor, spend a day  and take a good, LONG walk over that Embo ground. Not a peak at it  from afar... til your feet know they made a trek. Then tell me you see no problem with a golf course being placed  over that ground as the RESPONSIBLE
thing to do.
No proper assessment of the bird life alone there can be done quickly...it takes years.
You are a smart guy that KNOWS deep down the right move here...is NO move on that site.
Imagine if those that came before us had the power to destroy the land that we hold today. Where would our planet be? Puking it's guts out to be sure. It's not far off that right now!
Let's not hasten the stupidity by complicity and just leaving decisions to the government and greed.
That  Embo site is NOT an acceptable, responsible trade-off for golf, no matter how great the product.

K 8)




« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 04:26:27 PM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2016, 04:45:07 PM »
Sorry Kris,

I didn't realize you were an expert on hydrology, ornithology, biodiversity, archeaology, et. al.

It's good to know there is someone here that knows more than we all do. ;)

DT

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2016, 07:03:56 PM »
David,
Where did I infer all that?  A junior high schooler, walking that ground, KNOWS that nothing man can lay over that ground can TOUCH what is there presently.
What I know is what rational, responsible people, with NO remuneration or other benefits from seeing that land developed would conclude.
You, and anyone else is entitled to their opinion on the matter.
What, am I to be muzzled because I might have personal information to share on the subject?
If you walked that ground already and feel no quams about putting a golf course there... God bless ya!
Certain places need to be left alone. That Embo site is one of them.
That farmer, if his family has been there since the Vikings were raiding that area, should be ashamed of himself if he thinks that ground is better suited to a golf course than what is there now?
Most Scots I know TREASURE their ground. I've seen wild pheasants along several of those roads right near the village of Dornoch that dwarf the size of anything I ever saw stateside.
I grew up hearing and seeing wild pheasants in the suburbs of Philadelphia in the 80s. They ARE gone! Development saw to that, and changing farming practices have eliminated them from most of the lower 48.
I'm not some armchair environmentalist. I've lived the degradation. In more places than most on here.
It's real. NO money, or job-base scheme is worth corrupting the planet to where life becomes a shattered mosaic with only one end game...unsustainability!
On the surface, this little site in EMBO seems unimportant. But forever altering something that unique, and estuaries are one of the earth's most precious, and rare commodies ( there's one for the corporate business crowd).
It's irreplaceable once altered that rapidly by man, and it's functionality changes.
Remember, estuaries are nature's nurseries, both on land AND in the sea.
And THAT Embo site is worth degrading for a golf course? Really? Folks who believe that are thinking of NOTHING but their own self interest.
I shudder to think what those future generations will find in Dornoch if mindsets like that have their way up there.
It will be more Coney Island than the incredible place it struggles to remain today, of that you can be sure.

8)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 07:29:59 PM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

PPallotta

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2016, 07:35:58 PM »
This has developed into a terrific thread: smart and well-informed posters respectfully disagreeing on a critically important topic (now and, increasingly, in the years to come) in a rubber-meets-the-road context, i.e.  universally acclaimed architects with impeccable minimalist credentials paired with the most highly touted and respected golf course developer ever, during that developer's Midas-touch period, and concerning a site of pristine and untouched natural beauty and diversity that lies but a stone's throw from a spiritual home of golf in Dornoch synonymous with the very ethos of the game. It was good that Kris raised this; there is for me certainly no easy answer, but I think it fair to suggest that if it was any other golf developer, and/or any but a small handful of other architects, or if god forbid this was about a housing estate or even a modest public pitch-and-putt instead of Keiser and C&C and an exclusive golfing mecca, there would be no debate whatsoever.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 07:45:20 PM by Peter Pallotta »

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2016, 07:46:12 PM »
Kris -

When was the last time you actually visited Dornoch? How many days have you spent there in the past 10 years?

The population of Sutherland is still 2/3 to 3/4 of what it was 150 years ago! Struggling is indeed the operative word. The people there are struggling to survive dwindling employment, an aging population and diminished public services.

DT

P.S. But there are still plenty of pheasants there. ;)

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2016, 09:26:14 PM »
Pete,
Bravo, you nailed it!!!!! And the responsible thing to do is LEAVE it alone. You don't need a study by ANYONE to figure that out.
Check ego and profit at the edge of the path and planet up....we're going to do the right thing in Embo, even though we could
build perhaps the REAL greatest golf course here. We are respectfully going to let mother nature continue to take a bow on this precious parcel of grandness, like she has for thousands of years, and take the disease of modern society  to conquer all landforms, even if it means destroying the very elements necessary to sustain, elsewhere!
That Pete, would be the BEST homage that Mike, Mr. Warnock and all the rest of us that really care about the future of what is there should embrace.
There is farmland in that area, with views, much like that which Castle Stuart occupies. I'm sure you'd have farmers lining up to sell some acreage so the grand masters can have a go and create something awesome and special.
You don't need to punish one of nature's rare nurseries for a golf course that doesn't belong there.
It's like opening a whore house up top where the choir sits in a church.
Could ya do it, sure...but would ya... UNLESS your the pimp...we know the answer.
See, there are places "designated" for that type of entertainment.
That Embo site is NOT the place to put golf entertainment for the "retail golfer."
NO matter how many jobs it could create,  or economic multipliers could be leveraged.
Yes, I know that last line really gets a few squirmming, but the reality is THAT ground DESERVES to be left as it is.
I appreciate and respect both sides of the equation. My view is the Dornoch and entire Highlands area has a TREMENDOUS opportunity to BETTER market what they ALREADY have up there! Few places have the setting, charm and diverse cultural and natural wonders that part of Scotland enjoys.
It is a tough climate, and that makes drawing certain folks a challenge. For millions, that environment is right up their alley.
Use the noggins and craft a plan. Enlist the help of those from where you wish to draw, and make it happen.
I RAVE to all who express interest in going to Scotland, and the North in particular...GO, it's the best! I've sent a TON of first-timers over during my many years caddying for those that could afford it.
I don't ever want there to be a day I say, " Forget it, it's gone."
Thank you Pete, for your take.

K 8)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 02:29:08 AM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

BHoover

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2016, 10:00:50 PM »
Not to be rude, but I would find this thread, and the arguments being made herein, much more persuasive without the incessant and unnecessary use of ALL CAPS. I might even read the posts in full were there NO CAPS.

It's great to see someone so dedicated to a cause, but easy on the liberal use of the Shift button, please.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 10:06:59 PM by Brian Hoover »

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2016, 11:15:14 PM »
David,
The last time I was in Scotland was 2008, visiting Machrihanish Dunes. A superb project that was an environmental triumph of restraint. Sadly, the roll-out was badly bungled. The reviews were not kind, but the leadership blew their chance to grab success. DESPITE their opening right after the economic plummet, that Kintyre region has many of the same qualities of the Dornoch area. A bit more remote, primitive in a generally good way, but it has the goods, just not a course there quite the caliber of RD.
It continues to limp along. Really a shame. Super place...terribly marketed and promoted at the outset...it suffers still. What could have been for the investors had there been a proper presentation early on.
I was last in Dornoch in May of 2007. Quite a bit changed in my life, but I had regular conversations with my mother-in-law, Isobel, who lived there until her sad passing in 2012. I also have other contacts there I keep in touch with. I ADORE the place, and am quite aware of the " changes." The Northern Times does its best as well.
I retained my membership, at fair expense for a man of modest means, with full intentions of returning on the annual basis I had enjoyed previously. Alas, that was not to be.
Moves stateside, running my own business, expense of a new home, and then a very unfortunate end
to what was in the main a wonderful marriage to Mairi, the daughter of Dr. John and Isobel, all conspired to keep me from being able to return.
Fortunately, Mairi and I are still close, we're just not married. She's an awesome woman. Her parents were THE BEST!
I' ve had to reboot my life, which ain't easy when you are 55, and run your own show.
I just gave up my membership to RD this March. It KILLED me to do it, but at this time I couldn't justify retaining it, not have been able to go over and use it since '07.

That is why I have not been over.

That said, RD and that wonderful village, will NEVER be far from my heart, for so many reasons.
I stayed there, at the Macleod home that looks out to just past the 2nd green, over the Dornoch Firth, for 14-17 days at a time, sometimes twice a year, from 1999 to 2007.
I immersed myself in the village, learning the history of it AND the club. Few, not born there, can claim the solid understanding I got from the Macleods. What doesn't the town Doc know?Regarding the club history, he had no peer. It became that important to him to get it right as best he could. It was the final chapter in a VERY rich life of service,  to BOTH the town AND his club. I miss him greatly.
I'm certain there would be changes now present that would displease me. Life ain't about perfect, or a static, unchanging existence.
But quite often, change is unnecessary, and detrimental to the overall quality of life in a place. The obscene evidence of this is ample in many places.
The population numbers you cite are spot on for what that region's population SHOULD be!
It's a rural place man, and a damn tough one to make a living!
There are trade-offs in life. You want jobs and industry...live there... in the heavy populated areas where they are present.
If you want clean air, a fairly unspoiled countryside, and a slightly slower pace...ya live in a place like Dornoch.
You DON'T pine for "growth, progress, and then shit it up by stamping man's footprint ANYWHERE you can get a dozer!
Sorry David, Dr.John and countless other members who KNEW the fool's gold of what is now being offered to degrade THAT ground, would NEVER advocate for what is being suggested, WITH complicity by the club I might add! Of that I'm certain...he gave his verdict, and it was a NO go.
The excuse that visitor rounds are maxing out as justification falls flat. Hell, the Struie could use a mulligan...if they are so hot for it, broker a deal that involves funding that new monument of a clubhouse some of the membership has been thirsting for. Add a bus terminal for the Perry gang and all the rest and let's really get the money-spinning going.
Don't stop there, let's claim imminent domain and condemn the caravan park. You know, as one of those  "blighted areas" we  repurpose to get a "proper" short game and practice facility.
Is that what you came to Dornoch for David, 'cause that's where it's headed.
K :o

« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 03:12:58 PM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2016, 11:33:56 PM »
Brian,
Sorry for the nervous condition. I'll try to cap it. Apologies in advance for my future transgressions.

Cheers,
Kris 8)
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2016, 11:52:13 PM »
Kris -

I admire your passion for Dornoch. I am very sorry you have decided to give up your RDGC membership.

There is no point in getting into a debate about who knows or cares more about Dornoch. Suffice it to say in the 24 visits I have made to Dornoch over the past 12 years and the almost 500 days I have spent there, I have a view of the place and its future that is, at the very least, credible.

You will note that no where on this thread I have stated an opinion, in favor or against, on the Coul Links project. For you to question my motivation and integrity based upon that fact I own a holiday home in Dornoch is disappointing and insulting.

To the best of my knowledge, every project Mike Keiser has been involved with to date has been a success on every level, including benefiting the local communities. My guess is he cares about Dornoch and the surrounding area at least as much as we both do.

There is clearly a vetting process in place that will evaluate all aspects of the project and will solicit input from the local community. I can't help but feel that process is much better suited to judge the worthiness of the project than idle, random chatter on this board.

DT



 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:56:36 PM by David_Tepper »

Kris Shreiner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2016, 03:20:45 AM »
David,
If you wish to try and hang a guilt trip on me, fine. I NEVER called your integrity into question. Who ever said you weren't credible?
Where did I claim to know more than anyone else on any of the points I raised?
If you want to dance around the FACT someone stands to gain from this project if they own a property they rent,  right in the middle of the Dornoch village were this to be built...be my guest.
Most on here, including myself, are well aware you spend quite a bit of time there. You, more than most, should understand why that ground should remain as it is.
Why is it you can't grasp it? Neither can Mr.Keiser or Mr. Warnock thus far. I'll ask again...
Is NO ground that can yield great golf safe from exploitation?
If you think that Embo site isn't worthy of that level of safeguarding...just come out and say it.
Anyone can stand by and stay neutral.  Wait for somebody else to drop the hammer and then weigh in.
As to your thought that Mike cares about Dornoch as much as either of us. YOU may feel that way.
 There is NO WAY I would degrade THAT Embo ground for any golf course.... even if it was to be Number 1 for eternity!
People aren't stupid. Greed and ego often get the better of sound judgement. Sometimes the brakes need to be applied.
There is a process, but it can't always be trusted. That's the reality.
 Just like a healthy, sustainable economy MUST have a healthy environmental platform to sustain life. Once you' ve crapped enough of it up, you've lost.
I am FAR from being alone in that view. Time will tell.

Idle, random chatter...that's comical. But I'm the offensive one. Sure.

Cheers,
K 8)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 03:32:04 AM by Kris Shreiner »
"I said in a talk at the Dunhill Tournament in St. Andrews a few years back that I thought any of the caddies I'd had that week would probably make a good golf course architect. We all want to ask golfers of all abilities to get more out of their games -caddies do that for a living." T.Doak

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2016, 05:24:31 AM »
m not sure what Niall is talking of in terms of "development."  I am party to none of the particulars about this project, but in general, Mr. Keiser has no interest in developing housing, and only in developing lodging for golf to the extent that it can't be met by the local infrastructure.  I think he just wants to build a golf course.


Tom


It was a reference to your point that RDGC, and indeed, any number of other links courses were developed on similar sites to Embro. What's more putting a golf course on links land might be better for the bio-diversity of the site than leaving it to be grazed. It's the sort of thing someone like Mike Wood would be able to give chapter and verse about I'm sure.


Niall

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