Ian: I just don't see how this is going to benefit the local economy when you say that "hopefully" golfers will play Golspie and Brora as well as RD and CL. Your comparison to Bandon is completely off as you are dealing with a self contained resort with 5 courses and very few of those who come there do anything other than play golf at Bandon, stay in rooms at Bandon and eat at the restaurants at Bandon. The better comparison is Carnoustie which certainly is as much of a draw as most any course other than TOC yet golfers stay in St Andrews and go to Carnoustie for the day and go back to St Andrews - they don't play the other courses including Panmure which is very good. Again, I am certainly not against the building of CL but I agree with Lynn that a commitment to market it along with RD and Brora and Golspie would have far more credibility as actually being concerned with the economy of that area.
Coul Links to date (and prior to any earth being moved) has created more hype and actual golfers wanting to visit, than any course in the immediate vicinity of Carnoustie has in the last 100 years.
In fact your example is perfect to support Coul Links.
Just look at Ayrshire, as an example.
Turnberry and Troon are the championship "anchors" that make the SW coast a destination.
My first trip was there in 1990 and we then also played Prestwick (analogous to Brora) and Western Gailes.
If there was only one cornerstone course, would it be a destination? Would we have stayed to play the (arguably) "lesser two"? (Although Western Gailes still ranks as one of all-time favorites.)
(Ok, ok, ok...I know all about Prestwick and its history....relax...;-)
Same with when we went to St. Andrews. (Also in 1990)
We also played Carnoustie, but then played Scotts Craig and Ladybank.
My point is: One championship course is a draw, but TWO make a destination.
Mike Keiser has been told he is crazy no less than 4 times. Just was at Sand Valley over the weekend. 300 people employed all-in there now including caddies. Plus, the tee sheet is full through August already.
Sure, Coul will not have lodging. But, the intent was always to let the local businesses address that.