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Thomas Dai

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #275 on: August 16, 2017, 11:50:48 AM »
At a slight tangent perhaps, but I'd be interested to hear what effect cruise ship golf is having on golf in the area. That is cruise ships berthing at Invergorden and passengers disembarking to play golf at the surrounding area clubs.
atb

David_Tepper

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #276 on: August 16, 2017, 12:04:03 PM »
Thomas D. -

The emergence/development of Invergordon as a cruise ship port over the last 5-10 years has been a real boost to tourism (golf and otherwise) in the Highlands. I remember reading about the impressive number of ships that docked there in 2016, but I can't remember exactly what that number was. The promotion of the North Coast 500 route around the Highlands is likewise having a positive impact on tourism.

As far as golf, the ongoing issue (in my mind at least) is getting visitors to think beyond the "bucket list" courses and turning them on to courses like Brora, Golspie, Tain, Muir of Ord, Fortrose, etc.       

DT

P.S. Just found this article on the subject. Looks like 63 cruise ships with 96,500 passengers arrived at Invergordon last year:

http://www.northern-times.co.uk/News/xxx-18082016.htm
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 12:09:53 PM by David_Tepper »

Thomas Dai

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #277 on: August 16, 2017, 12:12:53 PM »
Thanks David.
I guess that in a few years the buses from the cruise ship will be heading for Coul/Embo as well!
Nice if they also stopped at the other splendid courses you mention although I can already envisage the "Play both Royal Dornoch and Coul Links in one day" advertising on the cruise company websites.
atb

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #278 on: August 20, 2017, 04:46:35 AM »
Other than Goodale, how many people here have been on the ground at Coul Links?


I ask because my wife and I were doing our laundry at Grannie's Hielan Hame yesterday and I took a bike ride around Embo that included a look at Coul Links from the Embo side. Later we rode from David's flat out to Embo and I took her over to have a look as well.


I know Rich said he has no doubt a great course could be built there, but looking at the routing map for the holes in the area I cannot figure out how they'll build a course that's playable while moving the small amount of sand they say they will.


I've played a fair number of the better links courses, including Royal Dornoch; Old, New, Jubilee and Eden at St. Andrews; North Berwick,; Gullane 2 and 3; Moray Old; Nairn and Nairn Dunbar; well, you get the idea.


Here's the thing none of them look remotely like Coul Links.  The closest might be a couple of the most crazily undulating holes at Fraserburgh and Tain.


I don't suppose a knucklehead like me has much of a position to question Coor and Crenshaw, but just because some folks want to do something and they say they will do it without ruining what's already there doesn't mean they're right.


Bicycle riding around some of the places I've been in Scotland has taken me past several pieces of linksland that look like golf courses before being touched by the hand of man.  I remember thinking that about the sandhills of Nebraska as I drove through them a decade or more before C&C got out there to "discover" the holes that ultimately became Sandhills GC.


At Coul, I just don't see it... without the application of bulldozers.


Edit -- while out on the links we ran into a guy who's been an RDC member for 30+ years and lived in Embo for 20.  He, along with a bunch of other folks, was walking a dog in the links.  He said some Embo residents thought the project was a good idea, but there were plenty who weren't wild about it.


K
« Last Edit: August 20, 2017, 04:52:54 AM by Ken Moum »
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

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #279 on: August 20, 2017, 04:59:58 AM »
Thanks David.
I guess that in a few years the buses from the cruise ship will be heading for Coul/Embo as well!
Nice if they also stopped at the other splendid courses you mention although I can already envisage the "Play both Royal Dornoch and Coul Links in one day" advertising on the cruise company websites.
atb


When I was in Nairn last week I got introduced to the CEO of Nairn GC by a member while watching the British Boys Amateur. After he walked away she told me he was "in charge" of a deal between Nairn GC, Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch. That would be http://www.highlandgolflinks.com/package/royal-dornoch-nairn-castle-stuart-golf-package/.


Just add Coul Links and you've got your package.
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

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #280 on: August 21, 2017, 01:47:59 PM »
@ Ken Moun -


I have walked Coul extensively.
It is an incredible site.



I dont want to comment on your comments as I get you are expressing an opinion.


Thankfully, those with vision do "get it".
Bandon, Cabot, Barnbougle, Sand Valley, Sand Hills.....that, to me, is a whole helluva lot of "getting it".


Starting to get dark here in Chicago at 12:37 PM CT

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #281 on: August 21, 2017, 03:42:20 PM »
@ Ken Moun -


I have walked Coul extensively.
It is an incredible site.



I dont want to comment on your comments as I get you are expressing an opinion.


Thankfully, those with vision do "get it".
Bandon, Cabot, Barnbougle, Sand Valley, Sand Hills.....that, to me, is a whole helluva lot of "getting it".


Starting to get dark here in Chicago at 12:37 PM CT


I agree that it's an incredible site.  My point was that I couldn't see how it ends up being a playable golf course with liberal application of bulldozer.


I have to assume that the parts of it I couldn't see have some natural corridors for fairways...


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

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #282 on: August 21, 2017, 03:49:42 PM »
Ken -


Caveat: I am NOT an expert by ANY means.


But...;-)...I would say that "natural corridors for fairways" are usually created by Mother Nature, not bulldozers....;-)
The subtle mounds and irregularities of links golf cannot be produced by man.

Coul Links has plenty of natural interest. Let's see what happens in the coming weeks....

Rich Goodale

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #283 on: August 21, 2017, 05:19:03 PM »
Good points, Ken and Ian


The Dornoch/Castle Stuart/Nairn winter offer has been on the go for several years.  Very good value for money, but less so for members at Dornoch.  Whether or not Coull Links makes the threesome into a foursome, I doubt that there will be any deals in the high season. as per now.  CL will be a great golf course, but a great investment/great economic engine?  Good Luck!


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Sean_A

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #284 on: August 22, 2017, 02:53:13 AM »
I recall Trump Aberdeen driving significant additional business for Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen...at least in the immediate aftermath of the Trump opening.  Is business still booming for these clubs on the back of Trump Aberdeen?  I suspect the same could happen for Coul Links.  People forget about the draw of a name.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Niall C

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #285 on: August 22, 2017, 05:50:51 AM »
Ken -


Caveat: I am NOT an expert by ANY means.


But...;-)...I would say that "natural corridors for fairways" are usually created by Mother Nature, not bulldozers....;-)
The subtle mounds and irregularities of links golf cannot be produced by man.

Coul Links has plenty of natural interest. Let's see what happens in the coming weeks....



Ian
 
If you donít mind me saying, that is quite a romantic view that doesnít really reflect the history of how a lot of classic links have evolved. Back in the day they might have only being using manual labour and horse drawn scoops but they still managed to shift a fair bit of soil/sand/earth. Even if they didnít leave the land completely flat they would have for instance reduced the height of moguls and partly filled in the gaps between to make the course more walkable/playable.


Arguably it was easier to end up with a more natural looking result back then with the limited machinery compared to today but even then if you look at Martin Eberts work in creating a new fairway in the first half of the 15th at Royal Troon, I think you would find it very hard to distinguish old from new.


Getting back to Kenís point, and indeed the question that Ally posed, how much soil are they going to shift and what will it look like afterwards. The work may extend over 50 acres but that doesnít tell you the volume.


Niall

Thomas Dai

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #286 on: August 22, 2017, 07:51:20 AM »
Back in yee olde days men and horses and the like cost money just like men and machines do now.
I can't imagine that back in yee olde days the folk paying the bills, back then groups of members not developers, were not as tight with the cash as they are nowadays.
Hence whenever the terrain permitted mow it out and move as little sand/soil as possible, which I imagine is why some yee olde courses have a good deal of eccentricity and uniqueness about them.
atb

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #287 on: August 22, 2017, 01:53:08 PM »
I recall Trump Aberdeen driving significant additional business for Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen...at least in the immediate aftermath of the Trump opening.  Is business still booming for these clubs on the back of Trump Aberdeen?  I suspect the same could happen for Coul Links.  People forget about the draw of a name.

Ciao


I can see the probability of delivering someone to Aberdeenshire for Trump's course and getting them to play the Royal Aberdeen, which is world famous, and Cruden Bay which has been on a lot of Americans check list ever since Dan King wrote about it on the Web 25 years ago. (His words were the sole reason it was in my itinerary for my first trip in 2006.)

I wonder (doubt?) if Tain, Golspie and Brora will get added to the checklist.  Trump Aberdeen and Cruden bay certainly haven't done squat for Fraserburgh.

And I doubt if Nairn GC's stream of coaches full of golfers has done much for the course on the other side of town.
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 #288 on: August 22, 2017, 02:13:27 PM »
Tie-ins between clubs in events are becoming more common - http://www.golfempire.co.uk/features/aberdeen-coast-links-championship.htm


atb

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #289 on: August 22, 2017, 03:24:00 PM »

@ Ken Moum -

I have walked Coul extensively.
It is an incredible site.

I dont want to comment on your comments as I get you are expressing an opinion.


Thankfully, those with vision do "get it".
Bandon, Cabot, Barnbougle, Sand Valley, Sand Hills.....that, to me, is a whole helluva lot of "getting it".


Okay, I am actually surprised my naive comments haven't actually drawn any more ire than they have.  I suppose it's because almost no one has actually seen the place from the ground and a most of those who have drove by on the closest road, which doesn't offer much of a view, especially since it's singletrack where you best be paying attention.

Whatever, we went out there on bicycle again today from Dornoch, and this time we pressed on down the abandoned railway line that runs from just north of Dornoch well past Embo. We didn't quite make it to Loch Fleet, but I climbed one of the bigger dunes on the west side to get a much better view.

I have to admit that the northern portion of the property most definitely looks like a site that any golf course architect would love to get his hands on.

But to to refer to my earlier comments, does it look like a golf course?

Ummm, no. It looks like a place where you could build a HELL of a golf course. Build, not "find."

The great links courses I've seen and played are actually mostly flat... Their undulations often are hard to see even from a couple of hundred yards away. Places like TOC only show their real contours for photographers in the raking like of sunrise or sunset.

Coul doesn't appear to be  like that. If they've found enough flattish ground for fairways good on 'em.

FWIW, I just went back and re-read the first 3 or 4 pages of posts in this thread, and now I can't decide if I think building  a course here is a good idea or not.
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

Ryan Farrow

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #290 on: August 22, 2017, 09:59:50 PM »

@ Ken Moum -

I have walked Coul extensively.
It is an incredible site.

I dont want to comment on your comments as I get you are expressing an opinion.


Thankfully, those with vision do "get it".
Bandon, Cabot, Barnbougle, Sand Valley, Sand Hills.....that, to me, is a whole helluva lot of "getting it".


Okay, I am actually surprised my naive comments haven't actually drawn any more ire than they have.  I suppose it's because almost no one has actually seen the place from the ground and a most of those who have drove by on the closest road, which doesn't offer much of a view, especially since it's singletrack where you best be paying attention.

Whatever, we went out there on bicycle again today from Dornoch, and this time we pressed on down the abandoned railway line that runs from just north of Dornoch well past Embo. We didn't quite make it to Loch Fleet, but I climbed one of the bigger dunes on the west side to get a much better view.

I have to admit that the northern portion of the property most definitely looks like a site that any golf course architect would love to get his hands on.

But to to refer to my earlier comments, does it look like a golf course?

Ummm, no. It looks like a place where you could build a HELL of a golf course. Build, not "find."

The great links courses I've seen and played are actually mostly flat... Their undulations often are hard to see even from a couple of hundred yards away. Places like TOC only show their real contours for photographers in the raking like of sunrise or sunset.

Coul doesn't appear to be  like that. If they've found enough flattish ground for fairways good on 'em.

FWIW, I just went back and re-read the first 3 or 4 pages of posts in this thread, and now I can't decide if I think building  a course here is a good idea or not.


I know someone that thinks this is a really great site for a golf course. I really hope it happens.

Scott Champion

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #291 on: August 23, 2017, 08:09:08 AM »


@ Ken Moum -

I have walked Coul extensively.
It is an incredible site.

I dont want to comment on your comments as I get you are expressing an opinion.


Thankfully, those with vision do "get it".
Bandon, Cabot, Barnbougle, Sand Valley, Sand Hills.....that, to me, is a whole helluva lot of "getting it".


Okay, I am actually surprised my naive comments haven't actually drawn any more ire than they have.  I suppose it's because almost no one has actually seen the place from the ground and a most of those who have drove by on the closest road, which doesn't offer much of a view, especially since it's singletrack where you best be paying attention.

Whatever, we went out there on bicycle again today from Dornoch, and this time we pressed on down the abandoned railway line that runs from just north of Dornoch well past Embo. We didn't quite make it to Loch Fleet, but I climbed one of the bigger dunes on the west side to get a much better view.

I have to admit that the northern portion of the property most definitely looks like a site that any golf course architect would love to get his hands on.

But to to refer to my earlier comments, does it look like a golf course?

Ummm, no. It looks like a place where you could build a HELL of a golf course. Build, not "find."

The great links courses I've seen and played are actually mostly flat... Their undulations often are hard to see even from a couple of hundred yards away. Places like TOC only show their real contours for photographers in the raking like of sunrise or sunset.

Coul doesn't appear to be  like that. If they've found enough flattish ground for fairways good on 'em.

FWIW, I just went back and re-read the first 3 or 4 pages of posts in this thread, and now I can't decide if I think building  a course here is a good idea or not.


I walked parts of the property in September last year, spending most time in the area closest to the ocean where the back 9 is proposed. Parts reminded me of Fraserburgh (holes 10-17) and it certainly has potential to produce great golf. I have no doubt that C&C will produce a course of very high quality - and frankly, anything less would probably be disappointing (note: assuming the environmental restrictions are not unduly restrictive).


As for how much shaping is needed (or allowed), a look into Mach Dunes could provide some answers. They were allowed to move whatever they wanted within greens area as the authorities had counted this area as being 'lost' anyway. Fairways were a different story as they incorporated many of the existing grasses on site and shaping was mostly not permitted. Parts of this site are in a similar category of environmental protection (SSSI).


I hope they find a way to reach an Approval - it's an exciting project and would further boost that region's golf offerings (not that you need any other reason to already visit!).









Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #292 on: August 23, 2017, 03:32:16 PM »

Scott,


I was discussing this project with Ken this morning whilst playing Tain. I am of the opinion that the dunes within 50 yards of the beach will not be useable but the rest is very mowable without much if any work. Outside the greens and tees there is no reason to do any else other than mow the current sward, overseed and put in drainage where needed. Many on here will not agree or understand this point of view but then many on here confuse faux natural look with being minimalist.


It is a great site and it will be a positive for the area but if another great course is needed in that area why not do something about Struie?


Jon

Thomas Dai

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #293 on: August 23, 2017, 03:52:14 PM »
....I am of the opinion that the dunes within 50 yards of the beach will not be useable but the rest is very mowable without much if any work. Outside the greens and tees there is no reason to do any else other than mow the current sward, overseed and put in drainage where needed....
Thanks for this Jon. Nice to hear.
Atb

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #294 on: August 23, 2017, 04:19:17 PM »

Scott,


I was discussing this project with Ken this morning whilst playing Tain. I am of the opinion that the dunes within 50 yards of the beach will not be useable but the rest is very mowable without much if any work. Outside the greens and tees there is no reason to do any else other than mow the current sward, overseed and put in drainage where needed. Many on here will not agree or understand this point of view but then many on here confuse faux natural look with being minimalist.


It is a great site and it will be a positive for the area but if another great course is needed in that area why not do something about Struie?


Jon


Jon,


Funny that you say that about the Struie for that was, in fact, the original intent. The GCA who walked the Struie in the spring of 2015 concluded that you simply could not make the requisite changes to transform the course into a "world class venue". There just isnt enough land there.


Almost as an afterthought he was asked to drive north to Embo and look at Coul Links.


Cheers,
Ian


Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #295 on: August 23, 2017, 06:00:09 PM »

Ian,


firstly, it depends what is meant by so called world class. Also, there is a vast area out there in the area where the Struie course is. Thirdly, if you were to confine the area to the present footprint of the Struie then you might struggle to build a 7000+ yard course but does golf really need yet another one of these. Finally, if I were in charge of such a project and the GCA came back to me saying they could not build a great course on the land where the Struie is my conclusion would be either the remit is terribly flawed or  the GCA was the wrong person for the job.


I will repeat that I think that Coul Links, if it is built will be a very positive addition to the area but I just hope that Mr. Coore builds something that uses the natural feature of the land. It would be good if one of the planning restrictions was that there could be no alteration of the through the green areas and no use of  earth moving machinery in these areas.


Jon

Rich Goodale

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #296 on: August 24, 2017, 11:06:28 AM »

Ian,


firstly, it depends what is meant by so called world class. Also, there is a vast area out there in the area where the Struie course is. Thirdly, if you were to confine the area to the present footprint of the Struie then you might struggle to build a 7000+ yard course but does golf really need yet another one of these. Finally, if I were in charge of such a project and the GCA came back to me saying they could not build a great course on the land where the Struie is my conclusion would be either the remit is terribly flawed or  the GCA was the wrong person for the job.


I will repeat that I think that Coul Links, if it is built will be a very positive addition to the area but I just hope that Mr. Coore builds something that uses the natural feature of the land. It would be good if one of the planning restrictions was that there could be no alteration of the through the green areas and no use of  earth moving machinery in these areas.


Jon


Jon


I'm generally in agreement with you that the upgrading of the Struie should be the primary strategic objective of RDGC, but the powers that be disagree, and have so for the past 15 years that I have posited this.  Sigh....


As for Coull Links, I don't think that a "great" course could be built there without the assistance of some heavy equipment.  A very quirky one could maybe be created with hand mowers, maybe--Old Ballyliffin 25 years ago comes to mind--but that's not what the posh punters would want to pay and play.


IMHO


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #297 on: August 24, 2017, 12:00:04 PM »

Ian,


firstly, it depends what is meant by so called world class. Also, there is a vast area out there in the area where the Struie course is. Thirdly, if you were to confine the area to the present footprint of the Struie then you might struggle to build a 7000+ yard course but does golf really need yet another one of these. Finally, if I were in charge of such a project and the GCA came back to me saying they could not build a great course on the land where the Struie is my conclusion would be either the remit is terribly flawed or  the GCA was the wrong person for the job.


I will repeat that I think that Coul Links, if it is built will be a very positive addition to the area but I just hope that Mr. Coore builds something that uses the natural feature of the land. It would be good if one of the planning restrictions was that there could be no alteration of the through the green areas and no use of  earth moving machinery in these areas.


Jon


Jon


I'm generally in agreement with you that the upgrading of the Struie should be the primary strategic objective of RDGC, but the powers that be disagree, and have so for the past 15 years that I have posited this.  Sigh....


As for Coull Links, I don't think that a "great" course could be built there without the assistance of some heavy equipment.  A very quirky one could maybe be created with hand mowers, maybe--Old Ballyliffin 25 years ago comes to mind--but that's not what the posh punters would want to pay and play.


IMHO


Rich


Jon and Rich are getting to the basis of the questions I was asking. Building on links land in GB&I is a true test of minimalism.... I'm not saying that true minimalism is always the best answer, just that there is a world of difference between most of Eddie Hackett's projects versus most of Gil Hanse's projects.


I'd like to see the expertise a Gil Hanse (in this case C&C) using some of the methodologies of an Eddie Hackett. In other words, do the work as if the budget is miniscule.

Thomas Dai

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #298 on: August 24, 2017, 02:11:24 PM »
Man and mower at Ballyliffin Old, as mentioned by Rich, and separately Eddie Hackett's approach, as mentioned by Ally, were thoughts that entered my mind as well.


Or alternatively......how about.......






Go on Bill and Ben. It's only sand. I dare you!


atb

« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 02:17:35 PM by Thomas Dai »

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #299 on: August 25, 2017, 02:58:28 AM »

Rich,


what I suspect we might end up with at Coul Links is the design being imposed onto the landscape rather than the other way round. I disagree with you on a golf course that uses the natural landform as not being able to attract the posh punter as it is image that attracts the punter. Image is something you can create out of thin air through marketing and convince punters they really want it.


I would hope that in this case the developer will be innovative and create something new and not another corporate golf facility.


Ally,


I agree 100%. but does Mr. Coore have the ability or vision to do this or will we end up with another frilly bunker course?


Jon

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