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Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #575 on: June 25, 2018, 02:04:07 PM »
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.


Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #576 on: June 25, 2018, 05:29:12 PM »
Marcos, Ian,


Youíre getting a little carried away with the hype around Coul though. This being based on the GCA love affair with Keiser & Coore.


99% of the golfing public will still consider Carnoustie the bigger draw.

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #577 on: June 25, 2018, 08:14:17 PM »
Marcos, Ian,


Youíre getting a little carried away with the hype around Coul though. This being based on the GCA love affair with Keiser & Coore.


99% of the golfing public will still consider Carnoustie the bigger draw.


Thanks, Ally, but I think not. Appreciate the sentiments, but they are misplaced.
I could put metrics behind my views, but...well, why bother, right?


Just look at any...and I mean ANY "Top 100" list and count the CC/Keiser courses.
If that's hype then I'm on board...;-)


Cheers.

David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #578 on: June 25, 2018, 09:18:12 PM »

Lou_Duran

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #579 on: June 25, 2018, 09:47:36 PM »
They are beating the drum already:

https://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/coul-links-impact-17809.htm

David,

As a long time visitor to the area and with your knowledge of the site, what do you think are the prospects for the course if it gets built with some similarity to the plans?  Will it drive demand in the area for hospitality, restaurants, and other services?  How might it impact the membership and operations at RD?

Bill Coore gives the site the highest praise in the video clip from above.  My untrained eye didn't pick up on the promise, at least not from where we had a limited panoramic view.  Is the hype warranted? 

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #580 on: June 25, 2018, 10:48:57 PM »
Marcos, Ian,


Youíre getting a little carried away with the hype around Coul though. This being based on the GCA love affair with Keiser & Coore.


99% of the golfing public will still consider Carnoustie the bigger draw.


Thanks, Ally, but I think not. Appreciate the sentiments, but they are misplaced.
I could put metrics behind my views, but...well, why bother, right?


Just look at any...and I mean ANY "Top 100" list and count the CC/Keiser courses.
If that's hype then I'm on board...;-)


Cheers.


99% may be a overstatement but there is a huge difference: Every other Keiser / Coore course isnít placed near 15 other genuine links courses with public access, 100 years of major championship history and similar Top 100 status. Nor are they in a country where the names Keiser and Coore mean very little to all but the real GCA nuts.


Iím not questioning that it will likely end up a Top-100 course (at least for the next 20 years as all the raters will automatically love it). Iím not questioning that it will have plenty visitors or that it will be a great course.


Iím just saying that it wonít necessarily have the same pull for tourists as Bandon does (for example) for those who live in the western half of the US.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 10:51:18 PM by Ally Mcintosh »

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #581 on: June 26, 2018, 09:44:35 AM »
Ally, you may indeed be correct.


Or, for another opinion, I refer you to this article from yesterday: https://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/coul-links-impact-17809.htm


Hyperbole? Perhaps a wee bit.
But, thematically, it is in-line with what I have endeavored to espouse.


CC/Keiser courses can be played over and over again and tourists make specific (and very inconvenient) return pilgrimages to play them.


Carnoustie, OTOH, for me: it was "one and done". The only thing memorable about it (aside from the opening few holes and Hogan's Alley) was getting our van stuck under one of the stone bridges because we were late driving up from St. Andrews...;-)


Trump Aberdeen is also a "one and done" course for belt-notching box-checkers.

RDGC is a course that can be played over and over and my wife loves it, too.
My guess is that Coul may be the site of CC's "Chef D'Oeuvre" making Dornoch a must-see repeat destination.

Ok, I cede to you that last line was all hype...;-)


David_Tepper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #582 on: June 26, 2018, 01:18:53 PM »
"As a long time visitor to the area and with your knowledge of the site, what do you think are the prospects for the course if it gets built with some similarity to the plans?  Will it drive demand in the area for hospitality, restaurants, and other services?  How might it impact the membership and operations at RD?

Bill Coore gives the site the highest praise in the video clip from above.  My untrained eye didn't pick up on the promise, at least not from where we had a limited panoramic view.  Is the hype warranted?"

Lou -

As you can imagine, I am very interested to see how everything plays out. I am very hopeful there will be a "spillover" impact that brings more visitor play to Golspie, Brora & Tain. However, I wonder if the "belt-notchers" and tour bus crowd will simply come, play RD & CL on successive days (spending a night in Dornoch) and then head back south. 

From an artistic and marketing standpoint, Castle Stuart has been as successful a venture as could be hoped for. The course has been very well received by the critics and has garnered enormous exposure/publicity worldwide by hosting the Scottish Open on TV multiple times. Yet even after being open for 7-8 years now, my understanding is the course does not see 10,000 rounds of play a year. It is hard to imagine Coul Links doing much better than that.

DT 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 01:29:43 PM by David_Tepper »

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #583 on: June 27, 2018, 05:46:17 AM »
Ally

All your points are valid. However to my mind it is largely going to be aimed at the North American market. And while the North American market represents a much smaller percentage of visitor rounds in Scotland than some on here imagine, numerically it is still a lot of visitors and Dornoch seems to be near the top of the list for Americans.

The other thing that will give them an edge, is like Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart, they are dedicated pay and play whereas other courses have to cater for their members every now and again. However, as David has said above, if CS is only getting 10,000 rounds a year on the back of all the exposure and favourable comment it received then how many will Embo get ? How many rounds do they need to break even for their type of operation ?

David

I understand your concerns. Total spend on golf in the area may well go up, at least in the short term, but will the money simply gravitate towards Embo and RDGC (even more) with less left over for Brora and Golspie and all the other clubs ?

That said, neither Brora or Golspie appear to be struggling and if you treat visitor numbers as jam on the cake then they should readily survive a thinner spread of jam.


Niall

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #584 on: June 27, 2018, 06:24:42 AM »
Niall,


Really you hit on my point: The American tourist market will make up a large share of rounds and it is actually a lot smaller then people think.


Castle Stuart already has an easier location and a championship history and it is quarter full.

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #585 on: June 27, 2018, 09:37:46 AM »
Castle Stuart is a fine golf course but there is no there-there once you admire the art deco clubhouse and the views.  Nothing local between two dumps (Inverness and Nairn).  It's a mini Bandon which is not non-mini enough to attract larger groups of customers.


To be honest, north of Edinburgh and Glasgow, there are no real culture/golf places to visit, with the possible exception of Dornoch.


But, the conundrum that Dornoch faces is a demographic (old middle-class British farts) which wants to buy houses there rather than build businesses (e.g. Hotels, Restaurants, etc.).  The locals do try, but they do not have the money, and the climatological realities are that Dornoch is a profitable destination resort for heavy hitters only in the mid May-late August period.  Even Skibo struggles from September to early May to make a profit (if they care).


I wish the best, but I expect the mediocre.


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Jonathan Mallard

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #586 on: June 27, 2018, 10:15:04 AM »
Castle Stuart is a fine golf course but there is no there-there once you admire the art deco clubhouse and the views.  Nothing local between two dumps (Inverness and Nairn).  It's a mini Bandon which is not non-mini enough to attract larger groups of customers.


To be honest, north of Edinburgh and Glasgow, there are no real culture/golf places to visit, with the possible exception of Dornoch.


But, the conundrum that Dornoch faces is a demographic (old middle-class British farts) which wants to buy houses there rather than build businesses (e.g. Hotels, Restaurants, etc.).  The locals do try, but they do not have the money, and the climatological realities are that Dornoch is a profitable destination resort for heavy hitters only in the mid May-late August period.  Even Skibo struggles from September to early May to make a profit (if they care).


I wish the best, but I expect the mediocre.


Rich


Rich,


What do you really think?




Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #587 on: June 27, 2018, 11:05:23 AM »
What happens if it's built and then after a couple/few years it proves to be a dud and economically unviable and closes? Will anything have been done (that can't be un-done) other than the reshaping of a sandy, scrubby area that nature won't recover pretty promptly once man has gone elsewhere?
Just asking.
atb

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #588 on: June 27, 2018, 11:08:26 AM »
Niall,


Really you hit on my point: The American tourist market will make up a large share of rounds and it is actually a lot smaller then people think.


Castle Stuart already has an easier location and a championship history and it is quarter full.


Not quarter. Remember it closes in the winter. Half maybe.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #589 on: June 27, 2018, 12:44:09 PM »

Rich,

What do you really think?


Jonathan



I think what I believe based on real experiences, but am wide open to others whose real life experiences differ than mine.  What bothers you in my post?


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #590 on: June 28, 2018, 02:04:56 AM »
Castle Stuart is a fine golf course but there is no there-there once you admire the art deco clubhouse and the views.  Nothing local between two dumps (Inverness and Nairn).  It's a mini Bandon which is not non-mini enough to attract larger groups of customers.


To be honest, north of Edinburgh and Glasgow, there are no real culture/golf places to visit, with the possible exception of Dornoch.


But, the conundrum that Dornoch faces is a demographic (old middle-class British farts) which wants to buy houses there rather than build businesses (e.g. Hotels, Restaurants, etc.).  The locals do try, but they do not have the money, and the climatological realities are that Dornoch is a profitable destination resort for heavy hitters only in the mid May-late August period.  Even Skibo struggles from September to early May to make a profit (if they care).


I wish the best, but I expect the mediocre.


Rich



Congratulations Rihc you've finally become 'Lord Fubar Humbug' and morphed into the much lampooned British landed gentry snob ;D Is there anything you don't disdain about where you live I wonder??? ::)

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #591 on: June 28, 2018, 02:36:06 AM »
Assuming the developers actually go relatively low budget (in the American sense, not the British one - the latter wonít happen), then the course will be safe even if it doesnít do great business, merely good.


But is it really a business development? Surely itís just a chance for a couple of golf course lovers to build for the first time on real links land?

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #592 on: June 28, 2018, 04:25:32 AM »
Ally -- a brave statement to make bearing in mind the fortune Mr Keiser must have made out of Bandon and is in the process of making at Sand Valley and Cabot. Although, you might have a point bearing in mind there's only scope for one course at Coul, it won't be a resort, and the original proposal was that Keiser/Warnock would turn the course over to Royal Dornoch once they had made their money back.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Jeff Schley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #593 on: June 28, 2018, 05:49:17 AM »
A big marketing ploy that is used for Keiser at Bandon and won't be able to be used here, is comparing it to a Scottish links course. 

Even on their homepage the very landing page advertises this, as Americans gravitate towards this this type of analogy (not that it isn't deserved).

Golf as it was meant to be...

Bandon Dunes is true to the spirit of Scotlandís ancient links. 

Here, players immerse themselves in the traditions of a timeless game and the grandeur of Oregonís rugged coast. Sweeping, untamed shores stretch for miles. Primeval grassy dunes roll to the sea. 

Five distinctly different courses have been conceived in harmony with the natural environment. They combine with all the essential elements to reveal a new golf experience every time you play. The soul of the game resides here. Players walk. And at the end of the day, gracious hospitality comforts each guest like a warm, friendly embrace.

This is Bandon Dunes. This is golf as it was meant to be.
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #594 on: June 28, 2018, 08:46:16 AM »


Congratulations Rihc you've finally become 'Lord Fubar Humbug' and morphed into the much lampooned British landed gentry snob ;D Is there anything you don't disdain about where you live I wonder??? ::)
[/quote


I'm Honoured, my fellow Lord.  I like a lot about where I live (Aberdour, Fife) but outside of its stunning beauty, easy access into Edinburgh and a decent golf course, I have never loved it.  Good for raising sprogs, but too small for diversity and decent amenities.  Dornoch, on the other hand has been the love of my life since 1978 (location wise) and always will be, but it too is too small for cultural and personal stimulation.  This is why my life is slowly shifting back to the USA.


Cheers


Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #595 on: June 28, 2018, 12:31:23 PM »
litterarum vestigia reliquisti  :-\

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #596 on: June 29, 2018, 07:47:26 AM »
litterarum vestigia reliquisti  :-\


semper ubi, sub ubi :)
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #597 on: June 29, 2018, 12:48:23 PM »
litterarum vestigia reliquisti  :-\


semper ubi, sub ubi :)



apparently that is not the Scottish way. Or at least as folklore would have us believe ;)

V_Halyard

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #598 on: June 29, 2018, 04:08:51 PM »
Ally -- a brave statement to make bearing in mind the fortune Mr Keiser must have made out of Bandon and is in the process of making at Sand Valley and Cabot. Although, you might have a point bearing in mind there's only scope for one course at Coul, it won't be a resort, and the original proposal was that Keiser/Warnock would turn the course over to Royal Dornoch once they had made their money back.
Agreed. My bet is that the breakeven follows the conservative Keiser model: deliver great golf and the subsequent utilization will determine the scope of future investment. Looking at the original intent of Bandon, the original Keiser model was to build great golf because,... and see what happens, then perhaps turn over to a trust overseen by a "golf organization..." It is well documented that the compound profits and visits came by surprise. Same with Sand Valley. The team knew the golf community was potentially out there but projecting that my pals from Chicago and Minneapolis would travel to Sand Valley >6x/year (hi Morgan!) would have been an irresponsible business assumption. I suspect the projections for Coul are equally conservative and am guessing are built to compliment the "neighborhood" (Dornoch, Brora,Golspie) It is currently a single-course business model. There is ample opportunity for "Collateral Success" across the region, but unlike Bandon or Sand Valley, these courses are already on bucket lists. In this case, unlike Bandon and Cabot, Coul is a new kid on an old block.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 04:13:46 PM by V_Halyard »
"It's a tiny little ball that doesn't even move... how hard could it be?"  I will walk and carry 'til I can't... or look (really) stupid.

Brian_Ewen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #599 on: July 01, 2018, 04:24:45 AM »
http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/16325672.why-not-report-on-the-coul-links-planning-application-approval/


Why not report on the Coul Links planning application approval?


I READ the excellent piece on The Highland Council North Planning Committeeís ill-considered approval of the application to build a golf course on the locally, nationally and internationally protected conservation site at Coul Links by Kevin McKenna in todayís copy of The Observer.


Then I turned with anticipation to the Sunday Herald to get an informed and hopefully unbiased Scottish perspective on this debacle. Not on the cover. Perhaps pages 5-7 where there are often articles of note? No.


I then carefully went through the paper to find total silence on this vitally important issue. So amazed was I at the missing article that I handed the paper to my wife to check, assuming that I had somehow missed a feature. Still nothing.


This is the most important Scottish environmental planning decision since the Trump/Salmond fiasco in 2007 and has ominous echoes of that development.


Why is the Sunday Herald not calling for something of this importance to be called in by the Scottish Government? Do we fear a cover-up and kowtowing to the might of another American multi-millionaire? I hope not.


David W McAllister


Tain, Ross-shire

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