Coul Links welcomed?

Added on December 15th, 2017 by Lorne Smith
Posted in Conservationism, General, New courses reviewed

The finest team in the world have got together to build a world class running-golf course on glorious links land, a couple of miles north of Dornoch, to be called ‘Coul Links’.



coul links golf

Coul Links

FineGolf’s 2016 article  Dornoch’s conundrum explained at the end of the article how the building of Coul Links could help transform the tourist economy of the area and be in fitting with Dornoch’s John Sutherland, its most famous son’s vision of prosperity for the future of  ‘ the village with a Church of Scotland cathedral’.

There has been overwhelming support from local inhabitants, politicians and local golf clubs, welcoming the enhancement of the area and Scotland for exciting, conservationist ‘running-golf’. With an extra 250 jobs forecast, and only being required to impinge on 1.8% of the Loch Fleet SSSI, it all appears to make the project a no-brainer.
Unfortunately, Tom Dargie, owner of an environmentalist consultancy (it was employed in favour of the controversial Lewis windfarm), and who fell-out with Donald Trump over the construction of  his world-class running-golf course near Aberdeen, has led a sudden recent rise in ‘green activist’ objections. He has brought his watermelon (socialist red in the middle, hidden by green on the outside) politics to play, using some anti-American and what he calls anti ‘elite golf ‘  tactics.
coul links

Coul Links with Ben Bragghie behind

(it should be noted that the American Coul Links investors Mike Keiser and Todd Warnock have nothing to do with Trump and anyway each of Trump’s four running-golf courses in GB&I are all built to the very highest conservationist standards and have added strength to the protection of diverse species, even if some politically motivated anti-Trumpians might not want to hear this truth).

FineGolfers know that traditionally managed golf courses add greatly to the conservation of habitat and species.
The main reason why FineGolf  offers its support behind Coul Links is the team behind it, they can be reliably trusted based on past performances.
mike keiser, todd warnock,

Mike Keiser with Todd Warnock

  • Mike Keiser, an American millionaire built the Bandon, Oregon, Cabot Links, Nova Scotia and Barndougle Links, Tasmania courses that are exemplar conservationist running-golf.
  • Coore-Crenshaw, are the finest golf course architect practice in the world for the creation of conservationist running-golf courses.
  • Chris Haspell, who managed the grow-in at Castle Stuart and its subsequent development into the finest fescue agronomy in GB&I has taken responsibility for Coul Links.
  • Todd Warnock, another American millionaire, is a committed Dornochian, who has invested heavily in high quality hotel and retail development in the area.


It needs to be remembered that since the millenium it has been primarily American money that has flooded into Scotland to build the new era of Running-Golf courses that has increased attraction to the Scottish tourist golf market.
Kingsbarns was the breakthrough and though there are ‘Americanised’ aspects to it Marc Parsinen (a member of FineGolf’s Advisory Panel) learnt from it to create Castle Stuart with the finest fescue agronomy in GB&I. The Renaissance followed with Machrahanish Dunes and  Dundonald Links and then Trump Aberdeen.
All built to the highest environmental standards and though not cheap to play and certainly what chip-on-shoulder Dargie calls ‘elite golf ‘, they are all profitable business models and have attracted wealth and jobs. (As an aside: They should not be mixed-up with, and are unlike, the appalling bull-dozered Target-Golf courses of the 1980/90s many of whom have gone bust, some repeatedly).
Coul Links is grounds for further Scottish optimism.This investment should be welcomed while the bugs and species are protected.
If you want to give your support, go to the Sutherland Highland Council website quoting planning application 17/04601/FUL and ‘make a comment’.
It needs as many supporters as possible, as the well networked ‘watermelon activists’ seem to be well organised in opposition, with their Trumpian scare tactics.


Reader Comments

On August 27th, 2018 W Douglas Martin said:

“they are all profitable and have attracted wealth and jobs”……….. I suspect Trump Aberdeen is nowhere near profitable! It may eventually become profitable once the houses that are proposed surrounding the course are built, but as for the golf course standing on its two feet………?
Dear Douglas,
You mis-quote. I believe the post-millenium American investments into Scottish golf all have profitable business models, primarily as people want to play them, unlike the appalling ‘target’ hotel courses of the 1990s.
I find it unfortunate that some people attack Trump’s courses because they dislike him. I imagine with Turnberry being acquired the Trump organisation’s priorities may have shifted but Trump has helped Aberdeenshire to attract more golf tourism and all the other courses and infrastructures are benefitting.
We British and Irish should surely welcome his heavy investment into four of the finest running-golf courses in GB&I?
Kind regards

On February 25th, 2020 joe luigs said:

Coul Links would ruin the atmosphere of Dornoch. the
village could not handle more wealthy americans;
dining, housing, etc. i have been a royal dornoch member
for way too many years and do not wish to be it
changed. i applaud the denial!
Dear Joe,
FineGolf recognised this point of view in ‘Dornoch’s Conumdrum’ , while others will say investment begets more investment and wealth rises for the locals.

Leave us a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

FREE, every 2 months
The FineGolf Newsletter

It will keep you up to date with what new course reviews and articles have been published