Cabot acquires Castle Stuart, Disney World’s Magnolia course to get facelift, Deerpath GC's huge putting green

  • 1st Hole at Cabot Highlands - credit Steve Szurlej

The famed Castle Stuart Golf Links in Scotland has been acquired by Cabot, a Canadian development group that has made a number of high-profile acquisitions recently. The course will be renamed to Cabot Highlands, in keeping with Cabot’s branding identity, and while numerous upgrades are planned for the course, operations will continue without interruption.

The biggest change to the property will be a second 18-hole course designed by renowned architect Tom Doak. Construction on that course, which will weave around the castle itself, will begin next year and is slated to conclude in 2024. Other additions include accommodations and real estate plots, the latter of which will become available for sale in 2023.

The original course designer, Mark Parsinen, always envisioned the second 18-hole course, as well as a smaller par-3 course. That short course was recently completed and will have its grand opening next year. Ben Cowan-Dewar, co-founder of Cabot, said that he and his team were proud to continue the legacy begun by Parsinen, who died in 2019 at the age of 70.

“Our goal has always been to create unforgettable memories in magical places, and this certainly fits the bill,” he said.

The Magnolia course at Walt Disney World is about to get a facelift courtesy of Ken Baker at One Club Limited. The course, named after the thousands of magnolia trees on the site, is one of the original golf courses at the resort. It’s the longest of the four Disney World courses and features a sand hazard shaped like Mickey Mouse on the sixth hole. Opened in 1971, the course was originally designed by Joe Lee.

Magnolia Course at Disney World

Disney World entered into an arrangement with Arnold Palmer Golf Management more than a decade ago to manage the courses, and the Magnolia redesign is the last of the projects that improved the other three courses between 2014 and 2018. The main thrust of the work will focus on improving holes 14 to 17, as well as renovation of all 18 greens, rebunkering, and making new tee boxes. Specifically, the par distances on the aforementioned holes will change, including the addition of a dogleg on hole 16. A bridge is also being added that will connect holes 16 and 17.

The resort expects the course to reopen later this year.

Deerpath Golf Course in Lake Forest, Ill., opened The Lawn, a 30,000-foot expanse of bent-grass putting green, on July 6. The area is intended to be used by golfers of all ages and skill ranges and was the result of a partnership between the golf course, KemperSports, the Friends of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Foundation, and the Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation.

The Lawn at Deerpath GC

Photo courtesy of KemperSports

Other features of The Lawn include a three-hole chipping course and an 18-hole putting course. It is surrounded by a 15-foot chipping fairway surface and practice tee stations. The architect, Todd Quinto, was inspired by other famous putting courses around the world, such as the Ladies’ Putting Course at St. Andrews in Scotland and the Gauntlet at Streamsong Resort.

The Lawn will be free of charge to the general public and is one of the few municipally owned facilities of its kind. It will also be available to rent for private functions that can place colored obstacles to enhance the experience.

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