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An inquiry into an application to build a new championship golf course in the Scottish Highlands is underway.

American businessman Todd Warnock received permission to press ahead with building Coul Links near Dornoch in June last year.

However, that application was called-in by Scottish ministers in the wake of widespread environmental opposition. The World Commission on Protected Areas told the Scottish government that the decision to grant permission to developers was a ‘significant concern’.

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That has resulted in a public inquiry, being held at the Carnegie Hall in Clashmore, and which is expected to last up to six weeks.

Speaking to earlier this month, two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, who has designed the course plans with business partner Bill Coore, expressed his hope that the project would finally be given the green light.

Coul Map

“We’re trying to be very patient and we understand the reasons that people have,” said Crenshaw. “It would be a wonderful thing for the Highlands of Scotland and we know it would be a boom to the economy up there. That would be nice for the area, no question, but we’re just trying to stay patient.

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“Myself and Bill are not very demanding. If the people there want a golf course, they’ll make it happen.”

It has been anticipated that Coul Links, if approved, could boost the local economy by £60million over ten years with the creation of 250 jobs, including 25 full-time employees on-site.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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