Scotland’s pioneering golf course architects of yesteryear are to be celebrated at a major conference in the Highlands today.
The Scottish International Golf Course Architects Conference will be held until March 3, focusing on the lasting impact Scottish architects have had on the game on a global scale.
The event will start with a tour of the University of the Highlands and Islands campus in Dornoch, which runs a BA (Hons) Golf Management course – the first honours degree of its kind in the UK.
Delegates will then visit a number of historical courses in the Scottish Highlands too.
These include: Royal Dornoch (above), which last year marked 400 years of the game played in the town’s links; Brora Golf Club, which marked its 125th anniversary last year; and Castle Stuart (below), which only opened in 2009 but has hosted the Scottish Open on four occasions.
Architects that will be in discussion will include the legacy of greats such as Old Tom Morris, James Baird, Donald Ross, Willie Park Jr and Alister MacKenzie.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This event celebrates Scotland’s historic environment and past and illustrates how Scotland continues to influence the global golf industry.
“The Scottish Government will continue to do all it can to help grow the golf sector. As well as the leisure tourism aspect, we also see a modern, forward looking golf industry, which not only welcomes 220,000 golf tourists every year, but also recognises the value added to Scotland’s economy through providing golfing supplies and expertise to the domestic and global market."
A host of international speakers are set to appear at the event, too.
Senior golf course architect at the Arnold Palmer Design Company, Thad Layton – who is involved in plans to build a second Championship course at Castle Stuart – will be in attendance.
As will Australian designer Bob Harrison, who has recently created a new course on the island of Jura.