Tributes paid to visionary course designer

Mark Parsinen

Mark Parsinen, the acclaimed golf course designer and brains behind Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart, has died at the age of 70.

He suffered a stroke at home last week and passed away in hospital yesterday surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Dede, their children Cammy, Jenny and Samantha and their four grandchildren.

Alongside Gil Hanse, he created Castle Stuart on the banks of the Moray Firth. It opened in the summer of 2009 and within 18 months staged the European Tour’s Scottish Open, the first time such a major golf event had been held in the Scottish Highlands. It has since been hosted there a further three times.

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Grant Sword, managing partner at Castle Stuart, said: “Mark was a friend first and a partner second. His knowledge of golf and design was inspiring and his enthusiasm for his work highly infectious.

Castle Stuart 1024X682

“He was immensely proud of what he achieved here but his vision for the resort was much bigger. As difficult as it will be without him, we must continue his legacy and fulfil his ambitions for a place he held dear to his heart.”

Stuart McColm, Castle Stuart’s general manager, said: “Everyone at Castle Stuart, and the wider golfing world, is today mourning a man whose foresight, creativity and intelligence made him one of the great golf architects of modern times.

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“He helped create something special at Castle Stuart and that, along with the other courses he designed or influenced, will be his legacy.

“But he was also a charming and engaging person, and a great friend to many at Castle Stuart, the Highlands and Scotland, and he will be greatly missed.”

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