Evolution of the Carnegie Links at Skibo Castle

Evolution of the Carnegie Links at Skibo Castle

“This is an outstanding Links with a charm, variety and diversity of challenge rarely found.” That’s what Greg Norman had to say about the course at The Carnegie Club, Skibo Castle, one of the world’s most exclusive private clubs. Set against an idyllic backdrop of Highland scenery, the course is so quiet that tee times are not required. Little wonder then that Skibo has been described as a ‘golfers’ paradise’.

Originally commissioned as a 9-hole layout in 1898 by the original laird of the Skibo estate, Andrew Carnegie, the links has changed considerably since then, with a full 18-hole design created for The Carnegie Club’s launch in 1995. Then, in 2003, the club embarked on a multiyear plan to maximise the potential of the links layout, giving their members an unforgettable golfing experience true to the ancient forms of the game.

The reconstruction, which converted the course into its current 6,700 yard championship layout, has taken place under the experienced eye of the club’s Course Manager Gary Gruber. Gary has been based at Skibo for over 8 years, after returning to the UK from Australia where he worked at the prestigious Peninsula Golf Club in Melbourne and spent time studying the championship courses of the famous sandbelt region to the south of the city. At Skibo his responsibilities include managing the rolling programme of course renovation work, carried out during the winter months and sourcing natural materials to enhance the course environment. Working closely with the club’s owner and its Director of Golf, Gary’s vision for the reconstruction project has totally transformed the links.

Over the last 7 years, County Turf has supplied in excess of 60,000 square metres of finest County Fescue to The Carnegie Club. Gary says; “quality is of the utmost importance on the Carnegie Links, it is imperative that the course is immaculate and County Turf continues to provide us with the high quality fescue turf that we require. From the first roll to the last and over several years, the quality and consistency of the turf has been unparalleled. County Turf has been invaluable in helping us achieve our ambitions for golf at The Carnegie Club“.’ Andy Fraser from County Turf said, ‘we are thrilled to work with a world renowned club such as Carnegie, it’s great to know that our turf has been laid on such an esteemed course’.

The work carried out so far at Carnegie has been described as hugely impressive and the team are not finished yet; in the spirit of their founder Andrew Carnegie, they are planning even more improvements over the coming years, to ensure that they continue to provide an interesting and challenging game for the golfers who play there.

The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle offers its members and guests the chance to sample luxurious accommodation, mouth-watering dining, world-class golf and a wonderful variety of activities, all within the most relaxing and magical location imaginable. These activities include salmon and trout fishing, horse-riding, clay shooting, archery, cycling, tennis and quad biking. In addition, there is a magnificent ozone-treated indoor swimming pool, a luxurious spa and gymnasium and, for younger guests, a fantastic Children’s Barn, stocked with toys, games and staffed by professional child-minders.

Accommodation at the club is in the castle’s twenty one bedrooms and in the twelve family lodges dotted around the estate.