The publicity given to Donald Trump's proposals in the north east have taken almost all of the headlines over the past few years but for those in the industry the reality of Castle Stuart a hundred miles west along the Moray Coastline is much more relevant.
The team has been in place for a number of years now and they have gently courted the industry, the locals, involved the hoteliers in Inverness and Nairn, sought partnerships with golf courses and tour companies and altogether built strong, potentially long-lasting relationships that as the course and its busines model matures will see business collaborations doing exactly the same.
Compare and contrast with Menie perhaps? Make your own judgements.
The man behind the development is Mark Parsinen and whilst I think I may have been introduced to him, I don't know him. I do know some of the team who he's put in place and their very appointments speak volumes about content over style.
An article in today's Press and Journal sheds an even more positive light on this development and the personality behind it and it really does confirm that when it comes to developing a world class golf product in Scotland that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
The interview is well worth a read as it gives an insight into a man with a clear vision but one who recognises the environment, both geographical and social, that he is working within.
His methods are clearly working as earlier thsi week Casdtle Stuart gained the accolade of Best New International Golf Course of the Year by Golf.com.
Parsinen says in the interview, “My wife and I walked the coast all the way from Aberdeen along to Cruden Bay and through the Menie Estate without knowing it.We liked everything but, for me, the perfect site may be very different from Donald Trump’s perfect site. I was looking for elevation differential, access to views of the sea and landmarks in your perspective. The Menie Estate has these amazing dunes, not unlike Cruden Bay, but to me there is a sameness about the site which makes it difficult to do the kind of things I like to do. Menie wasn't for me and was quickly discarded.”
I've only seen the course, about this time last year, from the safety of a Landrover (relative safety I may add, as Fraser Cromarty was driving) but there is no doubt in my mind that Mark Parsinen has made exactly the right choice and created something that will continue to grow in status with every round that is played.