Unseasonal weather has left green keepers at a top Highland golf course working overtime during the festive period.
For the first time, staff at Castle Stuart Golf Course near Inverness were behind their mowers cutting the greens right up to Christmas Eve.
The course - which will host the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in the summer - usually has its last trim in November.
But this year the greens are still being cut in late December after temperatures topped 10C.
Warmer weather has also led to gorse flowering on the course, a sight not usually seen until late February or early March.
Chris Haspell, the course manager, said: "It's good in a way that we are not working in severe winter conditions, but it does bring its own problems.
"Pests that are normally killed by frost can thrive and this increases the risk of disease in the grass.
"It's a new challenge for us at this time of year but we are managing the conditions and will be ready when the snow does come."
Castle Stuart will host the Scottish Open from 7-10 July next year.
It will be the fourth time in six years the Moray Firth course has hosted the event.
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