Work has finally started on the new Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at Ury Estate, near Stonehaven.
Jack Nicklaus pictured during a visit to Ury Estate, near Stonehaven
The project has been in the pipeline for a number of years and the opening date for the 18-hole championship layout has now been set for early summer 2024.
Commenting on commencing work on the golf course, 18-time major winner Nicklaus said: "From the first day I walked the estate and we discussed the course design, FM Group director Jonathon Milne made it very clear that the goal was to create something that would blend in naturally with the Scottish countryside.
"My philosophy has always been to work with what the natural environment has provided us with, and whenever possible create something that will enhance it, and in many cases create new and better natural habitats.
"And, while our firm has created golf courses in 45 countries, Scotland is very special as the game of golf and to me personally."
Nicklaus landed the first of three Open Championship wins at Muirfield in 1966 before adding further Claret Jug victories at St Andrews in 1970 and 1978.
On the back of those successes, it was a great honour for the American when he designed a course at Gleneagles, which was originally called the Monarchs before being rebranded as the PGA Centenary Course.
That staged a European Tour event for a number of years before hosting the Ryder Cup in 2014 and, more recently, the 2019 Solheim Cup.
"Some of my favourite courses are spread over the beautiful Scottish landscape and to have this opportunity to create something truly special at Ury Estate is both an honour and a great responsibility for me," added Nicklaus.
"My goal is to blend in a golf course that lays naturally over the landscape around Stonehaven, work to protect the existing natural surroundings, and to provide an experience that locals and visitors to Ury Estate will truly enjoy for generations to come."
Douglas Thomson, Ury Estate Project Director said: "To be commencing work on the course and having Jack's personal involvement is a ringing endorsement of what we are trying to achieve here in delivering a spectacular experience for both residents and visitors alike.
"The development has a great deal to offer the local community and will attract visitors to both Stonehaven and the surrounding area.
"The golf course is a significant addition to the Ury project and with work progressing on housing, infrastructure and the castle, it is full steam ahead this year."
Graeme Webster, who has worked on a number of courses in Scotland over the years, has been appointed as the project manager.
He said: "Our goal is to create a development that will blend in naturally with the spectacular Scottish countryside and Jack and his team work to an incredibly high level of detail, endeavouring to ensure that a wonderful golf course sits very well in the existing terrain.
"Current site features and the wonderful pallet of nature have all been carefully surveyed and incorporated into the design.
"The Jack Nicklaus signature golf course will undoubtedly be a fantastic addition to the North East of Scotland's already rich golf offering and one which will enhance Aberdeen's reputation as a world-class golfing destination."
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