b'GOLF THE CARNEGIE CLUBLeft: Andrew Carnegie of the setting, it was inevitable that the game would oneplays golf at Skibo in day return. That day finally came a few years after the1905. Below: the hotelier Peter de Savary acquired Skibo in 1990.original clubhouse in 1920. Right: the He commissioned the successful golfer, turned writer,remodelled course turned golf course architect, Donald Steel, to create aprovides interesting links course over a glorious, compact peninsula encircledoptions for playerson three sides by Loch Evelix and the Dornoch Firth.Steel, who has some 80 to 90 new courses to his name, is a great believer in fitting the design to the landscape. His new design for The Carnegie Links opened in 1994, with a televised Shells Wonderful World of Golf tussle between two top players of the dayGreg Norman and Fred Couplesshowcasing it to the world a couple of years later.Golf had returned to Skibo with gusto, and a very welcome addition it was too. So why the need for further remodelling and improvement works less than a decade later? There are two main reasons: new ownershipand therefore new investmentplus new opportunity.Just as no two artists would paint the same picture if42given a blank canvas, no two golf course architects would 4 3come up with the same course layout over the same terrain. Especially when slightly freer brushstrokes are possible, as they were for Tom Mackenzie when he was brought in again by Skibos then-new owner, Ellis Short, to reimagine The Carnegie Links in 2003. Mackenzie had alsoAnother beauty of the remodelling was that it allowed assisted Steel with the initial design. There were constraintsMackenzie to make fuller use of Loch Evelix as a serene over planning originally, Mackenzie explains. The second timebackdrop. We were able to move the 12th so that it plays around we were able to have another go at the planning side of thingsimmediately alongside the Loch, whereas before we had and, because Skibo had done everything they had undertaken to do,had to stay back from the edge, he says. We turned it into we had the advantage of being able to do certain things that hadnta par-four from a par-five and moved the 13th over so originally been allowed. WE VE BEEN ABLE TO PROVIDEthat it plays towards Loch Evelix too, with the Loch and Skibos director of golf David Thomson takes up the story:boathouse in the background.The first thing we did was to change the routing. It used to go first,RE AL DISTINCTION ANDAs for the ingenious risk-reward 17th, Mackenzie second and then on to what is now our sixth, which meant you wereARCHITECTUR AL INTERE STadmits it would have been easy to have it as a par-three. hitting a lot of fiddly irons shots for the first four or five holes. So weI was adamant that it should be a drivable par-four, changed the routing and then started redesigning. We moved a lotBE T WEEN THE HOLE S though, he says. So people going for it would have of sand to create a natural dune-scape that tied the second hole intoto start it out over the sea in a westerly wind and bring the existing topography. it back into play. Youre trying to make the holes We were able to separate certain holes and move away fromas memorable as possible and give golfers as many some conflict that existed between holes where they were marriedoptions as possible. The 17th was a deliberate attempt together in a slightly unorthodox way, Gruber adds. Weve been ableto create a really rich par-four, where probably half to provide real distinction between the holesreal separation, realof those who play it have got a chance of getting on architectural interestand the one thing that Skibo is all about:the green if they hit their Sunday best. But is it the a feeling of relative solitude. right thing to do?'