The golf clubs building lodges overlooking their courses

James Lee
By James Lee February 2, 2016 16:19

Having a holiday home or lodge built overlooking your golf course could bring in significant income, as several golf clubs are realising, reports James Lee

16-18 Castle Stuart lodge exterior2. Credit Scene It Media

The lodge at Castle Stuart. Image by Scene It Media

Building holiday homes that overlook golf courses has been an effective way that many venues have benefitted either from the rental income, or from the revenue from selling the buildings to buyers.

With major venues like Castle Stuart Golf Links the homes even provide accommodation to high profile visitors and their construction can be a testbed to future improvement works.

16-18 Castle Stuart Golf Lodge visual. Credit Scene It Media

That club has a three-bedroom holiday home called the Golf Lodge, which overlooks the 18th green on the Scottish Open venue, and it has just had a fourth bedroom added using a method that is set to be used during a larger development.

The 25 square metre extra room was built and fully fitted off-site and then hoisted into position by crane before the finishing touches were applied.

A similar approach will be used to create a planned 66-bedroom hotel earmarked for the site over the next few years. Feedback from visitors using the Golf Lodge in the coming months will help shape the design of the larger building.

16-18 carbon dynamic Lodge internal (Findhorn)

The Golf Lodge is the home of Castle Stuart’s managing partner Mark Parsinen when he visits from California and has also been used by a number of big name visitors including Arnold Palmer, who is designing the venue’s new course, plus Alex Salmond and Paul Lawrie. It can also be hired by up to six golfers from £270 per night, including a round of golf, and the building includes Sky television and Wi-Fi.

The new bedroom was built using cross-laminated timber which is seen as a quicker, greener alternative to concrete or steel structural frames. The structure is also energy efficient, including the use of infra-red heating.

Castle Stuart is part of the Highland Golf Links partnership which promote ‘stay and play’ packages for visitors. The group includes Royal Dornoch Golf Club, The Nairn Golf Club, Culloden House in Inverness, the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch and Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, the latter having also installed 13 five-star lodges recently.

16-18 carbon dynamic Kingsmills Garden Lodges

“Each of these lodges were manufactured and fully fitted out in the factory in less than three weeks,” said a spokesman. “The 13 lodges, including one accessible unit, were delivered to site and installed in less than two days onto pre-prepared, low-impact foundations. Constructed entirely from Scots timber and laid out in a curve, each room has a unique view and privacy. The lodges have extremely high occupancy rates and are often block-booked for weddings or other group events.”

At both Castle Stuart and Kingsmills the rooms were built and fully fitted by Carbon Dynamic. Matt Stevenson, managing director of Carbon Dynamic, said: “We were really excited to deliver this project to Castle Stuart. We are delighted that the client and architects recognised the value of bringing a modern, sustainable, modular approach to the project.

16-18 carbon dynamic Kate Bonsall side view

“Our modular solution uses cross laminated timber as the core structural material and we believe this is an invaluable material for the future of sustainable building. The fact that we can adapt the prototype module for the hotel to be installed as an addition to an existing lodge at the club demonstrates the versatility of a modular approach.

“The off-site construction meant minimal disturbance to the grounds and it also meant that Castle Stuart were able to see and approve the finished article ahead of installation.”

The club spokesman added: “It also provides us with an ideal opportunity to design and test this method on a smaller scale with a view to developing it for the larger hotel project. We will be able to use feedback to ensure we provide the best possible facilities for our golfing visitors.”

16-18 carbon dynamic Kate Bonsall fron elevation photo

Thorpe Park Golf Course at Lincoln Golf Centre is another venue to benefit from lodges. The course, set in nine acres of Lincolnshire countryside, is overlooked by 25 holiday homes, each named after a major golf venue, which have recently become available to purchase for the first time.

Previously the lodges were only available to hire for short breaks but there are now a handful to purchase as a home or an investment.

“The rental diary for each lodge has been consistently busy, and they are currently yielding a 15 percent return as holiday lets,” said a spokesman.

“There is a choice of four unique lodges, all hand-built, mains connected and compliant with building regulations; they are constructed in exactly the same way as a conventional home and therefore enjoy the same life span. Each one has a private decked area with its own hot tub and can be made to specification, giving buyers the chance to design their new lodge around their individual requirements.

“The design detail incorporated into each style of lodge includes underfloor heating, a modern kitchen and solid wood flooring. The Belfry, a two-bedroomed home, also boasts open-plan living and a double-height sitting room. The decking that surrounds this particular lodge has a full canopy, meaning the outdoors can be enjoyed all year round. Similarly, The Birkdale has a glazed front creating a light and airy open-plan space. It has en-suite and family bathrooms, so there is plenty of room. The St Andrew’s lodge has a third bedroom and the St Georges’ mezzanine level third bedroom offers spaciousness but with an exceptional view of the lakeside setting.”

Prices for the homes start from £129,995.

Whitekirk Golf Club in Scotland is another venue that is set to see lodges built by the course. The club is building 21 holiday lodges, 40 houses and a 100-bedroom hotel, with the work set to be finished in less than two years. About 100 people are set to be employed to carry out the work.

Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant in Northumberland has erected five new, luxury and environmentally friendly timber lodges on its grounds. The buildings use sustainable wood and underfloor heating fed from the hotel’s biomass boiler, and are priced at £165 per night for bed and breakfast based on two people sharing.

Spokesman Richard Slade said: “Each lodge is made using sustainable materials that blend into our rural landscape.”

And at the end of 2015 Highbullen Hotel, Golf & Country Club was granted planning permission to build so many lodges at its venue that the 18-hole golf course will be reduced to nine holes.

The mix of luxury lodges and special tree house retreat timber-clad lodges for couples will create several jobs.

At the planning meeting, golf club owner Frank Chapman explained to councillors that the lodges represented an opportunity to generate much-needed revenues. He added that he had spent almost £9 million on regenerating the site since buying it in 2012, and needed the lodges to keep the award-winning business viable.

Councillor Jasmine Chesters, when approving, said: “We want more people to come to north Devon and I can’t see any reasons to turn this down.”

For more information on Carbon Dynamic, visit Unit 17, Cromarty Firth Industrial Park, Invergordon, IV18 0LT, tel: 01349 854003 or email:


James Lee
By James Lee February 2, 2016 16:19
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