Royal Dornoch Golf Course
“1OO YEARS ROYAL”
Ceud mile failte! That’s Gaelic for “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes”.
However in 2006 Royal Dornoch celebrates a more modest figure of 100 years “Royal”. In 1906 Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland, prevailed on Edward VII, a frequent visitor to her Sutherland Home at Dunrobin Castle near Golspie, to award the title “Royal” to the Dornoch Golf Club. Visitors, then and now, expect high standards from the Royal Clubs and all at the Club strive to satisfy this expectation. As part of the celebration we aim to have a match against the British Golf Collectors Society all playing with hickories and it there is great interest to see how the scores with traditional clubs match those in contemporary competitions.
Royal Dornoch is proud that we are one of the original locations of golf in Scotland. Centuries before the golf club was founded records show the game was being played in 1616 on the town land on the links along the seashore. It was Old Tom Morris who had the honour of really designing the Championship Course before John Sutherland added the final gloss. Donald Ross learnt his golf on the links and as professional and greenkeeper also made his contribution before being lured to America by the opportunities to be found there. Ross from his experience of Dornoch links always worked in sympathy with the landscape. “Give me slightly rolling terrain and sandy soil and I’ll give you the best courses. His philosophy was: “On account of the rolling character of the fairways the player will be confronted with varying distances demanding perfect control of the strokes to get satisfactory results”.
Dornoch today continues to honour that philosophy. It asks that golfers create shots, play by feel and instinct, and let go of charts and mechanical thinking. The Championship Course rated 5th in the world outside the USA, can be enjoyed by the average player, but offers repeated and fresh challenge to the expert. The Struie Course, extended by 5 new holes in 2003, has its own character. It is well suited to being a family holiday course, but it also challenges the lower handicap golfer to make a good score.
Royal Dornoch is located away from any large towns. It has a unique atmosphere and is a haven of peace and tranquillity. It is a links for everyone. In the evening local folks can be seen out and about walking their dogs on the golden beaches, while others traverse a path above the links overlooking the holes and the Dornoch Firth which empties into the North Sea.
Golf at Royal Dornoch is without ceremony. Informality is the order of the day. The people of the Highlands of Scotland are renowned for their hospitality and our clubhouse staff do all they can to make sure that golfers, and if accompanied their families, are comfortable and are well fed and watered.