The Takeaway: Long heralded as one of the finest links in the world, Royal Dornoch doesn't disappoint with a seaside golf experience full of engaging shot opportunities, a memorable design, and stunning setting. Home of the famed Donald Ross, you'll find his inspiration for domed greens as well as one of the greatest designs in terms of variety you could hope for. Leaving Dornoch off your list of courses to play while visiting Scotland is virtually unforgivable. Grade A+
Designer: Old Tom Morris in 1886 (original holes in 1877)
Cost: £90.00 - £160.00 Click for current rates
Phone Number: Club = 01862 810219 - Professional = 01862 811924
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Royal Dornoch Golf Club (Championship)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Golf Road, Dornoch, Sutherland, UK
Accolades: Ranked 3rd in Scotland by Golf Course Gurus.
What to Expect: Located further north than the vast majority of courses in the world, Royal Dornoch makes the trip to the Scottish Highlands one of the most rewarding experiences in golf. The course is steeped in historical figures with Old Tom Morris crafting a sensational design which eventually became the place Donald Ross called home. The large sign displaying the course's namesake coupled with the collection of international flags next to the opening tee can't help but get you excited to tee it up on the links course many people place as the best on the earth. The walking only course offers a gentle handshake with the opening hole before delivering one high quality hole after another as is immediately evidenced by the par three 2nd hole that stands tall among the finest one-shotters in Scotland. The fairways are more generous than are found at other championship level courses which increases playability, pace, and ultimately enjoyment. Leaving the fairway will require some luck to find your ball among the fescue and heather, but it isn't quite as treacherous as other courses you'll encounter in golf's homeland. The variety of hole designs is truly exceptional with a couple of blind shots that are far more rewarding than frustrating. The routing plays along the sea on the inward nine while the elevated outward nine boasts plenty of views courtesy of the dunescape. The runners up to the final holes on each nine, #8 and #17, are unquestionably two of my favorite holes in all of Scotland. Ultimately Dornoch is characterized by a beautiful blend of elevation changes, fascinating greens, and highly intriguing hole designs that manage to deliver challenge and fun. While the opening and closing holes are a bit weak compared to the quality of everything in between, Royal Dornoch is a course I could play everyday and never grow weary of it.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 17th (Valley) Hole – 417 Yard Par 4
Best Par 3: 2nd (Ord) & 10th (Fuaran) Hole – 184 & 174 Yards – 2nd and 10th
Best Par 4: 8th (Dunrobin) Hole – 434 Yards
Best Par 5: 9th (Craigliath) Hole – 529 Yards
Birdie Time: 15th (Stulaig) Hole – 360 Yard Par 4
Bogey Beware: 14th (Foxy) Hole – 445 Yard Par 4