Royal Dornoch

There's nothing quite like Royal Dornoch. Originally a nine-hole course when first created in 1877, Royal Dornoch was soon extended to 18 heavenly holes by the world class Open Champion and golf course architect Old Tom Morris in 1886. In the early 1900s the course was remodelled to reflect the changes in golf ball technology, from the old gutta percha to the new, faster-flying, rubber-cored ball.

Some of the holes were lost in the Second World War thanks to an aerodrome placement, but otherwise this legendary course remains mostly unchanged. Expect a marvellous traditional Scottish links layout with stunning sea views, beautiful dunes and naturally undulating fairways. If all that isn't challenging enough for you, Tom Morris’ famed ‘saucer-like’ plateau greens will test your card! 

Make a pilgrimage to Royal Dornoch and you'll fall in love with its wild, isolated splendour, with the Scottish gorse delivering a blaze of yellow flowers. Pure white sandy beach divides the links from the Dornoch Firth, and the standards at the club are exceptional as well as providing a relaxed, welcoming environment rich in generous highland hospitality. Whether you play the Championship course or the eighteen hole Struie, you'll appreciate every precious minute of your Royal Dornoch golf experience.

About Royal Dornoch – A Brief History

  • People have played golf here since at least 1616 – and probably earlier still
  • The world's 3rd oldest golf club
  • Officially established in 1877
  • Dornoch's Championship Course was partially designed by Old Tom Morris, who crafted the first 9 holes in 1886
  • Donald Ross was the greenskeeper here from 1895 to 1899
  • By 1904 it had expanded to an 18-hole 5,960 yard course
  • Awarded Royal status in 1906 by King Edward VII
  • Respected as a jewel in the highland golfing crown by top golfers such as Vardon, Watson, Locke, Norman, and Crenshaw
  • As Tom Watson said about the Championship Course, it's “the most fun I've ever had on a golf course”
  • Final remodelling carried out by George Duncan after World War Two, inspired and influenced by Robbie Grant
  • The Royal Dornoch Championship Course was ranked No.5 in the world and No.1 in Scotland by Golf Digest during 2016
  • The Struie Course was ranked No.50 in the best links courses of UK & Ireland by Golf Digest in 2011
  • Host to the British Amateur in 1985, it's only major championship simply because of its remote location. The sheer quality of Royal Dornoch was never come under question!


Royal Dornoch scorecard

View Royal Dornoch scorecard


Featured Hole – Hole 6

Hole 6 is a fine Par 3 at 156 yards and relished by many a golfer. You'll find it cleverly built into a huge gorse-smothered dune, well protected by this and the three bunkers to your left. If you head too far right you'll end up with proverbial egg on your face, confronted by a steep slope with a really difficult task facing you ahead. Even if you manage to hit a perfect 6 iron, you risk catching the back left bunker. If you can save the shot in the sand for par, you'll be thrilled. In one delighted player's words, “This is what golf is meant to be like”.   


Known for a tough yet fair test of skill

Your Royal Dornoch golf holiday provides a tough yet fair test of skill, rewarding players who think carefully first and act second. You need to be on top of your game to make the best of the Championship layout, and the Struie presents an equally worthy challenge. Expect big, undulating greens with plenty of room off the tee, and drives that deserve plenty of consideration thanks to the often high wind and pin positions. Like the best links courses it's a matter of straight out and back, but the angle changes on each hole. Think ahead, adjust your strategy carefully, and you'll leave with a big smile on your face. 


Royal Dornoch golf breaks

A Royal Dornoch golf vacation provides the jewel in many a golfer's crown, and Royal Dornoch tee time is always in high demand. To find out more about this exceptional course or the excellent golfing vacations we provide, feel free to contact us.  If you'd like to master this golf course , our Royal Dornoch golf deals provide the perfect way to enjoy fantastic sport, excellent accommodation and more. The Experience St Andrews is home to a range of expertly put together golfing packages: we’ll provide you with a warm welcome, luxury accommodation and amazing memories to take home. All our breaks can be tailored to suit your desired itinerary, so please do get in touch to find out more - as passionate golfers and golf lovers, we have the experience to make your visit the best it can be.

Featured Royal Dornoch golf package:

St Andrews & North East/Highlands 8 Night Golf Package – Have the most unforgettable golfing experience featuring 8 rounds of Golf at the courses of your choice and 8 nights’ accommodation in the heart of the golfing world. Partake in amazing club lunches when in St Andrews, guaranteed tee time at the Old Course, and enjoy free daily transfers and a trip to the British Golf Museum. This package represents incredible value, and includes a selection of famed golf courses, including Royal Dornoch, that will make your experience the envy of any golfing enthusiast. Discover More >