Royal Dornoch


Royal Dornoch

  • Course Type

  • GOLF Top 100 World Rank (2023-24)

  • Year

  • Architect

    Old Tom Morris
  • Par

  • Yardage


Course overview

After Tom Watson played here before his Open defense in 1981, he remarked that the experience was “the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course.” Donald Ross grew up here, though Dornoch took its final shape as we know it today well after he left. Indeed, the course is similar to Oakmont, Pinehurst No. 2 and NGLA in the sense that one man’s steady hand (in this case John Sutherland) elevated the course over a period of several decades. Dornoch’s most famous hole, the two-shot bunkerless 14th (“Foxy”) runs along the North Sea, but its finest sustained stretch is inland (holes 2 through 6). The 7th was markedly improved in 2019 by Tom Mackenzie. By the time you reach it, you are already bewitched. (Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images)

3 things to know

  • Hole everyone talks about

    No. 6, par-3, 161 yards: Wedged between a wall of gorse to the left and the beach to the right, the long narrow green is not one you want to miss. If you do, your pot-bunker game best be sharp.
  • Best non-golf amenity

    Kick off your day with one of Harry Gow’s scrumptious morning rolls. For only 4 pounds, you can nosh on a white or brown roll with choice of bacon, sausage, black pudding or fried egg.
  • Insider tip

    From November to March, you can play Dornoch for only £70 and its sister course, the Struie, for only £25. Conditions might be trying but you can buy a hat and gloves with the money you’ll save.