Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Royal Dornoch is notably one of the best links courses in the World, so is well worth the trip up to the North-East to this sunny coastal town. Indeed, none other the Tom Watson, an honorary member, is quoted as saying of the course, “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course”. Golf has been played at the links in Dornoch since 1616 – the earliest written record and the golf club was founded in 1877.

In 1886 the club invited champion golfer, Old Tom Morris to help plan and extend the course, an architect who is regarded as the greatest golf course architect in the World.  As the game expanded, Tom Morris had a huge influence on Donald Ross, who was born in Dornoch in 1872 and in his early twenties was the professional and greenkeeper. In 1899, Donald Ross left Dornoch and moved to the USA, where he became one of the country’s foremost golf course designers. He took inspiration for his design of Pinehurst No.2, host of the 2014 US Open, from his home course at Dornoch.  Donald’s younger brother, Alec Ross, was also a professional golfer and won the US Open in 1907.  Between 1896 and 1910, the US Open was won by a Scotsman, 12 times!

Where can I play one of the best links golf courses?

Royal Dornoch is consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses in the World.

The setting is perfect, running along stunning beaches, towards Embo and views towards Ben Bhraggie. The out-and-back layout requires careful thought to unlock the best approach for each hole, and the raised green design, guarded by devilishly deep pothole bunglers, makes the course especially challenging. The 14th has often been deemed the “most natural hole in golf”. Royal Dornoch is a ‘spellbinding’ course, which rarely disappoints.

Visitors are very welcome and it is easy to book around online. If you have been playing golf for years this is the ‘holy grail’, so is well worth the 4 hour trip from Edinburgh or Glasgow.  Other courses nearby, to help steady up your swing, include Golspie, Brora and Tain – making this a great destination to plan a golfing weekend with friends. For those who don’t golf, Dornoch’s ‘blue flag’ beaches are outstanding, and the historic town is well worth a visit.  History Links, Dornoch’s award-winning museum is a short walk away and is home to a collection of Donald Ross artefacts – a Dornoch lad, who went on to design over 400 golf courses around the World.

  • Championship Course Green Fees 2021-22:  £210
  • Championship Course Twilight Green Fees 2021-22: £125
  • Struie Course Green Fees 2021-22: £50
  • Struie Course Twilight Green Fees 2021-22: £30
  • Golf and club facilities are available to visitors and members
  • Halfway House – after the ninth hole provides drinks and snacks as you head homeward bound
  • The welcoming  clubhouse overlooks the Ist Tee and has spectacular views of the Dornoch Firth
  • Located less than a mile outside of Dornoch City Centre

Things to do near The Highlands

History Museum in Dornoch

Step back in time with a visit to the Historylinks Museum. Dedicated to the history of Dornoch Parish, the permanent exhibition shows the Cathedral, feuding clans, the shameful burning of Scotland’s last alleged witch and the treachery and violence of Picts and Vikings. Current ...

Dunrobin Castle

Looking for a historic day out in the Highlands? Known as the ‘Jewel in the crown of the Highlands’, Dunrobin castle is one of the largest and most beautiful intact castles in Scotland and only an hour’s drive from Inverness! Watch layers ...

Whisky Weekends at Glenmorangie House

A series of whisky weekends have been announced for 2022 at boutique hotel Glenmorangie House, located in the royal burgh of Tain, deep in the scenic highlands of Scotland and just a short distance from the Glenmorangie Distillery. The weekend comprises a ...

Paddleboard Hire in Brora

Want to experience the breathtaking views of East Sutherland? There’s no better way to explore the lochs and coastlines than a paddleboarding experience. You can hire boards and get lessons from the Sutherland Adventure Company. Places to explore include Brora beach, Loch ...

Dolphin Watching with Ecoventures in the Highlands

Ever wanted to get up close and personal with some of the Highlands’ marine life? Ecoventures are determined to provide every visitor with the most memorable wildlife encounter they can get. The small, friendly team of staff at Ecoventures made it possible ...

Visit the amazing structure of Fort George near Inverness

In the shadow of Loch Ness, where thousands of visitors descend to spot their favourite Scottish monster, lies an unsuspecting sight – one of the largest 18th-century military fortifications in the world, and one of the most outstanding seen in Europe, Fort ...

Gold Panning in the Scottish Highlands

Have you ever wanted to hunt for your own treasure and find diamonds in the rough? How about Gold? Why not head over to Suisgill Estate and get ready for some gold panning! This recreational activity follows strict rules and is permitted ...

Helmsdale’s Timespan Museum in The Highlands

Discover the local and social history of the parish and the people of Helmsdale and embark on a journey from the open sea to the river mouth upstream and in towards the mainland to the Strath of Kildonan! The Timespan Museum focuses ...

Watching the Moray Firth Dolphins

Join North 58º Sea Adventures for a 2-hour long wildlife adventure for your chance to see the only known population of bottlenose dolphins in the North Sea. The Moray Firth dolphins are particularly special, with a population of approximately 190 individuals these ...

Brodie Castle & Gardens

Ancestral home to the Clan Brodie for over 400 years, it is understood the family were gifted the land by King Malcolm IV in 1160. The original castle was built in 1567 but was destroyed by fire in 1645, by Lewis Gordon ...

Flying Lessons in Inverness

Have you ever wanted to learn how to fly a plane? Now’s your chance Funstackers! You can experience a twenty-minute flight where you have the opportunity, alongside a qualified instructor,  to take control of the plane, or simply enjoy the view! This ...

Cawdor Castle in Inverness

Discover the romantic Highland castle, the 14th century home of the Thanes of Cawdor. Built by the Cawdor family for over 600 years including three unique Scottish gardens and a Cawdoor bigwood experience! Located about 5 miles south west of Nairn, Cawdor ...