Golfing Travel and Vacation – The Famed Royal Dornoch Golf Club of Scotland
Guest Author: Syd E. Nohcud
The Royal Dornoch Golf Club of Sutherland Scotland is a fine and venerable golf course. The history goes as far back as “the Dornoch Links” as reports in the “golf press “of time 1616. What really gave this golf course its shot and reputation was a tournament held in 1894 where the opponents not only lost but reported back on the greatest merits of the golfing course itself and that the “links at Dornoch surpassed anything that we imagined”.
To this very day the reputation of the Royal Dornoch can be said to be consistently among those of the top 100 of the greatest golf courses of the world.
The Dornoch Links has no shortage of history when it comes of golf tournaments played and trophies won on its hallowed grounds. Indeed the oldest golfing trophy to be played on its landscape is the Silver Medal, first won in 1878 by Alexander McHardy. It has been noted duly that the great golfer John Sutherland won it an amazingly 11 times.
But for most the most important club competition at the Royal Dornoch is for the “Carnegie Shield” that was presented to the club by Andrew Carnegie – not of American steel fame, but rather one Andrew Carnegie of Skibo, Scotland in about 1901.
Along the way , or along the golf course landscape , the great turn of the century golfers including JH Taylor, James Braid , Harold Hilton , John Low and other golf playing legends were frequent visitors to the Dornoch Links. In about 1901, advances in golf ball design and designs brought about the rubber centered golf ball, which traveled further and necessitated the revamping of the course. Dornoch links were expanded to5096 yards, making it the fifth longest in Britain at the time.
John Sutherland, who at the young age of 19, had taken over the offices of Royal Dornoch Club Secretary has been said to be a major fixture at Dornoch, until his death in 1941. With great measure of respect – the twelfth hole is named after him, and bunker on the right of the eighteenth fairway is to initiates “John Sutherland’s Kidney”
In 1904, under Sutherland’s direct instructions the course was extended onto nearby Embo Links. In 1906, King Edward VII granted Dernoch Royal Charter. The humble Dornoch Golf Club became Royal Dornoch Golf Club. In 1909 Andrew Carnegie of Skibo (the presenter of the “Carnegie Shield”) funded a new clubhouse for the now “Royal” Dernoch Country Club.
Along the life of this venerable institution further course changes have been said to be carried out by Mr. Sutherland and Donald Ross in 1922. World War II saw the building of a military airport on Dornoch Ladies Course, and four holes of the 18 completely destroyed.
However, later repairs were carried out in 1946, and a restricted nine whole Ladies’ Course, known as “the Struie” was built. Dornoch Links, the main course, was also modified with a lengthening out of 6505 yards in an arrangement of eight holes out and 10 holes back.
However the flip side of the uniqueness of geography as well as practical logistics is that being located far up on Scotland’s main centers of population is that the major as well as prominent championships and tournaments have sometimes eluded dear Dornoch.
Regardless of this it is no accident that the Royal Dornoch Golf Club at Sutherland in Scotland merits such world wide renown and great reputation as famed golf course of merit. Whether it is a historic golf course or as a travel area of note for golfers and international golfing vacationers and travelers – the Royal Dornoch Golf Club has continued on with its fine reputation. It has always regarded as one of the top 100 golf courses in the world. Fore.
Sydney E. Nohcud Glendale Winnipeg Canada and Golf Hotels St. Boniface
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