Royal Dornoch

However good Golspie, Brora, or Nairn may be, the best golfing in the Highland is without a doubt the 18-hole Royal Dornoch. Consistently ranking in the top 20 golf courses in the world, it is unique among the great links of the country in that it has yet to host the British Open. Of course, this does not reflect its quality, rather this is because of its remote location. But many visitors do not get discouraged by its remoteness.  

The Royal Dornoch dates back to 1616. In 1886, Old Tom Morris designed the “nine proper golf holes”. With the addition of another nine holes, it boasted a layout of 5,960 yards by 1904. Dornoch has since undergone little changes regarding bunker length and positions. It now offers a championship challenge of 6,732 yards.

The Royal Dornoch’s quality is instantly apparent from the golfers who grace its fairways. Locke, Vardon, Crenshaw, Watson, and Norman are among the many golfers who have been enthralled with the challenge the course poses. A stiff but great test of golf, the course rewards the thinkers on top of their game.

While golfers rarely use the championship layout, the regular 6,514-yard layout is more than a match for most. The rising and falling greens are large and while there is room off the tee, your drive’s placement deserves much thought because of the pin positions and wind.

In the mold of many traditional links, The Royal Dornoch course goes straight out and back; the angle changes subtly on every hole. In addition, while little is hidden at this Scottish golf course, it requires you to play at your best to see it all and adjust your strategy.