The remoteness of Royal Dornoch has helped create a mystique about this magnificent golfing outpost in the far north of Scotland, fifty miles north of Loch Ness. Situated just 8 degrees below the Arctic circle, it is possible on a June evening to play golf until almost midnight. Thanks to the moderating influence of the Golf Stream, it is also possible to golf on the gentle undulating dunes throughout the winter months.
The world’s greatest golfers and golf writers have been lavish in their praise of Royal Dornoch. In a letter to the club, Tom Watson thanked the members for the privilege of playing one of the world’s truly great golf courses. He described the three rounds that he played during his 24-hour stay in Dornoch, ‘as the most fun he had ever had playing golf.’
Ben Crenshaw, that keen student of the game, who took time off from his preparations for the 1980 Open at Muirfield to visit Royal Dornoch, was not disappointed either. When he returned to the Muirfield, he was asked by the secretary of the Royal and Ancient, how he had enjoyed Dornoch. Ben replied, “Let me put it this way, I nearly did not come back”.
Herbert Warren Wind, writing in the ‘New Yorker’ was fulsome in his praise. “It is the most natural course in the world. We in America are just beginning to appreciate that no golfer has completed his education until he has played and studied Royal Dornoch. It conveys to the modern golfer the evocation of golf as its best.”
Those who are knowledgeable about the game have not been surprised that in recent times Royal Dornoch, with its panoramic views and gorse-lined fairways, has been regularly ranked by the illustrious golf panels among the world’s great courses.