Royal Dornoch delivers a selection of highly individual and unadulterated golf holes flowing across the most exquisite playing surfaces

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 – 6

Previous Rankings

2019/20 – 7
2017/18 – 7
2015/16 – 8
2013/14 – 9
2011/12 – 12
2009/10 – 17

Summer Green Fees

Round – £210wd, £210we, Day – £335

Visitors: Tee times available seven days a week

Medal Tee: Par 70 – 6,626 Yards

royaldornoch.com

Changes since previous ranking

Totally new 7th hole designed by Tom Mackenzie pivoting to the right with the sea directly behind delivering a dramatically improved routing.

New 7th hole at Royal Dornoch

New 7th hole at Royal Dornoch

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Review

An impressive redesign of the long par-4 7th helps Royal Dornoch climb a place on the ranking for 2021/22.

45 miles north of Inverness, there’s a sense of splendid isolation to be found on the fairways at Royal Dornoch.

Related: Top 100 golf courses UK and Ireland

Tom Watson, an honorary member of the club, described the links as “One of the great courses of the five continents.” The philanthropist and industrialist Andrew Carnegie said of his home in Dornoch, “If there is heaven on earth, it is here.”

Are the plaudits and praise justified? In a word, yes. This is a captivating place that will leave an indelible imprint on the memory.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Review

The first eight holes follow the ridge of dunes skirting the inland perimeter of the course. All of these are tremendously memorable but the two par 3s stand out. Both the 2nd and 6th are devilishly difficult short holes where missing left or right of the putting surface can spell disaster.

The 9th turns to trace the coastline back towards the town. It’s a testing run of holes, from the long par-4 11th, to the bunkerless 14th “Foxy” with its rascally plateau green, to the dog-leg 17th where you must decide whether to play short from the tee leaving a long shot in, or to fire over the marker pole into the unknown.

Dornoch offers a true and complete test of golf, examining a player’s ball-striking, short game and strategy. It’s quite simply, a brilliant golf course.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Review

Royal Dornoch is not a club that rests on its laurels and they are constantly looking for ways to improve their offering.

The new 7th provides great evidence of this – A slight change in direction now sends you more out to sea, towards a green sitting at the top of the hill with only the Dornoch Firth and the expansive sky behind.

It’s a great addition and one that turns the 7th from being a testing but slightly uninspiring hole into one of the course’s most visually striking.

New 7th hole at Royal Dornoch

New 7th hole at Royal Dornoch

Assessor Feedback

Royal Dornoch is a truly magical feast for the eyes from start to finish. The holes blend so naturally with the surroundings it would be hard to believe it has not existed since time began. In such a stunning setting it would be easy to lower one’s guard only to be punished by what is a serious test of golf.

GM Verdict

Royal Dornoch delivers a selection of highly individual and unadulterated golf holes flowing across the most exquisite playing surfaces. This is golf in its purest form.