Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course: Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

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

Royal Dornoch
The 10th at Royal Dornoch
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Key Information

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
AddressGolf Road, Dornoch, IV25 3LW
Phone Number01862 810219
Green Fees£250 (one round) £400 (two rounds)
Visitor TimesCheck with club
Slope Rating136 (Blue), 134 (White), 129 (Yellow), 139 (Reds Ladies), 126 (Reds Men), 130 (Greens Ladies), 115 (Greens Men)
Designed byOld Tom Morris, George Duncan
Golf Monthly Verdict

Royal Dornoch - Championship Course - Hole 7

(Image credit: Matthew Harris)

A uniquely memorable course offering a fine and varied test of golf and captivating views. Royal Dornoch is a northern gem. 

The incredibly friendly welcome one receives in the clubhouse at Dornoch adds to the experience at this great northern links. This is a proper town club and there’s no stuffiness or pretension to be found amongst the incredible history and memorabilia on display. It’s one of the country’s great golfing hubs where true lovers of the game meet to share tales of their experiences on the links.


– Incredible views across the Dornoch Firth

– The most northerly course in our Top-100

– Tremendous changes to holes on the plateau, the 7th and 8th


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 6th

45 miles north of Inverness, there’s a sense of splendid isolation to be found on the fairways at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, where you'll enjoy one of the very best golf courses in Scotland that consistently ranks in the top-10 on Golf Monthly's UK&I Top 100 golf course rankings.

The earliest confirmed evidence of golf in Dornoch dates from 1616 meaning 2016 marked 400 years of the sport in the town.

The Golf Club was founded more recently, in 1877, and in 1886 the members invited Old Tom Morris to travel north to Dornoch to lay out a more formal course over the links. He was responsible for creating Dornoch’s famous plateau greens with their perplexing upturned saucer shaping.

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.

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.

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.

Following those dramatic improvements to the 7th hole, work has been undertaken to enhance the 8th hole. The tees have been shifted to change the playing characteristics and a significant amount of gorse and soil has been removed to open up the vistas of hills and sea.

What The Top 100 panel said

James Pinkstone UK&I Top 100 panel
James Pinkstone

Dornoch has all the allure of the Open rota courses despite having never hosted the competition. Taking a photo under the sign on the first tee is a right of passage for a course enthusiast, and then the course doesn’t disappoint.

John Slater UK&I Top 100 panel
John Slater

For a golfing experience it sits just below Pine Valley and St Andrews, but only by a smidgen. The condition is excellent. Given the amount of footfall it gets, they are doing a great job in maintaining the course to a high standard. From the 7th tee the view is fabulous and throughout the round you are aware of the sea.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Location

Royal Dornoch Championship Course Green Fees

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Header Cell - Column 0 Header Cell - Column 1
April - October£250
Twilight Ticket£150
Nov 23 - Mar 24£140

Visit the Royal Dornoch website for more information

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Scorecard

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course scorecard

(Image credit: Royal Dornoch Golf Club)

Best Courses Near to Royal Dornoch



A James Braid masterpiece that epitomises the great Scottish professional’s ambition to create challenging but fair layouts while making full use of the natural terrain available. The links land is firm and undulating with natural swales, humps and hollows across the whole course. Brora delivers an authentic golfing challenge with holes following the contours of the ground as they sit.



Castle Stuart Golf Links at Cabot Highlands is a classic modern links that has earned a reputation as one of Scotland's finest. Clinging to the edge of the Moray Firth it delivers spectacularly scenic golf. It's a former host to the Scottish Open and the place oozes class.

Best Places to Stay Near Royal Dornoch

Dornoch Castle Hotel - Book now at
Situated directly opposite the inspiring 12th century Dornoch Cathedral, the Castle Hotel is just a short walk from the golf course. Characterful and historic, it also has an excellent restaurant.

Royal Golf Hotel - Book now at
The ultimate in convenience, the hotel is set basically on the first tee of the Championship course and many of the rooms have great views over the course. It offers stylish and comfortable accommodation.

Links House at Royal Dornoch - Book now at
For supreme luxury, the Links House is simply beautiful. It's furnished with old-school furniture and original art works. The breakfast is to die for and you're only 200 yards from the 1st tee.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club Championship Course Gallery

Royal Dornoch Championship Course Historical Top 100 Ranking UK&I

  • 2023/24 - 6
  • 2021/22 - 6
  • 2019/20 - 7
  • 2017/18 - 7
  • 2015/16 - 8
  • 2013/14 - 9
  • 2011/12 - 12
  • 2009/10 - 17

Frequently Asked Questions


Royal Dornoch Golf Club is indeed open to the public and takes visitors 7 days per week subject to availability. Dornoch is one of the best links courses in the UK and is world renowned, so getting a tee time can sometimes be difficult so make sure you plan well in advance. 

Visitors can make a booking on the Royal Dornoch Golf Club website


The Championship Course at Royal Dornoch has a green fee of £250 during the summer months and £140 during the winter. Summer twilight rates are £150. This represents great value compared to some of the other courses that feature in the top 10 of our top 100 rankings.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?