Review for Royal Dornoch (Championship)

Reviewer Score:


Dornoch is unique is so many ways! A trip to Scotland is not complete without making the hike up to the Inverness area. While there are many great courses in that area, Royal Dornoch is King!

This course is Links golf at its best, the way golf was meant to be played. The setting along the Dornoch firth is beautiful. The stretch of holes from the 9th to 16th along the ocean is magnificent. Yet the stretch from the 1st to the 8th hole, somewhat ''hidden'' from the sea provides you with incredible golf, hole after hole. The two par threes on the front nine, 2 and 6, have beautiful green complexes and strategic bunkering. The 7th is one of the most challenging par 4 out there, yet is incredibly fair. Then you come to the 10th, a short par 3 with arguably the most beautiful bunkering in the British Isles. The hole isn’t tremendously long, but don’t hit it short. From there, the links takes you on a beautiful ride along the water to the 14th hole. Foxy is, as far as I’m concerned, the high point of this golf course. It is one of my favourite holes in all of golf, yet it doesn’t have any bunkers. The ridge at the front of the green is something we would never see in modern courses. The approach shot from the fairway (or the rough if you’re unlucky) can be played in so many ways depending on the wind, it is just incredible fun. If the wind is blowing from behind you, trying to hold the green is pointless. You either roll it up onto the green, or hit it directly into the ridge and hope it bounces up onto the putting surface. If the wind is in your face, you can be more aggressive, provided you don’t curve it too much.

What makes Dornoch fabulous are its setting, its memorable holes and most of all, its greens. They will test your short game in its entirety. Wayward shots will be repelled by the natural plateaus of the greens. After playing Dornoch, you truly understand why Donald Ross’s courses are built the way they are.

Date: October 27, 2016

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