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Skibo Castle - Carnegie Club

Skibo Castle - Carnegie Club

Dornoch, Scotland
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Kevin Diss
Kevin Diss
Dornoch, Scotland
  • AddressDornoch IV25 3RQ, UK

Located on the edge of the beautiful Dornoch Firth with views of the Struie Hills, the 8,000-acre Skibo Castle estate is something special, very special. It’s a place where fairytales meet reality. Schytherbolle, its Celtic name, roughly translated means fairyland. But it wasn’t always like this – there was once much bloodshed when Sigurd the Mighty and Thorstein the Red, the early Nordic settlers, descended upon Dornoch. Things are much calmer these days and a trip to Skibo, whilst making a dent in your wallet, will make you temporarily feel like a millionaire.

In 1898, the original Laird of Skibo, billionaire Andrew Carnegie, commissioned Royal Dornoch’s Secretary, John Sutherland, to build a private nine-hole links course. But after Carnegie’s death in 1919, Skibo Castle and the golf course soon became fallow. British entrepreneur Peter de Savary bought the Skibo estate in 1990 and he asked Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie to resurrect a links. In 1995, a new Carnegie Club links at Skibo Castle was born.

GalleryKevin Diss
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Kevin Diss

US billionaire Ellis Short bought the club in 2003 and Tom Mackenzie was re-commissioned between 2005 and 2007 to alter the original design – aided by David Thomson (Skibo’s Director of Golf) and Gary Gruber (Course Manager at the time, now Estate Director). Gorse, which lined a number of holes, was removed and the landscape reshaped along with rebuilding and revetting every one of the seventy-two bunkers. In total, eight holes were refashioned, including the opening of four new holes.

The updated new millennium Skibo, which stretches from 5,400 yards to more than 6,800 yards, contains many tough holes at the start of the round, but the best of the bunch by a long way is the wonderful par three 6th, it's a magnificent short hole with its elevated plateau green which is guarded at the front by a deep, threatening bunker. There is a slight lull in proceedings around the turn before the dramatic three closing holes kick in. The 17th is a risk-and-reward gem, a short par four measuring 304 yards from the back tees with the green definitely in reach, but you’ll need to flirt with the beach and the deep bunkers guarding the front of the green. The 18th, a sweeping par five, concludes a memorable and varied round. The hole doglegs left, hugging the salt marshes. Big hitters might reach it in two.

In June 2012, for the first time since becoming private in 2007, the Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle announced that limited public tee times will be available on special request. Click here for more details.


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Course Architect

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Donald Steel

Cricket was Donald Steel's first sporting love and he played for Fettes College, becoming the first person from a Scottish school to play in the Public Schools XI against the Combined Services at Lord’s.

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