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Exceptional Golf Courses of the World: The Royal Dornoch Golf Club of Sutherland Scotland

Jul 28, 2008
The Royal Dornoch Golf Club of Sutherland Scotland's history goes as far back as "the Dornoch Links" in the cost of the golf clubs and golf balls belonging to the young Earl of Sutherland in the time period of year of 1616. Its amazing that over all the millennia how little has changed in the minds and mentality of golfers , fellow golfers and those in charge of golf courses and their administration.

The description of the area surrounding the Dornoch Links at the time was "About this town along the sea coast are the fairest and largest links or green fields in any part of Scotland. Fitt for archery, golfing, ryding and all other sorts of exercises they doe surpass the fields of Monroe or St. Andrews".

To this day the Royal Dornoch can be said to place consistently in among the top 100 of the greatest golf courses of the world.

It seems from the initial records of the course and young Earl of Sutherland's golf equipment not much was recorded or noted until 1852, when George Dempster of Skibo, a St. Andrew's golfer, played a round with a party over the Dernoch Links. Sometime in the time interval between the years of 1616 and 1852, the Sutherland Golfing Society was established, its members played at both the Dornoch and Golspie.

The Dornoch Links were at this early point only nine holes in extent. These original links were formed in much the same primal way as the "Old Course" at St. Andrews: an Ice Age glacier carved the land and deposited sand dunes which, over time were stabilized by the growth of seaside grasses, and finer grassy texture was added via inland grass seeds deposited on the linkland via the wooly coats of grazing sheep.

In 1883, the legendary "Old Tom" Morris came up from St. Andrews to lay out a formal nine holes. In 1866, at the direction of John Sutherland, another nine holes were added to the golfing course, and thus Dornoch now had 18 holes in its golf setup, as per the standard set at the St. Andrews golf course 122 years earlier.

Thus Dornoch not only was growing in the size of its golf course, but also in reputation. In 1894 it held its first golfing competition - the tournaments of their time.

28 men from Moray met 28 golfers from Dornoch at the Dornoch links. The Dornoch golfing team went on to solidly defeat their visitors 246 holes to none. Even more importantly the Moray men did not only take the defeat as not only a case of playing on home ground, but rather that the Dornoch course was anything but impressive. Indeed the historic report recorded was the "the links surpassed anything we imagined. The turf is of excellent quality. Everyone was charmed with the course".

Thus it is no accident that the Royal Dornoch Golf Club at Sutherland in Scotland merits such a reputation - both as the historic golf course, and also has continued on with its fine reputation to be always regarded as one of the top 100 golf courses in the world. It's no accident and it's no accident that the greatest dream of many golf aficionados and golfers generally is to play and be challenged by this fine golf course which has always commanded great respect and merit.
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