Hole by hole guide
- Royal Dornoch – Championship
- 1st Hole : First – Par 4
- 2nd Hole : Ord – Par 4
- 3rd Hole : Earl’s Cross – Par 4
- 4th Hole : Achinchanter – Par 4
- 5th Hole : Hilton – Par 4
- 6th Hole : Whinny Brae – Par 4
- 7th Hole : Pier – Par 4
- 8th Hole : Dunrobin – Par 4
- 9th Hole : Craigliath – Par 4
- 10th Hole : Fuaran – Par 4
- 11th Hole : A’chlach – Par 4
- 12th Hole : Sutherland – Par 5
- 13th Hole : Bents – Par 4
- 14th Hole : Foxy – Par 4
- 15th Hole : Stulaig – Par 4
- 16th Hole : High Hole – Par 4
- 17th Hole : Valley – Par 4
- 18th Hole : Glenmorangie – Par 4
Royal Dornoch – Championship
There is evidence of golf being played at Dornoch since 1616 with the first 18-hole course being developed by Old Tom Morris of St Andrews in the 1890s. Many changes have been made since including the addition of five new holes at the far end of the course in 1946 by George Duncan, an Aberdonian who won The Open Championship in 1920. Dornoch is regularly ranked among the best courses in the world and continues to attract visitors from every corner of the globe.
1st Hole : First – Par 4
A gentle opening hole where a good straight drive will leave no more than a short iron and the chance of an opening birdie.
2nd Hole : Ord – Par 4
The opening hole has been lengthened slightly and is well bunkered throughout. Two good shots and an opening par should follow.
3rd Hole : Earl’s Cross – Par 4
The view from the 3rd tee over the links and beyond is a chance to see Dornoch at its best. This is an inviting tee shot which must avoid the bank of four bunkers on the right. A good mid-iron followed by two putts will secure a difficult par 4.
4th Hole : Achinchanter – Par 4
A drive onto this sloping fairway is a good start here but it is the second shot which will determine whether you score a par, bogey or worse. The best option is probably to play through the valley short of the green between the bunkers and up onto the green. A birdie on Achinchanter will gain you two shots against the field.
5th Hole : Hilton – Par 4
A drive down the left side of the fairway will leave the best line to attack the long plateau green. With bunkers positioned to catch any mis-hit, a par is never a bad score on this hole.
6th Hole : Whinny Brae – Par 4
The green on this hole lies on a shelf in a gorse hill and with three pot bunkers lying between the gorse and the green, the tee shot is not for the fainthearted. Another bunker short right ensures that there is no real bale out shot. Nothing less than a good straight iron will do here.
7th Hole : Pier – Par 4
The 7th hole runs along the top of the hill between banks of gorse. Your second shot must negotiate the subtle swale between the two bunkers at the front of the green but once this is accomplished, two putts should secure a par.
8th Hole : Dunrobin – Par 4
The 8th fairway lies on two levels with a ridge half way along dropping down 40 feet or so. Depending on the length of your drive, your second shot can be a long iron from the top or a mid-iron from the bottom into the green. Be aware of the expertly positioned pot bunker 30 yards short of the putting surface on the right-hand side.
9th Hole : Craigliath – Par 4
In turning for home, the 9th runs back along the shoreline and into the prevailing wind. Two good shots will set up an approach to the green which is well protected either side by deep bunkers.
10th Hole : Fuaran – Par 4
The pulpit green on this hole is well protected at the front and on the left by five bunkers. The smart play is to hit one extra club, taking the trouble at the front out of play and aim to hold the area at the back of the green.
11th Hole : A’chlach – Par 4
The 11th again has a raised green with a deep bunker on the left and a pot bunker biting into the middle of the green on the right. The swale in front of the green must also be negotiated successfully to set up the chance of a par.
12th Hole : Sutherland – Par 5
‘Sutherland’ is the longest hole on the Championship Course and is a slight dog-leg from right to left. The critical shot here is the approach to the green between the grassy knoll on left and the bunker on the right. If you get out of position at any point on this hole, the next shot becomes doubly difficult.
13th Hole : Bents – Par 4
This is the last of Dornoch’s quartet of well-protected short holes, this one is completely ringed by bunkers and hollows. Make sure you hit enough club to clear all the trouble at the front and give yourself a chance of a par.
14th Hole : Foxy – Par 4
‘Foxy’ is one of the most famous holes in the world. It’s not overlong by today’s standards and it has no bunkers, but a par is always welcome here. Once you are on the S-bend fairway, the green is probably best accessed by a low running shot aimed at the left half of the green. Anything on this line will hopefully pitch up and over the five-foot-high bank in front of the green and run up to towards the pin.
15th Hole : Stulaig – Par 4
There is a possible birdie chance on this hole but the swale in the pitching area in front of the green must be negotiated perfectly. Be positive and you may well be rewarded with a three.
16th Hole : High Hole – Par 4
In some quarters, the 16th is reckoned to be a bit unfair but if you have remembered to look across from the 2nd hole to check out the pin position you have a chance to pick the correct club for your approach shot.
17th Hole : Valley – Par 4
The safest way to approach the 17th is from the valley. There is a slight margin for error here as the bank on the left of the green can be used to feed your ball down towards the hole.
18th Hole : Glenmorangie – Par 4
The 18th is not the best hole visually from the tee as most of the trouble is hidden in front of the green. Never the less, it represents a good finishing hole where a par is always welcome.