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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 26 January, 2023
Expert travel writer: Fionn Davenport

A four-hour drive from Glasgow, Royal Dornoch is a pilgrimage – and worth every effort. Wild, isolated and spellbindingly beautiful, the course – the third-oldest links in the world – bears the authorial stamp of Old Tom Morris, and it’s here that Donald Ross learnt his craft: the turtleback greens at Pinehurst No. 2 were inspired by the devilish domes that make this links a proper challenge.

Everything else about it is straightforward, but perfectly maintained. The humble clubhouse and straight out, straight back layout are deceptive, for this is a truly special place. Forget your score, just soak up the atmosphere and remember that you’re playing in the shadow of golf’s very beginnings.

Price from: £250
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

The club is 45 miles north of Inverness (which has an airport), and roughly a four-hour drive from Glasgow. Reserve a tee time through the website as far in advance as you can.

Stay over close by at the delightful Links House, a sumptuous honey-hued boutique dripping with antiques, overlooking the golf course and the stunning, dune-backed beach.

When to do it

The course is open all year round, seven days a week. April to October are the best times to play, but good weather is never guaranteed as you’re quite far north! Tee times are available 7 days a week and most times during the day (members block a couple of hours in the morning).

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Links House at Royal Dornoch

Dornoch, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)[0.3 miles]

A sumptuous honey-hued manse dripping with antiques, overlooking world-class Dornoch golf course and a stunning, dune-backed beach.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom (UK)

Magnificent mountain scenery slashed by silvery lochs and peppered with brooding castles: all laden with rich Scottish heritage, history and tradition.

Website >
Overview >

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Dunrobin Castle

Golspie, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)[12.7 miles]

A fabulous fairytale castle, designed to resemble a fancy French chateau, with ornate formal gardens, modelled on those at Versailles. It’s the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Sutherland.

Best for ages: 8+ | £14

Round-ups that include this experience