Travel bucket list idea:
Royal Dornoch Golf Course
Sutherland, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK)|royaldornoch.com
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.
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).
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience