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Updated 04/26/2013


Dornoch Links

The Royal Burgh of Dornoch (Gaelic: Dòrnach) is a town and seaside resort in the Highlands of Scotland, on the north shore of the Dornoch Firth, close to where it opens into the Moray Firth to the east.  Dornoch boasts the thirteenth-century Dornoch Cathedral.  It is also notable as the last place a witch was burnt in Scotland. Her name was Janet Horne; she was tried and condemned to death in 1727.

The tune probably refers to the Royal Dornoch Golf Club, named the 5th best golf course outside the United States in 2005 by Golf Digest magazine.

Long before a golf club was formed at Dornoch, the game of golf was played on the town lands on the links along the seashore. Sometimes it was frowned on by authority because presumably there was a need for their subjects to practise more warlike activities and good marksmen were needed more than good golfers.

The first three golf links in Scotland of which there is written record are: 1552, St Andrews; 1593, Leith; 1616, Dornoch.It was in 1877 that the Dornoch Golf Club was founded as the successor of the Sutherland Golfing Society whose members played at Dornoch and Golspie. The course was then only 9 holes long. The annual subscription to the club was 2/6 and the annual income was £3 18s 6d. But changes were in store. The great Tom Morris came up from St Andrews and laid out 9 proper golf holes. Three years later another 9 holes were added and the fame of the Dornoch course started to spread, even across the Atlantic to America.

About the turn of the century the great Sandy Herd first played with the new rubber-cored ball and out of fashion went the old gutty. John Sutherland, the Club’s Secretary who guided the fortunes of the Club for over 50 years, and his committee, had to remodel the course as a result of the faster ball and Dornoch became for a time the 5th longest course in Britain.In 1906 through the influence of Duchess Millicent of Sutherland the club was granted the Royal Charter by King Edward the Seventh and Royal Dornoch Golf Club was born.