Royal Dornoch

Day six of my #hiddengemroadtrip through Scotland was world beating. After a one and a half hours drive from Findhorn Village Hostel I arrived at a course that I desperately wanted to play. Royal Dornoch Golf Club is in my opinion one of the finest golf courses in the world and therefore I was so unbelievably excited.

Unfortunately the course was closed till 9am because of ground frost so I decided to walk around and take some pictures of Royal Dornoch first. Mission completed and ready for this wicked experience, I walked over to the first tee where I prepared my stuff. Breathe in, breathe out, difficult to describe what was going on with me. The first shot at Royal Dornoch was the realization of a life-long dream.

Something like seeing „Tiger“ playing live at a tournament. Well, I already recognized the superb conditions of the course, even that late in the year. I played bogey at the first hole which was a good score compared to my nervousness. On the second hole, a tremendous par 3 called „ORD“ with its elephant back green and steep huge defending pot bunkers, I scored again for bogey, which was a nice result.

But then the weather changed seriously and Scotland taught me everything you should know about and how to play links golf. A strong breeze combined with needle sharp rain drops. Oh my god, but I really loved it.

Such a fine experience of real Scottish golf on this remarkable place on earth. No. 6 named „WHINNY BRAE“ was a very special par 3 again. The design of all four par 3 holes at Royal Dornoch is quite similar. A huge elevated green like an elephant back with no real cut between the grass of the green and the fairway.

If you place your ball on the elevated dance floor you’re more than fine. Well, hard to believe but I played all of them bogey which was in my eyes a quite good score considering the fact that I found myself twice in the evil deep pot bunkers and only once on the green. No. 8 or „DUNROBIN“ is a spectacular hole. A very long par 4 with 434 yards and with a very narrow tee shot. You need to be very long to have the chance to reach the green in two.

If not, you will have a super nice lay-up shot from above. The green is situated in some kind of valley just next to the ocean. That’s such a great approach shot. My personal favorite and most picturesque and exciting part of Royal Dornoch are the last 6 holes. No. 13 called „BENTS“ is also because of its tee box just next to the ocean one of the most attracting par 3 I have ever played.

You need to hit a straight shot if you don’t want to end up in the thick surrounding rough which is very close to the edge of the green. No. 14 with its fairway along the high and tight rough is the next dangerous beauty. If there wouldn’t have been the strong wind from the right side my drive would have been in there. Somehow my ball found the way on the bouncy fairway and created a lot of distance to the green which was placed on an elevated base.

No. 16 called „HIGH HOLE“ is another superlative of a golf hole with its tee box almost on the beach. Long and strong but in this case with helping wind from behind is this 401 yards long beautiful beast just amazing. My favorite and for me the most impressive hole on the back nine is No.17 or the „VALLEY“. First an almost to long tee shot need to be announced.

If you can manage, your ball will make its way down the hill for your approach shot. From here you have to attack a great green which is covered by three huge and deep pots. Triple for me here.

Well, you have to know that I am not sponsored for this article about Royal Dornoch Golf Club, but this golf course is the best links I have ever played. All thumbs up for this amazing track and you should definitely play this track when you’re around this lovely part of Scotland!

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