1616 – 2016 400 Years of Golf in Dornoch


Major Events

Saturday 2nd January – Captain’s Drive In to open the year of celebrations

Using a specially made hickory club and feathery ball the Captain will drive off the 1st tee to signal the start of the celebrations. The person who retrieves the ball and returns it to the Captain will receive a special memento.

Saturday 2nd January – East of the burn v West of the burn golf competition.

Once the drive in ceremony has been completed the course will be open to members and visitors to play an individual Stableford competition. Players must nominate which team they are playing for. Local residents will do this by using their home address and visitors with the address of their accommodation.


Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd May – Royal Dornoch v Country Club of North Carolina v Atlantic Athletic Club v Donald Ross Society

Currently Royal Dornoch compete against the Country Club of North Carolina on a yearly basis and for one year only this will be extended to the other two teams as they have special connections to Dornoch and Donald Ross. There will be 10 players in each team and the teams will take it in turns to host a dinner in the Clubhouse. While there will be no overall prize, other than the glory of winning, each team will receive a special memento in recognition of their participation.

Thursday 26th May – Hickory Golf Match, British Golf Collectors Society v Royal Dornoch

In recognition of how the game was played 400 years ago a special one off match will be held using hickory clubs. The British Golf Collectors Society is the UK’s biggest group that plays in this way and so a match has been arranged with them. A Royal Dornoch member from Tain has runs a business supplying hickory clubs for such matches so we are guaranteed to have everyone using hickory clubs for the day. Hopefully most players will enter into the spirit of the occasion and dress in some form of period costumes. We anticipate having approximately 25 players per team and the match will be followed by a dinner in the clubhouse.


Friday 27th to Sunday 29th May – Captain’s Invitational Member & Guest Weekend

400 years of golf is a Dornoch wide community year of celebrations but this weekend will be for the club members of Royal Dornoch to mark this special time in history. Played over three days members are asked to invite a non member to play with them to sample the delights of Royal Dornoch. The Saturday evening will be the first gala dinner of the year, held in a marquee on the practice ground, there will be a presentation by Wade Cormack, PhD history student, on his research into golf in the Dornoch area since the 1600’s.


Monday 20th to Friday 24th June – Northern Open

For many years the Northern Open was the premier professional golf event held in Scotland and was won by many players who featured in the Ryder Cup and later the European Tour. It doesn’t hold that high regard currently but has still been a springboard for many careers. The event was last held at Royal Dornoch in 1994 and we are delighted to let Scotland’s best professionals test themselves over our links.


Friday 1st July – Ladies 400 Year Inter Club Match

The Ladies Section have gathered all their local interclub matches into one event so that they can mark the celebrations with their golfing friends from other clubs.


Tuesday 5th July – Exhibition Match and Gala Dinner

We would like this to be the pinnacle of golf for the year but won’t know if it will be until the players are confirmed. What we do know is going ahead is the gala dinner when we will invite golfing dignitaries from all over the world to join us and local representatives to toast 400 years of golf in Dornoch.  

Saturday 13th August – Carnegie Shield Semis & Finals; Festival Week Events, Street Party and Dance

The Carnegie Shield is the club’s annual tournament which culminates on the Saturday. Once the prize giving is completed everyone will then join the street party that started at 1pm.
The Street Party consists of the following:

3.00 – 7.00pm Street Party
5.00 – 6.00pm Float Parade
6.30pm Children’s Pram Race.
7.00pm Adults Pram Race
8.00pm Pipe Band
10pm start for 400 Year Dance


Thursday 8th & Friday 9th September – World Royal Clubs Visit

There are 68 Royal clubs dotted around the world and we are inviting each one to send up to 4 representatives to come to Dornoch and play both our courses. After the second round we will have a dinner to celebrate the occasion and also highlight the 400 years of golf. We will be encouraging our members to participate and are hopeful that each guest will be paired with a member for the two rounds and the dinner.


Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October – Captain’s Weekend and Putt Out

The end of season weekend is for members only and is a way for them to close off the year together in a relaxed atmosphere. Each day there are fun golf events and on the Saturday evening we will have a dinner. On the Sunday afternoon the Captain will take the hickory club and feathery ball and hole the final putt to signify the end of the 400 year celebrations.