In 1901 Mr. Andrew Carnegie presented a splendid silver Shield for open competition at Dornoch. Right from the start the August meeting, with the Shield as the main trophy, drew prominent golfers from far and wide to Dornoch Links. Notable golfing names have been inscribed upon the bosses of its silvery surface: Ernest Holderness, Charles E. Dick, Roger Wethered, J. Gordon Simpson, as well as local Dornoch names. Even today when many other great trophies are so numerous, the Royal Dornoch Carnegie Shield continues its magnetic lure as widely as ever.



In 1906, through the influence of Her Grace the Duchess of Sutherland, Duchess Millicent, a good friend to the Club, Dornoch Golf Club secured the title and dignity of 'Royal' from King Edward VII.



Alex Ross

Born in St Gilbert Street, Dornoch, brother to Donald, Alex emigrated to the United States of America in 1900. He played out of Brae-Burn Country Club, West Newton, Massachusetts, having previously played out of Pinehurst and then Wilmington, Del. He won the U.S. Open in 1907 at Philadelphia and had 4 more top 10 finishes in that Open. He also won the North-South Open 5 times and the Massachusetts Open 6 times (in succession).




Posted on April 10, 2013
1913Our guest blogger this week is Sue Higgins, curator of Historylinks Museum in Dornoch. See History Links Dornoch
A suffragist was a person who campaigned for the vote for women (in this case) but peacefully.  The second method of campaign was more militant.  Some individuals felt that no real progress would be made with such peaceful methods so in 1903 they broke away from the NUWSS and formed the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU).  They decided direct action was necessary, breaking windows, vandalising property and attacking politicians.  It attracted a lot of attention and many members of the public were shocked by their ‘unwomanly’ behaviour.  The Daily Mail nicknamed them ‘suffragettes’ as a term of derision.  The courts administered harsh sentences for those women who broke the law.  After the arrested women began a policy of hunger strikes they were forcibly fed and many suffered ill health for months or even years afterwards. 

There were mixed opinions in the press, many were unhappy about the forced feeding of women and the controversial ‘Cat and Mouse Act’ which enabled sick women to be released until they were well enough to be re-imprisoned.  In Dornoch there were two reported incidents of militant behaviour, one in 1912 and one in 1913.  Both were on the Royal Dornoch Golf Course and were carried out by members of the WSPU.  Targeting male dominated sports (especially golf where there was easy access to the courses, actions included painting the flags in WSPU colours, digging up greens or poring acid onto the greens) was a typical WSPU tactic.  In the first incident Lilias Mitchell and Elsie Howie attacked the Prime Minister H. H. Asquith and the Home Secretary Reginald McKenna as they golfed.  The incident was kept quiet in Dornoch but was reported in the Northern Times, Inverness Courier and the Nairnshire Telegraph in  September 1912 and then reprinted in American golf magazines Britain but was reported in the newspapers in America.

In 1913 Mr. Asquith was again attacked while golfing this time by a local lady,(according to local information) either Jessie or Agnes Gibson, sisters who lived in ‘Briarfield’(at that time called Cnoc an Droighe) which overlooks the course.  Miss Gibson knocked off the Prime Minister’s hat and was escorted off the course by Mr. Ryle and Mr. Sutherland.  There is a copy of the photograph still hanging in the Royal Dornoch Golf Club House today.
Image from History Links Image Library
When the First World War started in August 1914, militant action was suspended and many suffragists and suffragettes became heavily involved in the war effort.  Margaret Davidson, Secretary of the Dornoch NUWSS, was one.  She left the safety of her teaching job to volunteer as an (orderly and later as an) auxiliary nurse at the unique (Scottish Women’s Hospital) women’s hospital based at Royaumont, France.  Between May 1915 and August 1917 she looked after the men who had been injured at the front.



Bob Macdonald

Born at Evelix, Dornoch. Emigrated to the United States in 1910. Bob was Professional at a number of Chicago clubs including Evanston and Edgewater and was the first winner of the Texas Open in 1922. He was a founder member of the U.S.P.G.A. and later became its President. He coached legendary U.S. golfers Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith and Babe Zaharias. His book, “Golf”, published in 1927, was a classic of its time.



The founding of The Ryder Cup in 1927 stemmed from the first international golf match between Great Britain and the United States in 1921. The American
1927PGA brought American golfers over to Britain as a team as no American had yet won The British Open. A warm-up tournament between Great Britain and the United States was arranged two weeks before the British Open at St Andrews and held at Gleneagles. This tournament marked the beginnings of what would become The Ryder Cup.



The 1934 Masters - the very first Masters tournament. The Masters was so new in 1934 that it wasn't even officially named "The Masters." Co-founder Clifford Roberts wanted from the start to use that name for the event, but co-founder Bobby Jones thought the name too presumptuous. So in 1934 the tournament was born as the "Augusta National Invitation Tournament" and took place March 22–25.


1934And who was the very first Masters champion? Horton Smith won the 1934 Masters
Don Sutherland
Born in Littletown, Dornoch in 1910. Emigrated to Vancouver B.C. Canada in 1929 where he became Professional at Vancouver Golf & Country Club. His brother Hamish assisted Don at the club and both were made Honorary Life Members there. Reputed to be the most complete Dornoch golfer of his era, among his successes was winning the B.C. Open in 1934. 



Sunbeam Electric Scottish Open Downfield, Dundee - Neil Coles, England



1981Tom Watson headed North in 1981, the year after winning the third of five Open Championships at Muirfield. He arrived to play 18 holes, but had three rounds and 'the most fun I've ever had on a golf course'. Tom Watson, now an Honorary Member of the Club, returned before the 1996 Open at Lytham and his view of the course has not changed.



The British Amateur Championship was held at Royal Dornoch in 1985.

Garth McGimpsey of Northern Ireland was the Champion.



To eliminate any risks of misconception or error in the account of the life and achievements of Donald Ross, at 85 years of age, his daughter Lillian wrote an article, published in The Pilot of 16 March 1995, under the title 'Ross Daughter Tells His Story'. This provides an account of Donald's early life in Dornoch, his move to the United States of America, the death of his wife Janet at the early age of 55 years, and a listing of Donald's surviving relatives.


Andrew Simpson1998

Andrew Skinner appointed Head PGA Professional.... following in the family business as his father Willie was in charge for 25 years and is just the 9th professional since 1893.