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Golf club captain welcomes plans for £13.9m 'state-of-the-art' clubhouse in Dornoch

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ROYAL Dornoch Golf Club’s ambitious plans for a state-of-the-art clubhouse went on hold when the pandemic struck.

Now, hard on the heels of agreeing a new 99-year lease on common good land with Highland Council, members have backed plans for a £13.9 million clubhouse making the most of panoramic views of an historic links hailed among the finest in the world.

Members have backed plans for the new £13.9 million clubhouse at Royal Dornoch. Photo: Bannerman Media
Members have backed plans for the new £13.9 million clubhouse at Royal Dornoch. Photo: Bannerman Media

The current clubhouse dates to the early years of the 20th Century and has been extended in piecemeal fashion over the years.

With the Highland club counting down to its milestone 150th anniversary in 2027, men's captain Professor David Bell has welcomed the green light to provide Royal Dornoch with clubhouse facilities he believes will match the "world class" reputation of the celebrated Championship Course.

The 2040 square metre development – which will be 600 square metres bigger than the current clubhouse footprint - was put on hold until a fuller picture emerged of the club’s finances in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

While members had approved a blueprint for a new clubhouse on land near the first tee and 18th fairway and planning consent was secured last year, a special general meeting has now paved the way to a start date.

Professor Bell has indicated an 18-month construction programme will get under way before the end of the year. He stressed golf will not be impacted by building work.

An artists impression of the new clubhouse at Royal Dornoch. Photo: Bannerman Media
An artists impression of the new clubhouse at Royal Dornoch. Photo: Bannerman Media

He said: “A new and more spacious environmentally friendly clubhouse will enhance the overall Royal Dornoch experience.

“The Championship Course regularly features high on lists of the world's top 10 and while we enjoy a fine reputation for our food offering and hospitality, we know the existing clubhouse is less than ideal for members, our many visitors and our staff.

“When international travel went on hold and supply chains were clogged up by the pandemic, it was wise to put our plans on hold.

“But tireless members of the project team seized the opportunity to refine the design with the architects and engineers.

“The sandstone building designed by Scottish architects Keppie will reflect the standing of the golf course and make the most of the incredible all-round views we enjoy over the links and the Dornoch Firth from a spacious and adaptable first-floor lounge.

“Finishes throughout will be to the highest standards and ensure energy efficiency that is sadly lacking in our current clubhouse.

“As a native of Dornoch, I have always been aware of the key role the clubhouse plays in the life of the town and the wider community. Rest assured, that won't change.

“We are determined to deliver a clubhouse that will stand the test of time and match the quality of the Championship Course.

“Our golf courses have evolved down the years and this clubhouse will provide a legacy for generations to come.

“In 2027, we will be hosting clubs from around the world to share in our 150th celebrations. It will be wonderful to welcome our guests to a fine new clubhouse.”

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