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Royal Dornoch and Skibo move up rankings

By SPP Reporter

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A daunting drive from the final tee of the Skibo course at the Carnegie Club.
A daunting drive from the final tee of the Skibo course at the Carnegie Club.

TWO Sutherland golf courses have moved up the UK rankings, drawn up annually by leading magazine Golf World.

The Skibo links Carnegie Club course has risen 31 steps to number 64, while Royal Dornoch has moved up two places from eleventh to ninth, its best placed ranking since 2000.

Skibo made its first appearance at number 92 in 1998, rising in 2000 to 69th, then slipping back until it fell outside the top 100 in the reviews of 2006 and 2008.

Since then, Skibo professional David Thomson, in conjunction with original designer Donald Steele’s assistant Tom Mackenzie, have changed the layout of several holes and redesigned the 7th, 10th, 12th and 13th holes from the the original 1992 plan, and in 2010 Skibo re-entered the top 100 at number 95.

Shortly after, on a visit, ex-Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie considered it was the best conditioned course he had even seen. Another name to raise the profile of Skibo to number 64 is Ryder Cup player Paul Lawrie, who this year has become the Carnegie Club’s tour professional.

The exclusive "members only" course has from April allowed two four ball tee times of non-members.

Meanwhile, the current issue of National Club Golfer puts Royal Dornoch in third place.

And two other Sutherland courses are featured, Golspie receiving the higher ranking at number 54 and Brora at 63.

Of Golspie, the panel said: "A highly unusual, if not unique, blend of links, parkland and heathland. It is the character of these course changes that gives Golspie its rare old charm". Of Brora, they say "It is special, a place to take your friends for an unforgettable day.

"The fact that some think a trip to the Highlands is made by a round at Brora, as opposed to Royal Dornoch, says plenty".

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