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Work begins on new ninth hole at Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Struie Course as multi-million rennovations step up a gear

By Andrew Henderson

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Royal Dornoch Golf Club is embarking on ambitious plans to enhance its status as a magnet for golfers from around the world.

While work on a new £13.9 million clubhouse is set to begin shortly, greenkeeping staff operating in tandem with leading golf course architects are currently pressing ahead with groundworks to create a new Par 3 hole on the Struie Course.

An aerial view of work under way on a new 9th hole at Royal Dornoch's Struie Course. Pic: Matthew Harris
An aerial view of work under way on a new 9th hole at Royal Dornoch's Struie Course. Pic: Matthew Harris

The course, which marked its centenary this year, will also benefit from a £1.5 million investment in a new irrigation system being installed next year.

“Proposals for a new Par 3 hole on the Struie have been approved by members, along with plans to replace the dated irrigation system on the course,” said general manager Neil Hampton.

“Eoin Riddell and his greenkeeping team are liaising with leading golf course architects Mackenzie and Ebert, who have previously carried out well received work on the Championship Course, and the project should be completed by Christmas and ready for play next season.

“This is a first step towards more ambitious aspirations for a golf course which regularly rates among Scotland’s top-50 but which has been overshadowed by our world-famous Championship Course.

“Once finished, this will be our new ninth hole, with lovely views to Dornoch Point and across to Portmahomack.

“We will have 19 holes in the short term, which may also help during the construction phase of the new clubhouse.

“The ground source heat pump planned for the clubhouse requires 21 vertical bore holes so at some point this will inevitably mean an element of disruption on the first of the Struie.

“In the longer term, the tentative plan is to start at the third hole and finish at the 17th, building new holes on land near the 10th green overlooking the Dornoch Firth, which we are keen to secure.

“The irrigation system has been showing its age. This project will future-proof the golf course with scope to accommodate any new holes which may be created further down the line once the membership has been consulted on any potential configuration.”

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