Royal Dornoch to build new clubhouse

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 22, 2023 12:46

An 18-month project to build a new £13.9 million clubhouse at Royal Dornoch Golf Club is set to start before the end of this year.

The Scottish club had hoped to build a state-of-the-art clubhouse a few years ago, but plans were put 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 clubhouse that makes the most of panoramic views of an historic links.

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 to match the world class reputation of the celebrated Championship Course.

The 2,040 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.

“A new and more spacious environmentally friendly clubhouse will enhance the overall Royal Dornoch experience,” said Professor Bell.

“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.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 22, 2023 12:46
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  1. زمین خزرشهر October 2, 08:38

    all heavily subsidized by the UK taxpayer in the form of VAT concessions on Visitor green fees

    Reply to this comment
  2. PAR68 September 28, 12:50

    Don’t know what it will look like inside but from the image it looks like an 18th century building housing the shaft and workings of a tin mine.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Herb September 25, 07:52

    Agree with a new clubhouse but not that design, not that location and certainly not that spend

    Reply to this comment
  4. BJ September 23, 19:14

    Golf clubhouse?
    Looks more akin a council estate buildings or some government offices.
    What was the club thinking?
    Where’s the imagination of a building “blending into the natural Royal Dornich surrounds?”
    Cannot believe such a monsteociity was approved.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Turner September 23, 11:06

    Don’t know why they would look at this spend. The clubhouse is fine as is the accommodation and the course is fabulous. It’s a strange thing to do and the cost is incredible.

    Reply to this comment
    • Johnny99 September 23, 20:36

      Are you kidding me? The toilets and locker area are an embarrassment for a £270 green fee, top ten in the world, golf course.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Pärnu Bay Golf Links September 23, 09:40

    New £13.9 million clubhouse, thats what I call “high ambitions”

    Reply to this comment
  7. JS September 23, 07:22

    A £13.9m clubhouse for the elite members of Dornoch GC… and all heavily subsidized by the UK taxpayer in the form of VAT concessions on Visitor green fees. Disgraceful really if you think about it.

    Reply to this comment
    • Tarkus September 27, 04:41

      Fact check. Every members golf club in the UK pays zero VAT on visitor green fees. Every “for profit” golf club reclaims ALL of their VAT on expenditure.

      Reply to this comment
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