January 26, 2017
An hour north of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, the town of Dornoch celebrated 400 years of golf last year. An ideal spot for a Scottish golf vacation, Dornoch is perhaps best known for two things: the birthplace of Donald Ross and its world-class golf course, Royal Dornoch. By playing in the Donald Ross Invitational, golfers can celebrate the former by playing the latter.
Hosted by Carr Golf, the exclusive event brings Donald Ross enthusiasts together to honor the prolific golf architect by competing on the course where he learned the game as a young lad. This exceptional pilgrimage features three rounds of golf, four nights’ luxury accommodations, welcome reception and dinner, daily breakfast and lunch, gala dinner and a prize ceremony, affording competitors plenty of opportunities to bond with kindred spirits. Guest speakers include noted golf architecture writer Bradley Klein, author of “Discovering Donald Ross” and winner of the Donald Ross Award.
Ross was born on St Gilbert Street just off the center of town on Nov. 23, 1872. He learned to play the game that would shape his life on the wild links of Dornoch. He was the golf club’s first professional before becoming one of the world’s finest golf architects with designs in America, Scotland, Canada and Cuba. His notable designs in the U.S. include Pinehurst No. 2, Aronimink Golf Club, East Lake Golf Club, Seminole Golf Club and Oak Hill (East). Over 100 U.S. national championships have been played on his courses.
Founded in 1877 and granted “Royal” status in 1906 by King Edward VII, Dornoch is currently fifth on Golf Digest’s ranking of the “World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.” Golfing great Tom Watson says, “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course.” Now an honorary member, Watson is in good company alongside fellow club mates including England’s Prince Andrew and Masters winner Ben Crenshaw.
Said Ross of his beloved home course, “Modesty forbids me saying more than it is the most beautifully situated links in the world, and that no American golfer should omit to go there, where he will find the best golf, a royal welcome and no rabble.”
While many people visit Dornoch for golf, they are always pleasantly surprised by the charming town which dates back more than 4,000 years. The area is rife with historic landmarks including Dornoch Cathedral which was built in 1224 and hosted its first service in 1239. The Scottish Highlands are known for magnificent castles and Dornoch has two glorious examples: Dornoch Castle, now a first-class hotel, and grand Skibo Castle, once the home of Andrew Carnegie.
The Scottish Highlands are also home to some of the finest and most famous single malt whisky distilleries. A trip to Sutherland wouldn’t be complete without a distillery tour and tasting at Clynelish Distillery or a visit to Dornoch Castle’s Whisky Bar, which features a vast selection of rare and unique vintage whiskies.
Although the name “Dornoch” is derived from Gaelic for “pebbly place,” the seaside town boasts a mesmerizing sandy beach with beguiling views out over the North Sea. It also features all the stunning natural beauty visitors expect when visiting the Highlands with its scenic hills, glens, lochs and heather-clad moors. A variety of trails offer comfortable settings for hikes and walks through the forest or along the beach.
For more information on the Donald Ross Invitational, or to plan a custom luxury golf vacation to Dornoch, contact us at 1.855.617.5701 (U.S. toll free) or +353.1.822.6662.