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History and Heritage


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Royal Golf Hotel

History and Heritage

With a cathedral dating back to the 14th Century, it is safe to assume that Dornoch has some history and heritage worth exploring. It also has a couple of some very famous sons...

Andrew Carnegie

Industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie bought nearby Skibo Castle in the 1890s and lived there until his death. Like many other towns and cities across the country, Dornoch has good reason to be grateful for his and his family's generosity - the Carnegie Library, the Cathedral's lighting system and the Cathedral organ are just some of their gifts to the Royal Burgh.

His home is now a prestigious private Country Club and  Andrew Carnegie once said of his Sutherland home, "If there is a heaven on earth, it is here."

Donald Ross

Transplanted Scotsman Donald Ross transformed the American sports landscape in the first half of this century. At his death in 1948, he left behind a legacy of 413 courses, including such gems as Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, Seminole in Florida, and the site of the 1996 U.S. Open, Oakland Hills outside Detroit. Over 100 U.S. national championships have been played on his designs. Small wonder his name still resonates among the game's aficionados.

Ross was born in 1872 in Dornoch. There on crumpled dunesland, he grew up playing one of the world's purest links, Royal Dornoch. As a young man he took up "the keeping of the green." After a year of apprenticeship at St. Andrews under the tutelage of 4-time British Open champion "Old" Tom Morris, he returned to his native Dornoch. In those days, there was no rigid division of labor for golf professionals, so Ross became adept not only at maintaining the grounds but also as a player and club maker.

The rest is history...

For more information on Donald Ross visit The Donald Ross Society website

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