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Royal Dornoch to build new par-3 hole on Struie Course

9.00am 27th October 2023 - Course Development - This story was updated on Thursday, October 26th, 2023

Royal Dornoch Golf Club in Scotland has called on the services of golf course architects Mackenzie and Ebert and its own greenkeeping team to design and create a new par-3 hole on its Struie Course.

In addition to the new hole, the Struve course, which marked its centenary this year, will also benefit from a £1.5 million investment in a new irrigation system that will be 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. “Course manager Eoin Riddell and his greenkeeping team are liaising with 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 9th 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 1st of the Struie. In the longer term, the tentative plan is to start at the 3rd 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. 

Hampton added: “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.” 

Course manager Eoin Riddell admits his team have had to contend with unusually heavy rainfall. Over one recent weekend, 40mm of rain was recorded. 

“Drier weather would have been more welcome because the area is grassland and low lying. But we have been able to get started,” said Eoin. “While most of the material being used is on-site, the shaping is taking account of the low-lying topography The tees, infinity green and fairway all have to be raised up.  We are again working closely with architect and club member Tom Mackenzie, who handled the realignment of holes 7 and 8 on the Championship Course. 

“In keeping with our other par 3 holes at Royal Dornoch, this one will be relatively short but challenging off tees ranging from 137 yards to 174 yards. I’m sure it will be warmly welcomed by members and visitors alike.” 

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