Dornoch plans celebrations for 400th anniversary of golf in the town


Dornoch plans celebrations for 400th anniversary of golf in the town
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Royal Dornoch Golf Club is working closely with the local community to create a year of celebration in 2016 in honour of the 400th anniversary of golf in the town.

The 400 years celebration will allow golfers, the community and its visitors to enjoy many events, activities and celebrations in the town. The club has been looking at the role golf and sport has played within Dornoch and the wider area. The funding of a postgraduate research position, filled by Wade Cormack in 2013, was one of the first steps taken to learn more about how golf has shaped the modern community.

“The first year of my research into golf in and around the Moray Firth has already provided some interesting finds.” said McCormack. “From the earliest records it is clear that golf was a sport enjoyed by all and it very quickly provided many people in the region with a business opportunity, as well as a new pastime.”

Visitors, locals and golfers will be able to enjoy talks on new discoveries about golf in the area; attend music, drama, art exhibitions at Royal Dornoch Golf Club and throughout the town of Dornoch.

“It is an exciting time for the club and we’re so delighted to be met with such enthusiasm from every quarter of the town, with the school children involved in designing our Royal Dornoch Golf Club tartan and many of the town clubs and groups contributing to the 400 year celebration,” said club general manager Neil Hampton. “The town has really embraced the 400 years and the list of events keeps on growing.”

The year of celebration will tee off on 2 January 2016 with the club’s captain ‘driving in’ using a specially crafted hickory club and feathery ball.

A themed street party will be held at the end of the 103rd Carnegie Shield golf week in August, featuring food, music and costumes over the period. There will be exhibitions and displays throughout the year including contributions from many local groups including the Heritage Society, Flowers & Fairs and The Festival Week.

Reverend Susan Brown, minister of the 13th century parish church of Dornoch Cathedral said: “Dornoch has been shaped by the twin influences of golf and the church and the relationship between the two continues to be happy and healthy. The 400 year celebrations in 2016 offer an opportunity for the whole community to be actively involved in celebrating our wonderful culture and heritage and it offers too the chance to continue to foster community spirit.”