The final phase of a project aimed at enhancing the Championship course at Royal Dornoch Golf Club in northern Scotland is now underway.
The work includes the development of a new seventh hole at the course. The development of this hole will continue over the next four winters, with the hole set to open in 2021.
The enhancements to the course are being carried out in-house based on recommendations from Mackenzie and Ebert. A team from the firm reviewed the club’s Championship and Struie courses and suggested a number of positive alterations.
The new seventh hole will be a par four and is located approximately 40 yards from the current seventh hole. The existing tees will remain, with the new hole playing 479 yards and essentially pivoting to the right hand side of its current location.
New tees will also be created on the eighth hole as part of the current phase, which will be built where the current seventh green sits. This will allow for golfers to tee off on the eighth hole from the top of a hill as intended as part of the course’s original design, which is attributed to Old Tom Morris.
The current phase follows on from work last year on the fifth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth holes following recommendations from Mackenzie and Ebert.
“The work at the seventh hole will be the last major change of the recommendations made by Mackenzie and Ebert and it will be the biggest of them all,” commented Neil Hampton, Royal Dornoch’s general manager. “With such a big expanse of gorse bushes to the right of the current hole, we have been able to leave a ribbon of bushes next to the current fairway which acts as a barrier to the works so play continues without the golfers knowing what is happening. The final phase will see these bushes taken away and the new hole revealed.”
The rest of the Royal Dornoch course will be visible along the complete length of the new seventh hole, rather than just from the seventh tee as is currently the case.
“The stroke index will remain the same, as will the green complex,” Hampton added. “We all realise that the shaping of the current green in a major part of how the hole plays, so this will be replicated in the new green.”