WINTER NEWSLETTER 2019
It is an absolute honour to have been elected Captain of this
great and world famous club, a huge responsibility but a
challenge which I am thoroughly enjoying. I wish to thank
Immediate Past Captain Alan Ramsey for nominating me and
the members for electing me.
As I write this report it is only four months since I became
Captain and the time has flown by as we are in the midst of an
extremely busy time.
We are very fortunate to have so many exceptionally dedicated
people on Council of Management and on our sub committees
giving up their time for the club. We also have a fantastic team
of people who manage and run the club on a day to day basis.
At the AGM it was pleasing to get such strong support for the new clubhouse project which is now
gathering momentum. We have gone through the early stages of planning and are now entering the
much more exciting phase when we will see a building emerging.
The dry weather during the summer provided some of the best true links conditions for many years with
the Championship Course gaining many plaudits from officials of the R&A, PGA and players both
amateur and professional.
My first official duty was to referee the Carnegie
Shield Final which was contested in an extremely
sporting manner in the true spirit of golf between
two great competitors Christopher “Chippie”
Mailley and Ian Rennie. Chippie was victorious
with Ian being a gracious runner up. We were served
up some brilliant golf in testing windy conditions.
We hosted the Boys Home Internationals for the
Royal and Ancient in August. The England Team
were victorious narrowly defeating the Ireland
Team. All players and officials were delighted with
the venue and the presentation of the course.
The Captain’s Members Weekend was great fun
and everyone appeared to enjoy themselves as there
was much laughter both on and off the course!
The 7 th hole on the Championship Course is now
taking shape with the green and approach area
now well established and the prospect of playing it
and enjoying the views is very exciting.
At the Annual Prize Giving we decided to try
something different and we had cocktails and live
music, so much hilarity and dancing ensued. Our Club
Champion, Wesley Harden, travelled over the weekend
from South Carolina, USA for the presentation so I
thank him for this huge commitment.
In my short term of office and the few months
beforehand I have met literally hundreds of people in
connection with the club on both a business and social
level. A wide range of people from the people who
work in all areas our club, members, visitors, business
associates, members of the local community and
visiting dignitaries’ from the R&A, PGA and USPGA.
On reflecting on the last few months I have tried,
like many others in the past, to sum up what makes
our club so great and the word I would use is
passion! Everyone loves coming to Dornoch and
enjoying our great club and our memorable links.
I had the pleasure of visiting Pinehurst, USA on a
personal holiday and anyone who sees the Royal
Dornoch crest immediately gives you a warm
welcome. We have many friends around the world!
It would be unfair to single anyone out because
everyone who works in the club is passionate about
their particular working environment. We are
fortunate to have wonderful team camaraderie around
us always striving to make our experience even better.
All those who have gone before in the club have
left a great legacy and as I said at the AGM, this is
our time and we will do our best to do the same
for the next generations.
During the past year the club has raised £20,000 for
SCAA Charity, the air ambulance covering our area.
Thanks go to Alan Ramsey and Elizabeth Henderson,
immediate past captain and Ladies’ captain
repectively, for such a tremendous achievement.
I look forward to meeting more of you in the
months and season ahead.
From The General Manager’s Office
Once again, the weather has played a big part in
our golfing season, but this time for the right
reasons. Not since 2013 have we played on
traditional links conditions so it was great to get
back to the running game and playing the ball
along the ground, using our imagination and not
our range finder. This did give us some other issues
to deal with but with the expert eye of our Course
Manager Eoin Riddell, and his team, we had some
magnificent conditions throughout the year and
although there was a little less water for the fairways
than we would have ideally liked, they have already
had lots of TLC and are recovering well.
As always, we have changes in the Council of
Management and every two years we get a new
Captain. So welcome to the hot seat Rob! I am
sure that Rob will be able to take it all in his stride
having served on the council as greens and finance
convenor but also watching his father Ken who sat
in the secretary’s seat right here at Royal Dornoch
from 1975 to 1987. That does also mean there is a
new vice captain and this is Willie MacKay. He
does so much for so many groups in and around
Dornoch while also advising many of the North
clubs in his capacity as a Scottish Golf Regional
Development Officer so you may wonder how he
will cope with another busy role? For those of you
that know Willie like I do he is the epitome of the
saying “if you want something done, give it to a
busy person” so I have no doubt that he and Rob
will form a great team to lead the club.
We also have four new members of council of
management and have welcomed Cara Thompson,
Gordon Davies and Kevin Matheson for three year
terms and also John McMurray for one year as the
replacement to see out the time that Willie
MacKay had left to serve.
Royal Dornoch v Country Club of North Carolina,
It would be remiss not to take a moment to mention
and remember Alexander Campbell who retired
from the Council at the AGM. We all had the
knowledge that time for Alex was short but it became
apparent that he was going to leave sooner than
anyone had expected. He married his partner of
many years, Helen Needs (our recently departed head
chef) in October but sadly passed away in early
November at just 45 years of age. A dry but insightful
wit who had the intelligence to analyse all situations,
and more often than not come out with a line or two
that put paid to any further discussion, usually with
everyone in fits of laughter. Alex, thanks for being a
big part of Royal Dornoch.
Also stepping down this year were Elizabeth Coghill
and Colin MacKay and I am sure you will join me in
thanking them for given up their time to help take the
club forward during their time on the council.
While highlighting the new faces on the council we
have also taken on several new members of staff in
some key positions.
Firstly, we had Brian Sangster take over from Helen
Needs as Head Chef in March. Our thanks to Helen
for her work and our thoughts are with her on the
loss of Alex. Brian had not worked in a golf club
environment before and now that he has a season
under his belt we look forward to seeing what he has
on the menu next season along with the return of the
evening meu which should help make the clubhouse
a destination for those long summer nights.
Next to join the team was Bradley Smith in the Pro
Shop. This is in the position of Retail Manager now
that we have the pro shop in-house. It has been a good
season for the shop, which will be reflected in the
annual accounts, and we hope that with the
knowledge that Brad has gained, plus the launch of
our online shop www.royaldornochproshop.com,
2019/20 will give even better returns. To find out
more about Brad turn to the Meet the Team page.
Andrew, Gary and Jorden fitted in well to being
employees of the club and now that we have a season
of assessing their capabilities and desires we can refine
their roles and get the best out of them going forward.
Our final senior appointment this year was Sue Robb,
our new Food & Beverage Manager. Sue is in charge
of both front and back of house, although working
very closely with Brian, to ensure that our bar and
catering offering achieves the 4 star standard that we
wish to offer. Coming from a lifetime in hospitality at
this level we look forward to her sharing her
knowledge with us all and imparting that to our staff.
At this time I would like to thank Denise Ross for her
6½ years with us and wish her well in her next role.
I can’t conclude this piece without highlighting the
work that all the staff do to make this club so special
to us all, and in particular Claire Riddell for being
more that just our Assistant Manager but a great fount
of knowledge, and the one that cleans up all the bits
and pieces I leave behind!
It is with much excitement that I write about the
Clubhouse project. The update from the Captain at
the end of 2018 has shown you the great progress we
have made on the design and the amount of
involvement that our own staff have had in the layout
of each floor. This will ensure that they have
“ownership” of their particular domains and a much
greater emotional attachment to the club and their
work. The local community continue to be advised of
progress for which they are grateful and continue to
support what we are doing. The clubhouse is primarily
for the members (and their guests and our many
visitors) so your thoughts and comments are always
welcomed so please take the opportunity to feedback
whenever you can. We are working hard to deliver you
something meaningful and tangible to discuss in the
lead up to the AGM in August so that important
decisions can be made.
While the new clubhouse is still on the drawing board
what we do have under construction is the new 7 th
hole on the Championship Course. As the green
convenor has said we have brought the programme
for this forward so that it will be opened at the start
of the 2020 season, one in which we will host the
Mens Home Internationals. Part of the works means
new tees for the 8 th hole leading to a different angle
on the tee shot and more approach shots from the top
of the hill. Hopefully you will approve and enjoy all
the changes to these two holes. Finally on the
Championship Course the front bunker at the 10 th
was moved closer to the tee and, to my eye, it looks in
exactly the same position – well done to the team for
another feat of invisible mending!
One more piece of course news is that we should have
the Halfway House data connection in place so that
we can use the same till system as we have in the
clubhouse thus allowing real time loyalty card
payments as well as cash and credit card payments.
As always it is thanks to you for the support and
enthusiasm that you show for all that we do here in
Dornoch to ensure that our club is one the best in
We all look forward to seeing you soon.
Finance Convenor’s Report
The Club has had another successful season, with
our income in the period rising by nearly 20%
compared to last year to £2.97m, our surplus on
ordinary activities before taxation increasing by over
25% to £1.98m and our cash balance increasing by
£1.25m to £4.73m. However, it is important to
remember that nearly all our income comes in our
first half year while we continue to have significant
expenditure in the second half year.
Visitors Green fees
Visitor green fees have increased by 12% to £1.8m.
This is as a result of increasing the rate per round to
£160. This is still substantially lower than our major
competitors and it is being increased to £180 for next
year. Visitor numbers were broadly similar to last year.
As you are aware, the Club took over the
professional shop at the beginning of the year, and
it has produced a surplus of over £150,000 on sales
of approximately £560,000. This is a very good
result given that much time has been spent learning
about the operations and planning for the future.
A number of new initiatives are in the pipeline, and
we are looking to increase the online sales offering
significantly. Thanks go to Ian Madeley and Ivan
Collingwood who continue to spend a great deal of
time helping to support the pro shop team.
Bar & Catering
The House Convener’s report explains the changes
that are taking place in the bar & catering
operation. Whilst clearly there have been a
number of operational issues, the surplus in the
first half year is some £15,000 higher than last year
and, consequently, we are working towards a
reduced loss for the full year.
Costs in all areas have been managed broadly in
line with our expectations. Staff costs, which for a
full year make up about 60% of our total costs, are
lower than we expected due to us being short of
people in a number of areas. We are actively
increasing our recruitment efforts to try to ensure
we have the right complement of staff for next year
to provide the level of service expected by members
Cash flow has remained very good and there have
been no significant unexpected costs in the period.
Financial information and controls
I’m pleased to say that we have made good progress
in this area. As you may know, last year we
produced for the first time for many years a detailed
budget on a monthly, as well as an annual, basis.
This budget has proved surprisingly accurate as far
as costs have been concerned and, fortunately, very
conservative on the income front!
Monthly accounts compared to budget are now
produced by the middle of each month, and we are
starting to get the departmental managers involved
in the budgeting and reporting process. There is
still work to do in various areas, but we are
determined that, by the beginning of next season,
we will be getting all the information we need to
enable all areas of the Club to be managed in a way
that is appropriate for a business of our size.
Many thanks go to Matt McBride and Martin
Lynch for all the work they have done on this. We
are particularly fortunate that Martin became
available to spend a significant amount of time
focusing on many of the financial reporting and
control issues. We are hoping that the bulk of this
work, including the documentation of our systems
and controls, will be complete by the end of the
year, at which point Martin’s workload can be
reduced to a few days a month.
Whilst it is early days, current indications are that
visitor bookings for next year are well ahead of this
time last year. As you know, we remain highly
dependent on visitors and visiting members to
generate the income and cash flow that will enable
us to complete the clubhouse project on a timely
Estimates have been produced of how we think the
full year will turn out and, by the time you read
this, next year’s budget will be in place and
financial estimates made for the next 5 years.
As far as the Clubhouse project is concerned, our
advisors have done a lot of work on cost estimates,
which are currently running within our
expectations. We have also held preliminary
discussions with grant providers, which we hope
to advance in the next few months in order to get
firm proposals from them. This is all important, as
financial planning for the new clubhouse is very
high on our agenda as much has to be finalised
before our next AGM in August 2019.
Once again, thanks must go to Neil and Claire not
only for all the work they do, but also for
embracing the many changes that are taking place
on the finance side of the Club.
Match & Handicap Convenor’s Report
As I enter my third year as Match and Handicap
Convenor I would like to again record my grateful
thanks for the tremendous efforts of Neil, Claire
and the office team in ensuring that both the Club
and Open Competitions are professionally
organised and efficiently run. I would also like to
thank the many members who have kindly given
of their time to assist on the registration desk or
with the input of scores at our Open Competitions
during 2018. We shall again be seeking assistance
this coming year and if you would care to be
involved please contact either Claire or myself.
In respect of the Open Competitions Royal
Dornoch club members have again figured strongly
in the winner’s circle with the first event of the
year, the Struie Mixed Foursomes, proving
successful for Rebecca Riddell and Graham
Minton. Their success was quickly followed by a
win for Connor Mackay, Trevor Mackay and
Struan Robertson in the Burghfield with Chris
Mailley winning the scratch prize. Further local
success was achieved in the 3 Lady Team Open
with Caroline Madeley, Alison Davies and
Marjorie Kingston proving victorious.
Whilst visitors from Buckpool GC, Stuart and
Karen McLeod, won the Captain’s Open Mixed
Foursomes, Ian and Margaret MacDonald
captured the Lady Captain’s Open Mixed
Foursomes. In between these two events Kevin
MacGillivray won the handicap prize in the Robbie
Grant and Duncan Murray Seniors and Gordon
Sutherland was successful in the Macleod Trophy.
Chris Mailley proved victorious in the Sinclair Cup
with a scratch score of 138 whilst Adam Mackay
won the handicap prize with a score of 131 (5).
The Carnegie Shield Final was contested between
two Royal Dornoch members with Chris Mailley
victorious over Ian Rennie. The Davidson Trophy
was won by Ian Smyth from Northern Ireland with
a 1 hole victory over Royal Dornoch Alasdair
Dickson. However home success again was
achieved in the E C Fraser Trophy with Grant
Mackay defeating an Australian, David Liddicoat.
The Silver Medallist, with a score of 139, was John
D Forbes, Inverness GC.
Gareth Hall was successful in the Glenmorangie
Open and Michael Schinkel, with a superb
aggregate score of 133 including a new course
record score of 66 on the Struie Course, won the
Fraser/Gardner Tournament. Marelle Sierra won
the Senior Ladies Open and Douglas Martin with
his partner Stephen Craig from Ranfurly Castle
were the winners of the Senior Open 4 Ball
Finally in the David Urquhart Memorial Trophy,
the winner was Struan M. Robertson. So all in all
it has been a very successful year in our Open
Competitions for Royal Dornoch members.
Club Competition winners were as follows:
Donald Grant Cup
Neil and Max Hampton
Graham Minton and
Paul York Order of Merit Connor Mackay
President’s Cup Handicap
President’s Cup Scratch
Struie Club Championship
Struie Club Championship
Congratulations to all the prize winners and best
wishes to all club members for golfing success in
the forthcoming season.
May I again respectfully remind competitors that
with all Club Matchplay competitions it is essential
that all entrants must be able to compete over the
full duration of the dates shown on the draw sheet.
As from 1 st January 2019 we shall see changes to
The Rules of Golf and I am indebted to our
President, Mr Gordon Lawson, for kindly
providing a brief summary of the major changes
which are expected to have the most impact on the
game and to be of most interest to players. These
are on the following page.
Players are encouraged to obtain the new Players
Edition of the Rules of Golf which will be available
from the Club. This booklet is written in plain
language and with explanations and illustrations
aimed at assisting the player in understanding and
being able to apply the new Rules.
More detailed information on these and other
changes will be given at a Rules Night to be held
in the Clubhouse on Friday 22 nd February 2019.
Match & Handicap Convenor
Major Changes in the Rules of Golf for 2019
This is a summary of some of the main changes effective from 1st January 2019, being those expected to
have the most impact on the game and to be of most interest to players.
Ball at rest moved:
Ball in motion:
There are 5 defined
areas of the Course:
A ball is lost if not found in 3 minutes, (previously 5 minutes).
During search, replace, no penalty.
Accidentally moved on putting green, replace, no penalty.
Moves on green e.g. by wind after being marked, lifted and replaced then replace,
no penalty; but if not already lifted and replaced then play from new position.
Accidentally hits player, caddie, equipment, play as it lies, no penalty.
Double hit, no penalty, counts only as 1 stroke.
Drop in a defined relief area.
Drop from knee height.
Ball must come to rest in the relief area where it was dropped.
All damage to green including spike marks can be repaired.
Putting with flagstick in hole is permitted.
Ball wedged against flagstick and side of hole is deemed as holed.
Formerly water hazards but may now include other areas marked as yellow or
red penalty areas from which relief with a 1 stroke penalty is allowed.
Touching the ground and touching or moving loose impediments is permitted.
The general area (formerly known as “through the green“).
The teeing ground of hole being played.
All penalty areas.
The putting green of the hole being played.
Loose impediments may be touched or moved without penalty.
Sand may be touched without penalty but certain touching of sand e.g. testing
condition of bunker, making practice swing, touching area right behind or in
front of the ball whilst making backswing will still be penalised.
Unplayable ball relief can be taken outside the bunker back on a line from the
hole for 2 penalty strokes, or from where player's last stroke was made for 1
A caddie is not allowed to stand behind the player to assist with alignment while
the player is taking their stance and playing their shot.
Free relief is available anywhere in general play area.
Players are encouraged to obtain the new Players Edition of the Rules of Golf which will be available
from the Club. This booklet is written in plain language and with explanations and illustrations aimed
at assisting the player in understanding and being able to apply the new Rules.
Green Convenor’s Report
The weather gods are obviously not golfers, as last
year’s deluge has been followed by this year’s
drought. Due to the shortage of water we have
prioritised the greens from a usage point of view,
consequently the fairways suffered accordingly.
This fact was noted in the STRI (Sports Turf
Research Institute) late summer report which
highlighted that the greens were technically the
best for 5 years and were up to Championship
standard. Of particular note was the rapid
improvement of the sixth green.
The condition of the fairways was poor due to the
lack of water and we are now in the recovery mode
with over seeding, followed by top dressing using the
newly acquired Dakota sand spreader. We intend to
use this machine at least twice a year in an endeavour
to firm up the playing surface so that we can
maintain a traditional links feel to the fairways. This
process will take some three to four years before we
really appreciate the real benefit of this operation.
We are experiencing quite significant leaks of water
from the pipes underlying the Struie Course. We are
in the process of consulting with the experts who
installed the system on the Championship Course
as to the best way and likely cost of improving the
situation, as well as potentially building a water
storage tank beyond the back of the second green on
A “spring rake” has also been added to our
greenkeeping store of equipment. The purpose of
this machine is to cut and collect the rough grass
bordering the fairways so that the remaining rough
will consist of the finer grasses more in keeping
with a links course. The area behind the
eighteenth green on the right of the path back to
the clubhouse is a good example of what we hope
we can achieve doing this.
Much of the winter programme will take place on the
new seventh hole. A large section of whins has already
been taken out and the main bulk of the work will
involve completing the fairway which presently extends
sixty yards back from the green, leaving roughly three
hundred more yards to go. After removing the stones
we shall put down nearly a foot (300mm) of sand,
topping it off with about 4 inches (100mm) of root
zone (top soil). Finally we shall put the grass seed on
top and lo and behold – a perfect fairway!
The new bunker at the tenth has now been finished
and looks very impressive. The front of the green has
been levelled and the front lip of the new bunker is
just about where the back lip of the old bunker was,
so we now have a landing area of five yards before
the start of the putting surface. The hole should now
present no problems downwind!
With all the extra work being carried out and ongoing,
all members should be thankful for the expertise of
our green staff ably led by Eoin Riddell (Course
Manager) and Scott Aitchison (Deputy Course
Manager). One has only to watch the annual revetting
of the bunkers to realise the skill needed. We were also
able to build the new seventh green without outside
assistance – the plan was to replicate the contours and
slopes of the current seventh, so no easy task, but even
at this early stage the result is impressive.
I hate to end on a fractious note, but far too many
pitchmarks on the greens are simply not being
repaired. These are mainly at the front of the greens.
Why not make a New Year’s resolution to repair at
least 4 pitchmarks every green?
House Convenor’s Report
Those of you who have eaten at the club over the
summer will have noticed the various changes in
personnel. Sue Robb, our new Food and Beverage
Manager and Brian Sangster our new Head Chef
have had a busy summer period, and are now
focusing on building a team over the winter in
preparation for next season.
The club council has agreed, that given the club’s
standing in the world of golf, the service and food
at the club should be achieving 4 star standards.
This has been discussed and agreed in the House
Committee and we are making plans to deliver on
this as soon as possible. Watch this space!
We are delighted that over the summer, we had an
uplift in our business. In response we have updated
some of our equipment and are purchasing some
new items in the kitchen. We also plan to be
completing some work on the fabric of the building.
During the winter we hope to provide a range of
different dishes, menus, wines and events. We
realise that our customer base changes
considerably from summer to winter. We will be
producing a wider range of food options for those
eating more regularly at the club.
If you missed the excellent Italian Night, (the
words of those who attended), and the other
special events leading up to Christmas, such as the
Prize Presentation Cocktail Evening, the Life
Members Christmas lunch, Christmas Quiz and
Hogmanay Dinner, why not try to make it along
to the following?
• Burns Supper Wednesday 23 rd January
• Bingo and Play Your Cards Right Saturday 9 th
• A night with Paul Lawrie Saturday
16 th February
• Rules Night Friday 22 nd February
• Curry Night Saturday 2 nd March
• Spanish Night and Wine Tasting Saturday
16 th March
We plan to have a variety of food available across
these events to tantalise your taste buds. We have
also trialled providing transport home for a small
additional charge, to ensure everyone gets home
safely and in comfort. This has proved to be
successful and you can book in advance when
reserving your place at these special events.
We also have the Sunday Carvery in operation
until 31 st March which is a good excuse to treat the
family and neighbours to a relaxing meal.
I hope you will join us in the clubhouse soon, winter
or summer and enjoy some great food. I know Sue
and Brian’s team would like to have you along.
Junior Convenor’s Report
2018 started pretty coldly for us all, with snow, snow
and probably a wee bit more snow. This did not
however dampen the spirits of our youngsters and
numerous coaching sessions were provided by our
two fantastic junior coaches Gary Dingwall and
Jorden Ferrie. The enthusiasm and hard work that
these individuals possess needs to be recognised.
Their input to our juniors is clearly paying dividends
as we had a very successful year and I wish to record
my continued gratitude for their efforts.
Unfortunately the weather ensured the season got
off to a poor start as our Junior Open in April had
to be cancelled. We had a good entry with
competitors from Skye, Orkney and the Central Belt
on top of many local clubs. First tee time was 9am
but by 12 noon the sea haar had not lifted with the
first bunker on left of the first fairway still not
visible. It was deemed unsafe to send the players out.
Wonders tournament. The qualifying event was
staged at Fortrose & Rosemarkie and Moray Golf
Clubs with seven juniors progressing to the regional
finals held at Gleneagles and from there Zara
Macdonald, Mikayla Mackay and Finn Hallam
qualified for the grand final which was played over
the links at St. Andrews. They all played
magnificently and whilst no winners, all did
enough to qualify for the European finals next year.
A huge shout out to Jorden Ferrie for her assistance
in getting the players to and from the finals.
Over the course of the season we have several fun
Onto the golf though. We had our Annual Match
against UHI students over the Struie course with
a couple of B Section players playing for our team
(Kieran Allan and Ali Morrison), this was the first
time either had played 18 holes of competitive golf.
Not only did they play well they were victorious in
their match, helping our juniors to a very well
deserved win overall.
As the weather improved and the days started to get
longer more of our youngsters were taking to the
links with good turnouts in coaching, B and B plus
sections. Our A section is currently quite small but
they are all enthusiastic and competitive when it
comes to their golf. The scoring throughout the
year was improving and the players from all sections
enjoyed away trips to other local golf clubs to
participate in local open competitions. We had
numerous winners from the club in each section
and age group. We also took part in the HSBC Wee
Winner of the Burnett Cup this year was Ruaridh
Holden in his first time playing. Winner of the
Rainbow Trophy was Calum Morrison, winner of
Thomson Trophy was Zara Macdonald. Winners
of A/B Skinner trophy were Zara Macdonald &
but the winner of the Duncan Allan trophy for
best Dornoch player was won by our new Junior
Section Captain Owen Mackay.
The Roddy Dingwall Memorial trophy is the Order
of Merit award in A Section and was won this year
jointly by Hannah Riddell and Owen Mackay, each
having 58 points.
The A Section most improved player was Ruben
The B Plus Section boys winner was Jamie Riordan
with the girls winner of this section being Rhianna
The B Section winners this year made it a real
family affair with the boys winner being Ruaridh
Holden and girls winner being Erin Holden.
Of note we had one player progress from B Section
all the way to A section during the course of the
season so huge congratulations to Zara Macdonald
(let’s keep up the good work).
The highlight of the year for me however was the
annual Morcott Challenge. A lot of work goes into
this event over the course of the year from
fundraising at quiz nights and annual car wash
events, to coaching of the selected players. So a big
thank you to all who helped and supported these
activities over the course of the year. This year we
hosted the American Team and friendships made on
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina last year were
rekindled. Our team this year of Ceitidh Aitchison,
Owen Mackay, Hannah Riddell, Paddy Murray, John
Leslie, Max Hampton and brothers Tom and Angus
McFall gelled absolutely magnificently and, over the
course of the week, played some excellent golf. The
matches were played in a very sporting manner in
conditions that neither team were completely
prepared for. The sun was shining in Scotland, as it
had all summer, and the golf courses were extremely
firm and fast. Whilst the Americans are used to the
constant sunshine they were unprepared for our
links bounces. One of the Americans, a 2 handicap
player, was lamenting afterwards that he had played
54 holes in Dornoch and was still waiting for his first
birdie. I think we can all feel his pain.
Morcott Challenge Team
Another notable success was in the Northern
Counties girls event with Hannah Riddell being
The season concluded with our Donald Ross
Junior Open in October. A good field turned up
and played in some testing windy conditions. With
the wind keeping the haar away this time we
actually got some golf. There was no local winner
I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to
Woody Morcott for his continued enthusiasm for
this event. Next year we are moving into a new
chapter with Woody handing over the organising
to his son Scott. The matches are moving to the
Chicago area next July so new experiences and
adventures are in the pipeline.
Max Hampton, Caddies Cup 2018
Onto the match itself, our Royal Dornoch team was
victorious for only the third time in this event’s
history, going one better than the draw we managed
last year in America. All the hard work put in by the
players and Gary Dingwall prior to the event paid
off handsomely with Royal Dornoch winning every
session, a feat not previously achieved.
The Morcott Challenge is not just about the golf.
It was started as a cultural exchange to give the
players a glimpse into life in the opponent’s
countries. From this point of view it was extremely
gratifying to see that all the players socialised as if
they had known each other all their lives and it was
evident they were all having fun.
The junior section depends on volunteers to help
out with scoring and advice giving throughout the
year and I would like to thank all the people who
gave up their time to help on Thursday afternoons
or participated in playing or helping with the
numerous competitions we ran or provided
transport to the away events we attended. Without
your help we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we
have this year.
May I take this opportunity to extend my best
wishes to you all and hopefully look forward to less
sledging and more golf this winter.
Marketing Convenor’s Report
2018 was another highly successful year for Royal
Dornoch. Reaching our highest world ranking yet of
number 2, if not including the USA clubs and
number 4, if these are included. These ratings are
generated by visits to the club by the course raters
and golf journalists. This is testament to the hard
work done by all involved with the club.
We continue to keep busy with marketing the club
to ensure we maintain our status. Holding strong
relationships with tour operators and cruise liners
continues to bring a steady stream of visitors.
Our PR and social media is mainly handled by
System2 and we continue to see increased numbers
following the Club on the various social media
platforms. We now have over 21,000 followers and
our posts were seen 3.3 million times over the year.
I see this as an area which could also be further
developed to increase interaction with local and
overseas members. The various departments within
the club hope to soon have their own dedicated
channels which will allow them to keep you all up to
date on various events, news and promotions
happening within the Professional Shop and the
Clubhouse. Keep your eyes peeled for this.
System2 also completed a branding workshop with
groups of staff earlier in the year. This was to
provide us with an insight into what they see daily
from members and visitors and how the Club is
perceived and what people look for and expect
from Royal Dornoch.
We also continue to work with Nairn, Castle Stuart
and the Kingsmills Hotel as part of the Highland
Golf Links. As well as this we also work with 29 other
Highland clubs in Golf Highland. This encourages
groups to come to the area and stay for longer to take
advantage of all we have to offer rather than a
fleeting visit just to play 1 or 2 courses in the area.
The Club continues to work closely with the local
community, in particular with DACIC and DADCA
to assist local projects where we can. Members and
locals are of great importance to the club and play a
key role in promoting the club as well as welcoming
visitors and friends to the area.
Neil and Allison from the office had a busy and
productive week at the Scottish Golf Tourism Week
in St Andrews. This provided a great opportunity to
meet with relevant buyers to Royal Dornoch and
follow up on initial contact with them.
This role is still quite new to myself but I look
forward to the challenges that may lie ahead. It is
important that we continue to promote Royal
Dornoch and the area as a whole as one of THE
places to visit on a golfing holiday to Scotland.
It has been another very busy year here in Dornoch,
not only on the golf courses but also in the town.
Many members, whether based here or away, and
visitors from all over the world have come to play
our courses and also to take in the scenery of the
surrounding Highland area. I have enjoyed being
able to meet and play with some of them.
From all accounts and comments they have
thoroughly enjoyed their time here which is down
to the hard work and dedication of all the Club
employees. Their contribution towards providing
a high quality Royal Dornoch experience should
be very much appreciated.
One of my great pleasures this year has been to
present the prizes at the Caddies Cup. Many prize
givings suffer from poor attendances but that has
never been the case with this event. As ever there
was a large turnout of Juniors and their families
and I was struck by the tremendous enthusiasm
shown by all the youngsters. I felt it appropriate to
point out to them that they should appreciate being
part of a club which supports and encourages
junior golf to the extent we do at Royal Dornoch.
Continuing on the junior theme we also had the
privilege of hosting the Boys Home Internationals,
an event which brought together the best young
players in the UK. Even at such a young age they
play, as they say, a game with which I am not
familiar! I am sure we will have seen some players
who will feature at an even higher level in the
future. The R & A along with the players and
officials were fulsome in their praise of the course
and the welcome they received at Royal Dornoch
which was most gratifying to hear. This will stand
us in good stead towards attracting other top level
tournaments in the future.
I have also appreciated the continuing support
from our Vice Presidents, Hamish Macrae, Jim
Campbell and Christine Murray here in Dornoch,
and Woody Morcott in America. We are all happy
to be able to contribute to the running of the
Club’s business and events in whatever way we can.
Wishing you all good golfing in the season ahead,
and a happy and healthy 2019.
Annual Open Tournament
106 th CARNEGIE SHIELD 11 th – 17 th AUGUST 2019
World Amateur Golf Ranking Event
TERMS OF COMPETITION:
1. Entry will be limited to gentlemen of 21 handicap or less, aged 16 years and over (Boys under 16,
holding a handicap of 4.0 or less at the date of entry, will be considered), who are members of
recognised golf clubs and who hold an official handicap, proof of which must be provided at the
time of entry. Competitors who hold a handicap index under the “USGA slope system”, must provide
at the time of entry a certificate indicating their allotted index. The Office will apply the slope rating
for Royal Dornoch which, for information, is 134. Inactive handicaps will not be accepted. Where
an entrant holds more than one official handicap, he is to play to the lowest handicap held, irrespective
of the issuing authority. The entry will be divided into a High Handicap Group and a Low Handicap
Group. The handicap division of groups will be determined by the entries and the aim will be,
assuming the competition is oversubscribed, to equate the numbers on a waiting list for each group.
2. Stroke Play The qualifying rounds for each handicap group will be played as follows:
SUNDAY 11 th and MONDAY 12 th August
TUESDAY 13 th and WEDNESDAY 14 th August
Entrants who are allocated places must, by 17 th July, inform Royal Dornoch of any amendment to
the handicap on which they entered. All competitors, with the exception of those whose home
club is Royal Dornoch, will be required to produce a current handicap certificate dated no earlier
than 4 th August at registration, which is before play on your first competition day.
Entrants will, after 17 th July, on the basis of their latest known handicap be drawn into the appropriate
section of the competition. Should a handicap change after the draw is made, an entrant will compete
in the section of the competition in which he was drawn and will be scored playing to his handicap
current at the time of the Shield. Entrants playing on Sunday and Monday will not be eligible to
qualify for the Carnegie Shield match play. There will be NO preferred tee times.
Royal Dornoch Golf Club is fully committed to alleviating the problem of slow play. Our open
competitions will have on course marshals and penalties applied to the culprits. As a condition of
entry you are accepting the responsibility to keep a good pace of play as advertised at the time of the
event and to complying with all the competition rules.
3. Match Play Competitions - THURSDAY 15 th to SATURDAY 17 th August.
The E. C. FRASER CUP (High Handicap)
The DAVIDSON TROPHY (Low Handicap)
The CARNEGIE SHIELD (Scratch)
32 qualifiers. Play will commence at 7.00 a.m.
32 qualifiers. Play will commence at 9.30 a.m.
32 qualifiers. Play will commence at 12.00 p.m.
The draw for the Ellis Fraser Cup will be published on Tuesday 13 th August. The draws for the
Carnegie Shield and Davidson Trophy will be published as soon as possible after play on Wednesday
14 th August.
4. In the event of a tie for qualifying places the following will apply: -
CARNEGIE SHIELD. A play-off will be held, as soon as possible after completion of stroke play
rounds, over 1 st , 2 nd & 18 th holes, continuing to further holes on a sudden death basis in the event of
a tie after these 3 holes. In the event of a play-off being stopped for any reason, such as bad light, then
for those left in the play off, a count back on the second round card will be used. If conditions do
not permit a play off to begin then the Committee reserves the right to resolve ties by count-back over
better 2nd round.
E.C. FRASER CUP
To be decided over better 2nd round
To be decided over better 2nd round
5. Entries received by 9.00am on 13 th March will be entered into the ballot. If the numbers do not exceed
the available places all will be accepted at that point and competitors notified. If numbers exceed the
places then a ballot will be held on 14 th March for, as required, the low and high handicap groups.
Applicants with handicap of 2 or better will not be subject to a ballot as long as they provide a current
handicap certificate at time of entry. The first 30 places in the High H’cap Group and the first 50
places in the Low H’cap Group will be for Royal Dornoch Full Members. If numbers require, these
places will be subject to a member ballot, unsuccessful members subsequently being entered into the
open ballot if such takes place. Unsuccessful applicants will be added to a waiting list in the order
they come out of the ballot.
Entries received after 13 th March will be accepted if there are vacancies, or entered onto waiting lists
as at the date they are received. The allocation of such places will be on a first come first served basis.
6. Penalties for Non Compliance of Tournament Rules
Any competitor, who does not turn up for his appointed tee time without good reason and/or fails
to inform the Club, will not be eligible to compete in this event for three years.
All competitors tying for places in the Carnegie Shield must participate in any play off. Failure to
participate will result in disqualification from the Davidson Trophy.
Where a competitor qualifies for the match play round and then, without good reason, declines to
play he will not be eligible to compete in this event for three years.
Should the Club find that entrants have delayed advising the club until after 17 th July of their current
handicap and any change would have had effect on the draw in which they play, they will not be
eligible to compete in this event for three years.
The Club reserves the right, without necessarily giving reason, to decline an entry and in all
circumstances Royal Dornoch Golf Club Council of Management’s decisions are final.
7. Refund Entry Fees Fees as detailed on the Entry Form, will be refunded, less £10 deposit Non-
Members and £5.00 Members, if withdrawals are made before 16 th July. After that date no refund
will be made (except in exceptional circumstances).
8. Additional Competitions Royal Dornoch will hold two competitions over the Golspie Links for
players in the Carnegie Shield:
(1) For the Lower Handicap Group, there will be a competition on Monday 12 th August
(2) For the Higher Handicap Group, there will be a competition on Tuesday 13 th August
Please complete the appropriate section on the attached entry form if you wish to play in either of
these competitions. The draws will be published midweek prior to the Carnegie Shield.
For all non-qualifiers there will be a competition over the Struie Course on Thursday 15 th August,
tee-times will only be available between 10am and 2pm. There will be prizes for both scratch and
For all non-qualifiers and 1st round losers there will be a competition over the Struie Course on
Friday 16 th August, tee-times will only be available between 9am and 2pm. There will be trophies and
prizes for both scratch and handicap.
9. Prize Giving Prizes for the competitions at Golspie and the qualifying rounds (excluding the Silver
medal) may be collected from the office or will be sent to competitors. The principal prizes will be
awarded after the close of play on Saturday 17 th August. The Council of Management expects Finalists
and Semi-finalists and the Silver Medallist to attend the Saturday prize giving.
Entry Form Captain’s Member Guest Invitational 24th – 26th MAY 2019
Following on from the success of recent years we
anticipate a good entry for the Annual Member
Guest Weekend this coming May, which will be
continuing in the three day format.
Once again, the competition will be limited to an
entry of 100 teams. Each team must comprise of a
Member and a Guest (Non Member) with places
allocated strictly on a first come first served basis.
For the purposes of this event a Struie member is
classed as an Ordinary member.
Due to the limitations of the clubhouse seating,
the Saturday night dinner will be limited to 100
diners and I realise that this will lead to
disappointment for some competitors.
To keep it as fair as possible, a ballot will be held
for the Saturday night dinner but the catering will
be open to all over the entire weekend and those
unfortunate to miss out in the ballot for Saturday
will have priority for booking the Friday night in
In addition to prizes for each day, the overall
Captain’s Prize will be awarded to the team
accumulating the most stableford points over the
weekend (with the best 2 days from 3 to count).
As this is a popular event in the calendar we
encourage Members to book early to avoid
for, the Saturday night dinner.
Saturday 25 th May, will be a Texas scramble
stableford competition on the Struie Course. With
tee times available between 8.30am – 1.30pm. At
7.30pm there will be a Dinner in the Clubhouse
for all competitors and guests, followed by the prize
giving for the Friday and Saturday events and a
“Captain’s Charity” auction. The Dinner will be
limited to 100 with places allocated, as highlighted
above by ballot. To help this run smoothly it would
help the staff if you could pre-order your wine.
Sunday 26 th May, will be a two person Greensomes
stableford on the Championship course. Tee-times
will be available from 8.00am – 1.00pm with the
prize giving in the Clubhouse immediately after
the conclusion of play.
The cost for each golf tournament is £20 per team
per day and the Saturday Night Dinner will cost
£30.00 per person.
It promises to be an exceptional weekend of golf
and a brilliant opportunity to introduce close
friends and associates to Royal Dornoch Golf
Club, and all in aid of an excellent cause, the
On Friday 24 th May, the format will be “two ball
better ball” stableford on the Championship
Course. Tee times will be available from 10.00am
to 3.30pm. Please indicate your preferred tee-time
on the entry form. Dinner will be available in the
Clubhouse with booking preference given to those
who are unable to, or have missed out on the ballot
Entry Form Captain’s Member Guest Invitational 24th – 26th MAY 2019
Member’s Name ………………………………. Surname ………………………………………… (All block letters please)
Tel. No …………………………………………
Guest’s name …………………………………
Home Club & Handicap ……………………………………………….
I wish to attend the following events in Royal Dornoch Golf Club’s Captain’s Member
Guest Invitational Weekend.
Yes/No Preferred Time Cost (£20) per team/per day
Friday Better Ball (1000-1530)
Saturday Texas Scramble (0830-1330)
Sunday Greensomes (0800-1300)
Dinner – Saturday 25th May 2019
Names Special Dietary Needs Cost (£30) per person
Total Amount Enclosed £ …………………………
Please Note: Due to space restrictions, the above is the maximum you are allowed to book for dinner.
Table seating requests should be made direct to the bar, (01862 810219 ext. 4) and will only be accepted
a maximum of 7 days in advance of the dinner.
Please complete and return to Club office this form with entry fees and the dinner charge as soon as
possible. Entries will be on a first come first served basis. Cheques payable to RDGC please and please
note that entries will not be accepted without payment.
Visa/MasterCard No ………………………….......………
3 digit security code on reverse of card ……………… Signature ………………………………
Entry Form – 106th Carnegie Shield 2019
ENTRY FORMS, ACCOMPANIED BY THE PLAYER’S HANDICAP
CERTIFICATE AND ENTRY FEE SHOULD BE RETURNED TO:
Royal Dornoch Golf Club,
Golf Road, Dornoch, Sutherland IV25 3LW
IT IS THE PLAYER’S
ENSURE HIS ENTRY
IS COMPLETE IN
ENTRIES RECEIVED WITHOUT A HANDICAP CERTIFICATE AND/OR
ENTRY FEE WILL BE RETURNED
E-mail will be accepted provided credit card details and a handicap certificate are included.
First Name …………………….....…………. Surname …………………………......………………………………………
Home Address ……………………………………………………………………..……………………….………………...........
Tel. No …………………………......…………
Home Club ………………………………......……………………………
CDH/Ghin Number ………………….................................……
Contact tel no. at time of competition (if known) ………………………........……................……...………
Date: …………………………..........………… Signature ......................................……………………………………
Entry Form – 106th Carnegie Shield 2019
Payment of the Entry Fee and (if applicable) Golspie Stableford. can be made using Visa or
MasterCard. Alternatively payment can be made by Sterling Cheque, made payable to Royal
Dornoch Golf Club.
Carnegie Shield entry fee
(Full Members £53.00, Struie Members £107.00
Non- Members £160.00)
Stableford Competition at Golspie
(Members and Non-Members £20.00)
Monday 12th - Lower Handicap group
Tuesday 13th - Higher Handicap group
To be allocated as per handicap divide (Paragraph 1)
These competitions are administered by Royal Dornoch
and are non-qualifying
Visa/MasterCard No ………………………………………………………………………........…………
Exp. …… / ……
3 digit security code on reverse of card ……………….......…………
ANY ENTRY NOT ACCOMPANIED BY A HANDICAP
CERTIFICATE AND ENTRY FEE EITHER AS CASH,
CHEQUE OR VISA/MASTERCARD NUMBER WILL BE
RETURNED AND A PLACE WILL NOT BE ALLOCATED.
ENTRY FORM – LADIES OPEN
(Handicap Limit 30)
WEDNESDAY 7th AUGUST 2019
Royal Dornoch Golf Club,
Golf Road, Dornoch, Sutherland IV25 3LW
First Name ……………………….....………. Surname ……………….............................................……………….
Home Address …………………………………..……………………………………………………………………………………
Tel. No ………………………….......………… E-Mail: ………………………........................................………………
Handicap/index …………………...……… Home Club …......................................………………………………
Preferred Tee Time ……………………… CDH/Ghin Number ……………….................................………
I wish to enter for the above Competition and enclose a Cheque/Cash or Mastercard or Visa
in payment of the Entrance Fee (Member £10, Struie Member £20, Reciprocal £25, Non Member £40)
[__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__]__] Exp [__]__]__]__] for £
Security Code [__]__]__] last 3 digits on signature strip on reverse of card
PLEASE RETURN ENTRY FORM, INCLUDING ENTRY FEE TO THE
COMPETITION SECRETARY, ROYAL DORNOCH GOLF CLUB
NO ENTRY WILL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF ENTRY FEE
Date: …………………………………...........… Signature ………………….......................................…………………
ENTRY FORM – LADIES OPEN
TERMS OF COMPETITION:
1. Entry is limited to persons of 30 handicap or less who are members of recognised Golf Clubs.
INACTIVE HANDICAPS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Handicap certificates will be
required on the day of play with the exception of competitors whose home club is Royal
2. Competitors, who, after entry find that their handicap no longer meets the competition
requirements, will not be eligible to play and should notify the Club office as soon as possible at
which time a full refund will be given.
3. Entries will be accepted on a “first come first served” basis and applicants will be notified
whether they have been successful.
Any competitor who does not turn up for her appointed tee time without good reason and/or
fails to inform the Club will, at the discretion of the Ladies’ Committee, not be eligible to
compete in this event for three years.
4. Entry fees are only refundable if withdrawal from this event is notified before the draw is
5. Catering will be available half an hour prior to the first tee time.
6. Royal Dornoch Golf Club is fully committed to alleviating the problem of slow play and
promotes the R&A initiative of Ready Golf in all our strokeplay events. For those unfamiliar with
the term Ready Golf we would encourage all competitors to familiarise themselves with the
guidelines as advertised on our competition noticeboard prior to play.
We have once again had a busy year enjoying both
competitive and fun events throughout the season.
At our AGM in October Patsy Mackay, Alison
Davies and Wilma Murray retired from the
committee and I thank them for all their hard work
for the Ladies’ section. I am delighted to have Alison
Bartlett as Vice Captain. She has a great knowledge
of all things golf and will be a huge benefit to us. I
also welcome Fiona MacDonald, Moira Rennie and
Trish Weekes to the committee. Margaret Ross has
agreed to come back on committee to continue as
treasurer – we would be lost without her.
Our Club Champion is Cara Thompson, winning
the title for the 13 th time, defeating Caitlin Boa in
the final. Congratulations Cara, and also for
winning the Northern Counties Championship.
Handicap champion this year is Caroline Madeley
who defeated Rosemary Muschamp in the final.
Other trophy winners this year were
Anne Gunn – Sykes Cup;
Theresa Campbell – Sutherland Cup;
Alison Bartlett and Wilma Murray –
Ashley Rose – Davidson Trophy and
Constance Young Seniors;
Ann Little – Struie Cup;
Caitlin Boa – McQueen Cup;
Cara Thompson – Grant Cup;
Vicky Sutherland – Daisy Simpson Trophy;
Patsy Mackay and Terry Morrison –
Mrs Winter Cup.
Well done ladies. It was good to see all our winners
and runners-up at the Club Prize Giving.
In the Open competitions there was success for a
number of our ladies. In the Ladies Open Denise
McBride won 1 st nett and the Lovell Salver and
Cara Thompson was the silver medallist. The
bronze division was won by Fiona MacDonald. The
Seniors Open was won by Marelle Sierra, runner
up was Ashley Rose. The 3 Lady Team Open was
won by Alison Davies, Marjorie Kingston and
Caroline Madeley. There were more Royal
Dornoch ladies featuring in all the Open prize lists
– too many to mention.
Qualifiers for the Daily Mail Foursomes are again
Caitlin Boa and Rebecca Riddell – good luck girls in
future rounds. The Coronation Foursomes qualifiers
are Alison Bartlett and Ashley Rose.
We enjoyed friendly fixtures against Inverness,
Nairn, Fortrose, Tain, Bonar Bridge, Brora and
Golspie. These matches are always played in good
spirit and are enjoyed by all who participate. This
year we also saw our ladies going to Lossiemouth to
play with the ladies of Moray Golf Club. This was a
very successful event organised by Elizabeth
Henderson and Debbie Bethune.
Our teams again did well in both the
Ross/Sutherland at Tain where Dornoch 1 were
victorious and the Caithness/Sutherland at Brora
where Dornoch 1 won scratch and Dornoch 3 the
handicap. Well done to all who took part.
Alison Bartlett won the Highland Vets Championship
and Linda Offin won the aggregate trophy.
It is really good to see our young junior members
doing so well both at Dornoch and also with
Northern Counties – very encouraging for the future.
We played with the Men’s Senior section in a mixed
greensomes and likewise with the Wednesday
Seniors – “the Gerries” – both great fun. Our match
against the Wednesday Seniors later in the year, was
unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather.
The evening with the golf students of UHI, and the
following golf and tea party was again a great success
and we look forward to this event again in 2019.
The ladies away day was at Grantown-on-Spey where
we were very well looked after and had an excellent
The Ladies’ Captain’s charity was again SCAA and
in fact it became the chosen charity of the entire
club. The ladies raised over £2,000 – well done all
especially past Ladies’ Captain Elizabeth Henderson.
Recently we held an evening to look at the new rules
starting in 2019 and a quick look at stroke and match
play – giving strokes etc., and stableford points and
stroke indices. A big thank you to Claire Riddell and
Alison Bartlett for doing this and making it so
interesting. We then enjoyed a basket supper followed
by a fashion show – some new stock from the Pro
Shop modelled by a few of the ladies – interesting!
On behalf of the ladies section I thank all the Royal
Dornoch staff – Eoin Riddell and all his team; Neil,
Claire and the girls; Sue and her merry band; Brian
and his kitchen crew and Andrew, Bradley, Gary and
Jorden and everyone else in the Pro Shop. You all do
a great job and maybe you don’t always get the
appreciation you deserve. Thank you all.
Lastly to our hard working and dedicated committee
and, of course, to all the ladies for supporting the
Ladies’ Section – a huge thank you. Wishing you all
an excellent golfing year in 2019 – have fun and
enjoy not only your golf on our wonderful courses
but your friendships within the club.
Playing golf most Tuesdays, we have a great gang
of guys who put the world to rights both on the
course and afterwards upstairs. If you are 55 years
old or over, why not come and join us.
Matt McBride soon passes on the Captaincy to vice
captain Adrian Bagott. Matt has overseen the other
Seniors Committee members including club
President Gordon Lawson, past club Captain
Hamish Macrae, Club Council member Tony
Bartlett and myself. Roger Boyce has joined us too
as an observer.
In this year’s seniors knockout competitions, the
Bartlett Cup (scratch) was won by Derek
McDougall and the Barry Watson Quaich
(handicap) was won by Edward Sierra.
The winners of the other competitions were:
Spring Meeting Patterson Shield:
Summer Championship Patterson Trophy:
W. E. Skinner Cup Medal Scratch:
W. R. MacDonald Trophy Handicap:
We had six away matches this year and eight at
home, due to our one off match with Royal
Portrush. We lost three of our home matches,
Royal Portrush, Nairn and Tain, and won against
the Seniors Society, Moray, Boat of Garten,
Hopeman and Brora. We lost all our away matches
Tain, Fortrose, Elgin, Royal Aberdeen, Ballater and
Grantown on Spey. Our seniors don’t travel well!
Our total membership reduced from 62 in 2017 to
56 this year. However our numbers playing
remained similar to last year. We hope to build up
our numbers in the years ahead. We continue to
benefit with increased members playing during the
summer, as those club members who live away
from the Highlands join in when they visit
Dornoch. This is open to all in the age bracket, (55
years and over), just ask the office for details.
Thanks to all the senior members, home and away,
who made my final year in the role of senior
secretary fulfilling and so enjoyable. Preparation
for the 2019 season should start as soon as
possible, to ensure that Adrian can achieve at least
a few away wins!
I finish by thanking the staff in the club office who
are always willing to help, the staff upstairs who
keep the seniors nourished and in chocolate
Senior Christmas Lunch, December 2018
biscuits, and to the staff who prepare and maintain
a great course for us all to enjoy. Although they
never put the pins in the correct place on the
greens! A big thanks to Captain Matt for keeping
me right and coming up with some good ideas to
make some of our events more special.
Wednesday Seniors (The Geriatrics)
On the 3 rd Wednesday Charitable Seniors was
founded by Dennis Lovell (pictured) so we are 40
years in existence.
Once again we had a good turnout with an average
of 25 or so members playing each Wednesday
throughout the summer and early autumn.
Martin Steeves died this
year and his wife Mary has
presented the group with
a trophy which we will
play for later in the year.
A new spring mixed
has been introduced and
will be played for the Dave
MacKenzie trophy. A
competition was played this
year over a short course but
it was decided not to play
for the trophy due to bad
weather. The Ladies v
Geriatrics was cancelled
due to bad weather so the
match was declared a half.
Whilst we are enjoying ourselves our donations
(which is the weekly £2 the entry fee) have been
accumulating. This year we raised £1240 for charity
– £500 each to the Dornoch Medical Practice and the
Highland Hospice, and £240 to the Heritage Society.
Our Annual Luncheon and Competition took
place on Wednesday 27 th September and was well
attended as usual. Many thanks to the chef and
catering staff, we were well fed and watered. I also
thank the front of house staff for looking after us
throughout the season and to the club for
supplying the wine. Our guests were President
Gordon Lawson, Captain Rob Murray, Ladies
Captain Elect Norma Fleming, General Manager
Neil Hampton, Assistant Manager Claire Riddell,
and Head Pro Andrew Skinner whose assistants
have to cope with an unruly lot of old men raring
to go (many of whom turn up before the shop is
open). Apologies were received from the Course
Manager Eoin Riddell. Willie Skinner was in good
form telling us stories about our founder and it has
been suggested we book him for next year!
Norma graciously presented the prizes & trophies
and stoically withstood many geriatric embraces.
As usual we all retired mellow and happy.
John S Logan
The results for the season:
Competition Winner Runner Up
Sheila Anderson Kathleen MacKenzie
Jim Seatter Rosebowl
Archie Forbes Trophy
J T Robertson Cup
Macleod Thomson Targes
Niall Currie Trophy
Patterson Salver Foursomes
Heritage 5 Club
John Green Quaich
Peter Monk Trophy
J N Patterson Quaich
K W Milne Whisky Foursomes
Qualifying Appearances – 15 For trophies below
Hugh Steele Trophy Overall Winner
Old Father Time Trophy Over 80 A
Florence Patterson Trophy Over 75 B
Trowbridge Trophy 70 & Over C
Bill Smith Trophy 65 & Over D
Twomey Trophy Under 65 E
President’s Shield (Non-Qualified) F
Willie Skinner Duncan MacDonald
Mike Hemming 34 Hugh Anderson 33
Don MacKay 34
W E Skinner Quaich
J N Patterson Eclectic Trophy
E H McDonald Painting –
‘Thanks for the Memory’
Ronnie Bruce 25.00 Stuart Shaw 24.63
Ronnie Bruce 146 Brian Munro 142
Meet the Team
with my Dad & Uncle, (I have attended every open
since, baring 2015 St Andrews), my love of the
game grew and I joined a local course called
Rushcliffe Golf Club just south of Nottingham. As
a junior I was a regular county player and won
several county events in the region. One of my
proudest moments as a junior golfer was becoming
the club’s Centenary Junior Captain in 2009, the
first of the club’s history.
My name is Brad & I am the new Retail Manager
here at Royal Dornoch.
I was born on the 27 th February 1991 in York, but
spent most of my life growing up in Nottingham. I
moved up here 7 months ago to start my new
career here at Royal Dornoch.
I took up the game of golf at the age of 12 after
going to watch the 2002 British Open at Muirfield
In 2010 at the age of 19 I decided to take up a
career in golf and follow the route of the PGA
Professional Degree. This led me to Pyle & Kenfig
Golf Club in South Wales in which I spent 2 years
learning my trade about links golf and the golf
business. During my time in Wales I was lucky
enough to be part of the build up to the 2010
Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and attended the event
on the final Monday’s play, even running onto the
18 th green to join the players in celebration.
After 2 Years I decided to return home and joined
Belton Woods Golf Resort just outside
Nottingham, starting as a shop assistant. After my
first year I became a fully qualified PGA
Professional and another year later I worked my
way into being an assistant manager and a further
year later I became the Golf Operations & Retail
Manager at the 3 rd busiest golf resort in the UK. 3
Years of doing this role took me away from playing
and coaching and I fell in love with the retail and
operations side of the business.
Then Dornoch came calling and how can you
resist true golfing paradise!
In my short time here, I have already met so many
amazing people, especially the members who are
so embracing and helpful to everybody who visits
this historic area!
My golfing highlight so far has to be my first round
here at Royal Dornoch, that walk from the 2 nd
green to the 3 rd tee, when the course opens in front
of you, when you reach the 7 th tee and look back,
the peacefulness surrounding the 9 th tee – and it
also helped I was 4 under through 10 holes! Then
I missed the 11 th green and found the true meaning
of plateau greens!
once were, I still like to see how they are getting
on! I think that I may have to take Ross County as
my 2 nd team!
I also enjoy travelling and have so much of the
World to see. My highlights so far are Barcelona,
New York & Las Vegas. I would also love to play
every Open & US Open venue in my lifetime with
my Dad. After that I would like to tick off every
major football stadium, highlight of this so far has
to be the Bernabeu in Madrid.
I also enjoy yearly holidays to Florida with the
family where my dad and I soak in the Florida sun
whilst hitting lots of golf balls in to their
ridiculously sized hazards!
I look forward to meeting you all in my time here
at Royal Dornoch on and off the golf course
Outside of work I enjoy following my beloved
Sheffield Wednesday, although not as good as we
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
Minutes of the Annual General
Meeting of Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Held in Dornoch Academy on Friday
17 th August 2018 at 7.30pm
Captain Alan Ramsey in the Chair
Present: 120 Ordinary Members, 13 Struie/Social
1. Meeting Overview
The Captain welcomed everyone to the
meeting and asked that mobile phones were
turned off. He said that no fire alarm tests
were scheduled for this evening and therefore
if an alarm does go off please exit the building
in an orderly fashion.
He then intimated that to try and ensure the
smooth running of the meeting the order of
business will be amended slightly to that of the
printed agenda. As Mr W D M MacKay is a
current serving member of the Council of
Management and has been nominated as the
vice captain then the result of the vote for the
members of the council of management will
be not be announced until after that of the
vice captain. Should Mr MacKay be
successfully elected as the vice captain this
would create a fourth vacancy on the Council
of Management for one year. The person in
fourth place in the vote would take this place.
He informed everyone that voting papers were
to be used for item 6 and that while voting
papers have been issued for all other
resolutions it was hoped that a show of hands
Following item 7, the statement and adoption
of the annual accounts, the vice captain would
give a short presentation on the clubhouse
project after which item 12 would be taken.
The Captain concluded his welcome by asking
that when members address the meeting either
to ask a question or make a comment they
should wait until they were in possession of a
microphone and to state their name so that it
can be accurately minuted. He also requested
one voice at a time.
2. Apologies for absence
3. Approval of Minutes
Minutes of 2017 AGM (circulated previously).
Proposed by Hamish Macrae and Seconded by
Approved by a show of hands.
4. Matters Arising from the Minutes
There were no matters arising from the
The Captain explained that by using the voting
papers the membership could vote for up to 4
of the candidates and that the first 3 would
serve for 3 years and should Mr W D M
MacKay be elected as the Vice Captain the
fourth would serve for one year.
The candidates were asked to give a short
introduction to themselves and the qualities
they would bring to the Council to serve the
The Captain asked those able and wishing to
vote to complete the voting slip and pass to the
7. Statement and Adoption of Accounts for the
5. Captain’s Report
The Captain thanked all the volunteers who
helped make the Boys Home Internationals a
success. He reported that the R&A were delighted
with our course and the welcome and help that
they received from everyone at Royal Dornoch.
6. Election of Members of the Council of
Retiring members – Mrs E A Coghill, Mr A J
Campbell and Mr C A MacKay.
The candidates for election are Mrs E A
Coghill, Mr G I Davies, Mr C A MacKay, Mr
K A Matheson, Mr S J M McMurray, Mrs C J
The Finance Convener, Mr A.D. Bartlett told
the meeting that he would first comment on
the accounts for the year ended 31 st March
2018, answering any questions, and then say a
few words about the current year and the
As far as the published accounts are concerned
he commented as follows:
Clearly it had been a very good year with a
significant increase in green fees due to both
increases in numbers of visitors and an
increase in the fee per round.
Members subscriptions had been kept in line
The bar and catering loss had increased but
not as much as we thought at the half year.
Course expenditure increased by about
£100,000 but most of this was due to the work
on the 7 th hole.
Overheads are down by about £300,000 as the
previous year included the costs of the 400
Year celebrations and a high level of
This year there were a number of exceptional
items which are fully explained in the Finance
On the balance sheet both Stocks and
Creditors have increased which is a result of
the Club taking on the Pro shop.
As far as cash flow is concerned, this has been
very strong with cash balances rising by about
£900,000 to over £4m.
Turning to the current year he commented
Green fee income was likely to be significantly
up again as although visitor numbers were
similar to the previous year a further £20 had
been added to the green fee tariff.
The Pro shop was going well with a turnover
of over £350,000 for the period up to the end
of July. Whilst we are expecting a good surplus
for the year we are still ‘finding our feet’ as far
as the operation is concerned.
There is still work to do on bar and catering.
The Club’s expenditure is running at about
£2m per year of which about £1.2m relates to
wages and salaries
The Clubs profitability and cash generation
are highly dependant on visitor income but if
we continued to keep the numbers at the
current level we would expect cash generation
to be good, perhaps in excess of £750,000 pa.
Over the next few months we should get a much
better view of the likely costs of building a new
clubhouse and our income levels for next year.
In addition, we are having early stage discussions
with Highland & Island Enterprises regarding
grants. With all this information we should have
a better idea of the likely timing of the project
which would be put to next year’s AGM.
Ashley Rose asked if we had an idea of the
minimum cash balance we should keep at the
Club. The Convener said we are still working on
this but it was worth noting that in 2008,
following the financial crisis our visitor numbers
(which were far below current numbers) dropped
by about 25%. If this happened today our annual
surplus and cash flow would reduce by over
£500,000. He commented that it might well be
sensible to put some borrowing facilities in place
to cover contingencies but we did not want to
take the risk of significant long term debt.
The adoption of the accounts was seconded by
Mr A Ramsey and was passed by a show of
8. Election of Auditors
The Council of Management unanimously
proposes that the firm of Mackenzie Kerr be
re- appointed as club auditors.
This was seconded by A D Bartlett and passed
by a show of hands.
9. Green Convenor Report
The Green Convenor had nothing to add to
his report and there were no questions
10. Championship Course Evolution – 10 th Hole
Resolution - Alter the size and location of the
central bunker as per the MacKenzie and Ebert
Ian Irwin – would the work be done in house.
The Captain confirmed that it would.
Nick Harding – the physical access and exit
from the bunkers is not easy. The Captain
confirmed that the land around the bunker
would be shaped to allow good access.
The resolution was passed by a show of hands.
11. Rule 7 – Deletion
As the pro shop has now been taken “in
house” and all staff are directly employed by
the club then the need to have a separate rule
to give the club professional and assistants
membership of the club during their time of
employment is no longer required as they will
now be covered by Rule 1 (e).
Resolution – Delete Rule 7 and renumber the
following rules accordingly.
which led to immense peer group pressure to
follow the crowd. To allow everyone to express
their view without fear of pressure from others
this vote should be conducted by using the
voting slips. This was agreed by consensus of
all those in the room.
With no further comments the Captain asked
for the votes to be cast.
For 106, against 14 – the motion was carried.
There were no comments from the floor and
it was passed by a show of hands.
12. Clubhouse Project
Presentation on the clubhouse project by Mr
R D Murray. This was an update of the work
undertaken since the members open evening
on 19 th July, which was then circulated to the
Approval is sought from the membership to
proceed with the full design and the tender
process as described in the presentation that
was given to members at the open evenings in
July and again at the AGM.
Mr William Sutherland asked to speak before
the item was discussed. He said that he had
been a member for 50 years and this was the
biggest moment in the club’s history and so
should be a secret ballot. He gave the analogy
of the trade unions in the early 1980’s having
mass meetings and asking for a show of hands,
13. Election of Captain
I wonder where the last two years have gone.
It seems only yesterday that I took over from
Jim Seatter. Being involved with so many
changes and forward plans has certainly made
the time fly.
There has been a great deal of progress in the
club over the past few years. The proposed new
clubhouse, the in house pro shop and changes
to the course, in particular the anticipated new
7 th hole on the Championship Course, our
world ranking of number 4, and some less
obvious staff and backroom changes.
Each year the work load on the club’s
administration is increasing and we rely heavily
on all our staff to cope with the added
pressures on a day to day basis. There are more
sub committees in operation reporting back to
the council of management and without the
hard work of their members progress would be
I must give my sincere thanks to all our staff
and council members and co-opted members
of the sub committees without whom Royal
Dornoch would not flourish. Your time is
The one thing a Captain dreads is if the golf
course does not meet the members and guests
expectations. I have been fortunate to have
had the courses in superb condition over my
time and for that I am exceedingly grateful. We
are continually praised on our quality and
welcome. Long may that continue.
There are a few special thanks I must give.
Firstly, to Neil. He always puts a name to the
face. He is tireless in his dedication to the club
and has kept my back for the last two years. His
workload has increased exponentially and he
still copes. Thank you, Neil.
Secondly to Claire. She keeps Neil’s back as
well as mine. Her calmness in the office and
love of the job are apparent by the length of
her service to the cub. Thank you, Claire.
I must also thank the Past Captains for having
faith in me and proposing me as Captain for a
Finally I have to thank the lady who has had
my back for not only the last two years but
nearly the last fifty, my wife Christeen. She
kept telling me years ago that golf was just a
game. If only it were so.
To have been Captain of Royal Dornoch once
was a great honour. To have been Captain
twice, words fail me. Thank you.
The Captain received a standing ovation from
the members present.
It gives me great pleasure to propose the
election of the new Captain. In accordance
with the club rules the council of management
unanimously propose Mr Rob Murray.
Rob’s father was the first full time secretary of
the club from 1971 to 1985. Rob has served on
council as greens convenor and finance
convenor. As Vice Captain he also chaired the
clubhouse and capital projects committee. He
has been diligent in all he has done for the
club. He has been dedicated in his support of
me over the last two years. I am certain that
Rob has the club at heart and will be a talented
and energetic Captain to take the club forward.
Seconded by Mr G K Lawson.
A show of hands in unanimous support.
Mr R D Murray now in the chair.
I would like to thank Alan for asking me to be
his vice captain and giving me the opportunity
of becoming captain of this great club. From a
tiny corner in the North of Scotland has grown
a huge world renowned golf club, a talking
point wherever you go, a great responsibility
which I am pleased to take up on your behalf.
It is a real honour and I will do my very best to
carry on the business and traditions of the club.
I’m looking forward to working with the
Council of Management, Neil, Claire and the
rest of our employees who do the hard part of
the day to day running of our club, but which
makes it so welcoming to all.
And not forgetting you all and all the members
around the world who make this club what it
is, a fun place to be. There are probably few
hours in a day that someone, somewhere is not
talking about Royal Dornoch.
Before we move on I would like to thank Alan
for all the work he has put in over the past 2
years, he has done a tremendous job of being
Captain of the club and representing the
members. This is his second term of office as
Captain and as I said recently he must have
been mad to do it twice but that is the measure
of the man. He has a love for the game of golf
and of Royal Dornoch Golf Club, it runs
through his veins!
Alan has attended umpteen meetings from
Match & Handicap, Greens, Clubhouse,
Capital Projects and numerous presentations.
He has invested many, many hours for the
Club, in fact to emphasise the size of the job
one member of Council said to me a few
months ago “I’m working harder now than
when I was in full time employment!” such is
the commitment from Past Captains and
council members alike, so a huge thank you
We have had some fun too over the past two
years on various duties we’ve carried out on
behalf of the club, and one or two things
spring to mind. Alan’s face when presented
with the bill for 2 Gin & Tonics and a whisky
at Gleneagles, Alan likes a deal and that was
not a deal! Two country bumpkins trying to
get across London in rush hour in what
seemed like numerous train journeys on route
to a Nairn match at Royal Wimbledon, I think
the Londoners giving directions were taking
the Mick, and flying high in a sports car but
that’s another story for another time. I won’t
incriminate him in front of so many witnesses!
Finally, Alan and his wife Christeen have been
good friends to Wilma and I over the past few
years, so thank you Alan, and Christeen.
Alan you have done a grand job and it is my
pleasure to present you with your Past
14. Election of Vice Captain
I would like to formally propose Willie
MacKay as Vice Captain of the Club
Seconded by Mr J M Campbell
A show of hands in unanimous support.
Congratulations Willie, I’d like to say a few
words about you.
Willie MacKay I hear some saying who? Oh
aye, Willie Hook you mean!
When I asked Willie if he would take the job
I didn’t get the reaction I thought I would.
He didn’t say yes but he didn’t say no, he was
speechless! And those of you who know Willie
will understand he’s not usually short of a
word or two!
But seriously, Willie’s enthusiasm for the
Community, sport and golf is second to none.
He never rests and works tirelessly in
everything he does. When he takes something
on it’s not to the exclusion of other things –
he just works longer hours!
As you may know Willie was a PE teacher, a
good one at that according to a number of his
former pupils, some here tonight. They might
even tell you a few tales if you buy them a
He told me recently he car shared with my
mother and others when they both taught at
Golspie High School so you’re not as young as
you look Willie!
In his day job he is the Scottish Golf Club
Development Officer (North) for Scottish
Golf, that slips off the tongue easily!
So he has vast experience in sport and golf,
especially at grass roots level, getting people into
the game and in promoting junior golf which
can only be good for the game and our club.
I know Willie will do a fantastic job for us all
over the coming years.
Mr MacKay responded by thanking the
Captain for the nomination and then giving a
brief resume of his career and time living and
working in the Highlands and he looked
forward to working for the golf club.
6. Election of Members of the Council of
As Mr W D M MacKay has been elected as
Vice Captain there are 4 vacancies.
Those elected for three years were Mr K A
Matheson and Mrs C J Thompson. Mr G I
Davies and Mr S J M McMurray were tied for
third and fourth places so the Council of
Management will decide at their first meeting
who serves for three and who serves for one year.
Questions received prior to the AGM
One question from Marelle Sierra:
“Does the Council of Management have any
plans to replace the very unattractive portaloo
on the Struie with a proper flushing toilet? If
not, why not?”
Reply: Thank you for your question a very
valid one. We have considered this in the past
as the Struie deserves to have proper amenities
and it has been policy over the last few years to
present Struie in a similar manner to The
Championship Course, for example tee
furniture, fairway yardage markers and overall
condition of presentation.
but we will consider again and report back.
This concluded the official section of the
AGM at 8.55pm.
The specific nature of the toilet is one we
would very much like to improve but has been
put on the back burner for several reasons such
as the position of the toilet relative to potential
new holes being added, drainage etc.
Consideration on capital expenditure with
potential upcoming clubhouse is also relevant
The Captain then opened the forum for
members to bring up items of the Council of
Management to consider.
Paul Lager – Warning system for the tee shots
at 8th and 17th?
Sign at path on 17th pointing left to path up
towards 3rd tee that says all golfers this way
while there is a path that goes straight ahead?
Ashley Rose – Visitor rounds to member
rounds ratio is down, why is it declining? Is it
age? ability? or something else?
Edward Sierra – cost of a member hiring a golf
buggy. £20 is too expensive and it should be
Ian Irwin – 1st hole in Struie has a lot of rough
area to the LHS, can this be GUR?
Alex Sim – Overheard member of staff saying
they only got paid straight time for extra hours
worked and were on minimum wage. The club
should treat people better.
Gordon Lawson – Before you all depart,
perhaps in the direction of the Clubhouse,
always assuming the Captain is going to give
us an incentive to do so, I would like you to
join with me in thanking both the Captain
and the now immediate Past Captain for
chairing the Meeting in a very efficient manner
and also for the huge amount of time and
effort they have given to the Club which
should be appreciated by all.
The Captain thanked everyone, closed the
meeting and invited all to the clubhouse for a
Closed at 9.08pm
Peter Haworth – Member logo was got rid of
why are we having another?
Derek Booth – Our turnover is £3m and we
are going to spend £6m on a clubhouse will we
still be able to have a Council of Management
or will we change to a more business