Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Struie Course: A worthy companion to legendary links
DORNOCH, Scotland -- Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Championship Course is widely considered one of the best links courses in the world. As such, it is a popular "must play" for visitors to The Home of Golf.
Like many of the great Scottish links, the club has a second course. Royal Dornoch's Struie Course is a worthy second round, having been rated as the 50th best links course in Great Britain by Golf Digest in 2011.
Struie opened in the early 20th century, and after languishing during WWII, has been restored back to its rumpled, linksy glory. At just 6,192 yards (par 71), Struie is playable for all levels and ages, but the mix of long and short holes ensures a challenge for every type of player. The holes play over relatively dune-free land, with some penal stands of vicious gorse interspersed among more or less forgiving fescue rough.
A few holes are even lined with stands of evergreen trees. Visitors will also find a number of newer, re-built holes with soothing views out over Dornoch Firth.
In short, if you can't get onto Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Championship Course, or if you are inspired to play a second round at Royal Dornoch, the Struie Course is pound for pound one of the most enjoyable links experiences in Scotland.
The 124-yard second hole on Royal Dornoch's Struie Course is known as Caddies Well, as the small structure about 30 yards to the left houses the well at which the caddies used to draw water for their lunch breaks. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
The 331-yard third hole on Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Struie Course starts the turn down toward Dornoch Firth. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
The 399-yard fifth hole on Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Struie Course features trees down the left side and behind the undulating green. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
The 347-yard seventh hole on Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Struie Course ends at a green framed by menacing stands of gorse. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
The 429-yard 10th hole on Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Struie Course offers a memorable tee shot past a couple of wayward trees in the fairway down toward the firth. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
The 18th hole on the Struie Course at Royal Dornoch Golf Club is named "Witches Pool," and it is one of the most frightening short holes in Scotland: Uphill, blind green and knee-high rough. Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor
Royal Dornoch Golf Club's Struie Course won't take your breath away, but you might find it stealing a little piece of your heart (or a few golf balls). Kiel Christianson/Golf Advisor