Completing the Dornoch Experience – 33 Years Later! July 1, 2021 Enjoy this wonderful story from Hugh Myott, who paid the club a visit last month to rekindle his love for Royal Dornoch and achieve a long-awaited goal! Hugh takes us through the story… “While serving as second in command of HMS Alderney in 1988, the ship was on patrol carrying out fishery protection duties. On a designated rest day in the Northern sector of the North Sea, I persuaded the captain to allow myself and three others to land in the ship’s RIB to play golf at Royal Dornoch, a course I had been keen to play, due to its growing reputation as one of the world’s top links courses. “On the designated day in early May, we awoke to extremely poor weather: overcast skies and 25-30 mph winds from the east. My fellow golfers decided it was not for them, so I departed alone, escorted by the ship’s boat crew, and was landed using the small breakwater south of Embo. I rather stood out, as I walked the length of the course bedecked in regulation bright-orange survival suit, wellington boots, lifejacket and naval beret, with my golf bag on my back. I had some strange looks as I made my way to the professional’s shop to pay my green fee. One surprised American gentleman was adamant that I showed him where I had come from, so I took him out of the shop to point to HMS Alderney, by now a grey dot on the distant horizon! “I thoroughly enjoyed my round in pretty challenging conditions but, as a result of the weather, the ship had gone to shelter in Portmahomack where I was due to rejoin the vessel. Although I was carrying a VHF radio in my golf bag, I was unable to make contact with the ship and therefore was forced to make the decision to abandon my round on the 16th, in order to order a taxi. I remember the taxi cost me more than the golf, as it was before the new bridge over the estuary, but I did make it back to the ship in time! “For the last 33 years, I have been bemoaning the fact that I had not completed my round and harboured the wish to return to Dornoch to do so. Last week I found myself visiting the area for the first time since 1988, so I decided to contact Neil Hampton – the Royal Dornoch Golf Club Manager – to see if I could play the last two holes and complete my round after a 33-year interval. “I was delighted with his enthusiastic response, and on Sunday 13th June, I was able to complete the round I had started all those years ago. In fact, I was urged to play the full 18 holes and a partner was swiftly arranged; I am so grateful to all at Royal Dornoch Golf Club for enabling me to have closure on something I started all those years ago. “And many thanks to Mark, who partnered me whilst I explored a few demon bunkers and battled again with the wind; as well as furnishing me with facts and folklore of Royal Dornoch as we played!” Great to see you Hugh, from all at Royal Dornoch! Image: Hugh is pictured above on his recent holiday with his wife.