Two members of staff at Royal Dornoch Golf Club have been recognised with long-service awards.
Our course manager, Eoin Riddell, was presented with a limited edition print to mark 35 years’ service, while office administrator Donna Sutherland received a club crested crystal bowl for 25 years at the club.
“It’s marvelous in this day and age that we have a number of valued team members, like Eoin and Donna, who have been with us for so long,” said general manager Neil Hampton.
“Most of our 40-strong staff are local, hailing from in and around Dornoch.
“While we appreciate this is a world-renowned golf club, we are also aware that Royal Dornoch has deep roots in the community.
“It’s very much about local people and our many international members like that.
“With the golfers coming back after the pandemic, we are on the hunt for more staff.
“We have two admin posts in the office and other roles in the bar waiting team and outside roles like meet and greet, starter and ranger.
“We had a full team coming into 2020. Having slimmed down last year now is the time to ramp things up for the season ahead.”
Local man Eoin admits the pulling power of Royal Dornoch has changed beyond recognition since his days as a junior golfer drawn to the local links, like generations before him.
“I was 16 when I came in, pretty much straight from school,” recalled Eoin, who has been in charge of the Championship and Struie courses for 16 years.
“There is a lot of responsibility. I’m well aware of the history of Royal Dornoch and what it means for the town
“Way back when I started it was a small club in the Highlands and it has become known worldwide, attracting members and visitors from all over.
“Visits from a few great champions really put us on the map. So many golfers around the world have us on their bucket list.
“The 19-strong greenkeeping team is looking forward to welcoming them back.
“With the Championship course already full for 2022 it means 5am starts to ensure we have everything ready for the first tee time at 7am.
“But we take just as much professional pride in preparing the Struie course and it will probably be busier than ever this season. We look to keep the standards as high as possible.
“I was delighted to get the limited-edition print from the club. It’s a fantastic view from near the 7th tee over the 11th green to the 12th fairway.”
Eoin’s wife Claire, the assistant manager, has been at Royal Dornoch almost as long as her husband.
Donna, meanwhile, has been part of the office team for a quarter of a century, coming on board after college and a spell at RAF Tain.“Everything has grown, progressed and moved forward during my time here but in another respect nothing much has changed,” she said.
“I think the international members especially like the continuity, the traditions, the familiar faces and the Highland accents.
“The demand for tee times on the Championship course has been crazy because members from abroad haven’t been able to get here because of the pandemic.
“The tee sheet had to close because of demand. But it has been lovely speaking to members who are excited about the prospect of returning to Royal Dornoch this year.”