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Royal Dornoch Golf Club looks to the future with a new clubhouse

August 2 2019

 Royal Dornoch Golf Club looks to the future with a new clubhouse

Royal Dornoch Golf Club has lodged plans for a new twin-gabled clubhouse with Highland Council as a replacement for the 1909 original. 

Taking its cue from the current clubhouse the plans envisage creating a split public/private building centred on a ‘carved’ staircase linking two arched entrances to the west and north.

A feature stairwell at the heart of this space would provide access to higher levels lined by exhibition materials and historic artefacts, leading visitors up to a bar and restaurant space complete with panoramic views across the Championship course.

With one eye to the heritage of the site architects, Keppie Design has also added a clock tower and chimney to provide further variety to the roofline. In a design statement, the practice wrote: “Animating the roofline further still, a chimney is erected, responding to the internal space planning providing separation between the main lounge and second lounge. An iconic clock tower is created on the corner between the 1st tee and 18th green, always in mind and guiding the golfers/starter.”

Clad in stone and slate the clubhouse will be given a textured finish at the lower ground floor plinth before rising through upper levels as a ‘smooth carved object’.

The clubhouse will have a stronger connection with the championship course
The clubhouse will have a stronger connection with the championship course
The new clubhouse will provide the course with a new identity
The new clubhouse will provide the course with a new identity


Fin controller
#1 Posted by Fin controller on 3 Aug 2019 at 23:41 PM
Belter of a 'ramp'. I've seen shallower slipways!
D Bethune
#2 Posted by D Bethune on 4 Aug 2019 at 14:43 PM
It looks like the old slaughter house. It looks awful.
#3 Posted by Huzza! on 4 Aug 2019 at 20:55 PM
Just two words:
'Royal' and 'Golf'.

- Nuff sed.
James Gillespie
#4 Posted by James Gillespie on 5 Aug 2019 at 07:45 AM
Don't like it and over the cost not value for the money
Mei Lei
#5 Posted by Mei Lei on 5 Aug 2019 at 08:31 AM
Trump stamp.
#6 Posted by Captain on 5 Aug 2019 at 09:09 AM
Its a dundee jute mill
9 million budget for this ... aaah????????????
11 million by the time its finished
Brexit on the horizon
This project should bankrupt the club very nicely thank you
#7 Posted by Blackadder on 5 Aug 2019 at 09:33 AM
How much!

In the infamous words of McEnroe
“You cannot be serious”

Also a Blot on the Landscape
People come to Dornoch to play the course
I think the ship has sailed.

Trombe Wall
#8 Posted by Trombe Wall on 5 Aug 2019 at 09:52 AM
I would have kept the clock faces the same on all sides.
USA Visitor
#9 Posted by USA Visitor on 5 Aug 2019 at 10:46 AM
Just back from our trip to Dornoch
What are these guys doing ?
We love the quaint and cosy old clubhouse.
9m ?? You could build a golf course and clubhouse for that money.

We got sent down the Struie one day.
Man they could better spend the money fixing all those dead fairways at the far end of the course
Even championship course fairways were very substandard for a top 10 course in the world
These guys need to get their act together ... QUICK
Walt Disney
#10 Posted by Walt Disney on 5 Aug 2019 at 11:36 AM
Forget about the quality....think about the fees!
#11 Posted by Satired on 5 Aug 2019 at 12:54 PM
I see #7 does not share the same enthusiasm for sports as he/she does for architecture...
#12 Posted by CADMonkey on 5 Aug 2019 at 15:07 PM
Eugh...a wasted opportunity.
It looks undeniably clumsy and heavy.
Blocking panoramic views from the 18th hole. The golf experience should be the most important thing, not a gross in-your-face-stone lumpy expensive clubhouse.
Have Keppie designed a golf clubhouse before?

#13 Posted by Huzza! on 5 Aug 2019 at 17:08 PM
#12 - Your description of the building as 'clumsy and heavy' kinda hits a nail on the head and raises an interesting general point for me regarding design process.

If the outmoded D&A statement (or whatever it's called now) bears any reflection of the actual design process (rather than being solely retrospectively produced) then surely this clunking design justification produced for planners et al has had its day if this building is an example of what is produced by this design process?

Having read this over-produced three-part volume of a D&A statement by the Architects, (just think of the actual layers of sterile technology involved in producing a graphic book of this sort alone) is it any wonder that correspondingly, the building looks over-designed, or as you say, 'clumsy and heavy'?

Whatever it is, there's not much 'delight' to be had here at all, not to mention the jaw-dropping question of, 'HOW MUCH????'
#14 Posted by Jim on 5 Aug 2019 at 20:49 PM
Looks like the first of the struie and possibly 18th too are going to be lost due to this monstrosity
Cash flow analysis doesnt show any reserve for creating replacement holes
On that basis the budget is further inflated
Time to call a halt to this new clubhouse nonsense once and for all
#15 Posted by Teddy on 5 Aug 2019 at 20:59 PM
OMG what an eyesore !!!
9 million for that ?
Committee should resign and refund the money already spent
Fick Naldo
#16 Posted by Fick Naldo on 6 Aug 2019 at 13:00 PM
Shocking effort.

New direction was a flash in the pan for Keppie then - lasted 5mins.
#17 Posted by Audrey on 6 Aug 2019 at 17:13 PM
Looks like a German pillbox with a cathedral door.
Local primary school child could have done a better job!
Love the ski slope on the side... that should be fun in winter...
Borden Grand
#18 Posted by Borden Grand on 6 Aug 2019 at 19:41 PM
9 million is 4500 per m2
I'll just say that again
9 million is 4500 per m2
I still dont believe it !
#19 Posted by “Fore!” on 6 Aug 2019 at 20:05 PM
What on earth is this effort of a design?! This will only achieve to be an eye sore for a quaint town like Dornoch and an embarrassment for a golf club steeped in history.

Feel like I’ve just bought a ticket for a tour round a crematorium rather than a round of golf at the prestigious Royal Dornoch.
And how much again for this perceived luxury?!!???

Just throwing money and common sense out that top window.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..
Dornoch Resident
#20 Posted by Dornoch Resident on 7 Aug 2019 at 06:27 AM
As a local resident there is a growing number of us in support of the scheme, especially in light of the recent rubbish proposed by William Lippe Architects. This offers a contemporary design, which despite some of the commentators intimating above (I doubt they have ever set foot in Dornoch), sits well in it's context. I do think that some of the perspectives make it seem taller than it will be in actuality, but the plan and interior layouts seem to work quite well and there is a generosity of space, finishes and detailing that clearly marks it as a 21st Century building. One of the better designs by Keppie in recent times.
Borden Grand
#21 Posted by Borden Grand on 7 Aug 2019 at 10:26 AM
Without doubt one of the most expensive project designs Keppies have come up with in recent times
4500 per m2 (And rising)
Well done Keppies
It's going to take a fair few coffee mornings to pay for this ... lol
Calm Down
#22 Posted by Calm Down on 9 Aug 2019 at 11:18 AM
This is getting such an an unwarranted bashing.

It's good, and on trend. Get with the times people.
Borden Gland
#23 Posted by Borden Gland on 9 Aug 2019 at 14:03 PM
Real shortage of warehouse space in Dornoch
Not any more ... lol
#24 Posted by CADMpnkey on 9 Aug 2019 at 14:55 PM
Since when was a humungous stone slaughterhouse with an odd arched entrance door, and a clock tower doubling as a cremation chimney "on trend".
#25 Posted by CRC on 4 Sep 2019 at 18:34 PM
Best piece of modern Scottish architecture for decades. Reflects the rural architecture of Dornoch and the HIghlands and the simple elegant lines of the local traditional slate and stone buildings. Will be an iconic award winning design. Brilliant work. Clearly, the negative comments are from uninformed people with little experience or understanding of excellent architectural design.
#26 Posted by CRC on 5 Sep 2019 at 09:50 AM
In response to 'Jim' (Comment #14) - you have clearly not seen or not understood the plans. The Struie 1st and 18th holes will not be 'lost' because it is not necessary to move or remove them.
#27 Posted by R. on 22 Mar 2020 at 20:30 PM
Coming to this a bit late but can't resist passing judgement. :D

Steel frame construction with pretentious stone cladding. There are so many of these types of buildings going up everywhere in Scotland. Right on trend, sure, but this will not age well. Cheap and nasty looking. Confused design. Very little clarity of direction. Zero in-keeping with Dornoch's established architecture, and I don't buy any of that "echoes of local traditions" nonsense. Parochial, trying to be modern. Unfortunately if you try hard, you die hard, and this is a perfect example of that.

Seems like a property speculation exercise, rather than genuine need for a new clubhouse. There may well be some consultants weaseling their way into the minds of the board, filling their heads with silly money-spinners. They should focus on providing world class golf.

If they really do need a new clubhouse, they should take a leaf out of Warnock's book for design ideas. He had a beautiful hotel built using real craftsmanship, right next door to the RDGC. They walk past it every day. Sandstone, real masonry, clean lines, classic, will age well.

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