Work will start on a new multi-million pound clubhouse at Royal Dornoch Golf Club before the end of the year after members backed the delayed project.
The world-renowned club lodged plans in 2019 for the £13.9 million development to replace the original 1909 clubhouse.
But construction was put on hold to ensure money was available after the Covid pandemic hit.
A special general meeting has now given the go-ahead for a start on the project.
It is expected to take 18 months to complete.
Royal Dornoch: How did we get here?
It follows a new 99-year lease being signed between the club and Highland Council for the use of more than 200 acres of Common Good land.
It meant the club’s annual rent rising from £150, agreed in the 1970s, to £25,000.
This will increase to £50,000 on a sliding scale depending on visitor numbers.
Complex negotiations began before the pandemic. The club was advised changes would be required if it intended to build a new clubhouse on Common Good land.
A blueprint for the clubhouse near the first tee of the Championship Course gained planning approval and members’ backing last year. The latest support has now set a timetable.
The twin-gabled 2,040 square metre development is 600 square metres bigger than the current clubhouse site. It will have panoramic views over the famous links.
Royal Dornoch marks its 150th anniversary in 2027.
The club’s men’s captain Professor David Bell says the new clubhouse will provide facilities to match the course’s world class reputation.
He stressed golf will not be impacted by building work.
“A new and more spacious environmentally friendly clubhouse will enhance the overall Royal Dornoch experience”, he said.
Existing clubhouse ‘less than ideal’
“The Championship Course regularly features high on lists of the world’s top 10.
“And while we enjoy a fine reputation for our food offering and hospitality, we know the existing clubhouse is less than ideal for members, our many visitors and our staff.
“When international travel went on hold and supply chains were clogged up by the pandemic, it was wise to put our plans on hold.
“But tireless members of the project team seized the opportunity to refine the design with the architects and engineers.”
He said the sandstone building will reflect the standing of the golf course. It will make the most of the all-round views over the links and the Dornoch Firth.
It is designed by Scottish architects Keppie,
Finishes will be to the highest standards and ensure energy efficiency lacking in the current clubhouse.
Prof Bell added: “As a native of Dornoch, I have always been aware of the key role the clubhouse plays in the life of the town and the wider community.
“Rest assured, that won’t change.
Building to stand the test of time
“We are determined to deliver a clubhouse that will stand the test of time and match the quality of the Championship Course.
“Our golf courses have evolved down the years and this clubhouse will provide a legacy for generations to come.
“In 2027 we will be hosting clubs from around the world to share in our 150th celebrations.
“It will be wonderful to welcome our guests to a fine new clubhouse.”
Royal Dornoch hosted the prestigious Vagliano and Junior Vagliano Trophies in June and July and the Scottish men’s amateur contest in August.
It follows last year’s R&A Senior Women’s Amateur and Senior Men’s Amateur at the club.
The club is one of the many businesses to welcome news that Scottish Golf Tourism Week is coming to Inverness in March, in partnership with The Press and Journal.