A GROUNDBREAKING ceremony will mark the start of work on a new £13.9 million clubhouse for one of the world’s most prestigious golf courses.
Morrison Construction has been appointed as the main contractor for the 18-month Royal Dornoch Golf Club project which will replace the current building, which has been extended in piecemeal fashion since replacing the more modest original clubhouse in 1909.
On Wednesday (December 20), club captains Professor David Bell and Wilma Murray, project director Mike Ross and president Alan Ramsey will be joined by junior captain Kieran Allan for the landmark event, along with Morrison Construction managing director Donald McLachlan, Cath McAngus, chair of Dornoch and District Community Council and her predecessor Paddy Murray.
Plans to create a clubhouse fit for the 21st Century and reflect the reputation of an historic golf club which lures thousands of visitors to the Highlands every year were delayed by the pandemic.
But in the autumn members gave the go-ahead for the development to proceed.
Professor Bell said the groundbreaking ceremony would mark an important milestone in the history of a golf club which is counting down to its 150th anniversary in 2027.
“We are delighted to announce that after a far-reaching pre-qualification and competitive tendering process, award-winning Morrison Construction has been selected as the main contractor to work in tandem with well-known Scots architects Keppie Design and our own full-time project manager and inhouse team going forward.
“Morrison Construction is a company with a proven track record in delivering prestigious projects on-time and on-budget, including in recent years The Lighthouse Innovation Centre at the Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain and the new Visitor Centre for Clynelish Distillery near Brora.
“The company has its roots in Tain and a base covering the Highlands in Inverness.”
Mr McLachlan said: “Morrison Construction is delighted to be entrusted with this prestigious project and we look forward to working with Royal Dornoch Golf Club to deliver their fantastic new clubhouse.”
General manager Neil Hampton added: “As a golf club with strong community ties we are always keen to spend our money locally wherever possible.
“So we are pleased that a company with such a strong Highland flavour has emerged to take forward the development after an intense selection procedure.
“The new clubhouse will create a legacy for generations to enjoy and by harnessing the very latest technology our energy bills and carbon footprint will be reduced dramatically.”
Preparatory work on the site identified near the first tee on the Championship Course will pave the way for the Morrison Construction team to hit the ground running after the Festive break.
Mr Hampton stressed: “Golf on the Championship Course will be unaffected. It will be very much business as usual as the new clubhouse takes shape and we look forward to welcoming golfers from near and far next season.”