Highlands & Islands

Dornoch's golfing past to be studied

Women golfer
Image caption The course was popular with high-profile women's golfers in the 1900s

A town's colourful golfing past is to be explored as part of a wider research project into the Moray Firth coast's sport and cultural history.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is offering the three-year PhD studentship, which will be part-funded by Royal Dornoch Golf Club.

The research will look at golf and other sports played in Dornoch and other places on the Moray Firth coast.

It will tie in with the club's 400 Years of Golf in Dornoch project.

The research studentship will look at how sport developed from the 1600s to 1800s and draw on historical documents.

Golf was played in Dornoch long before a club was established, according to the town's golf club.

Aerodrome built

However, the early golfers were frowned on by local leaders who wanted them to concentrate on more war-like activities, such as becoming good marksmen.

The club and course were established in 1877 and in 1886 champion golfer and legendary course designer Old Tom Morris was invited to come up with a fully planned golf course.

Before World War I, the course was popular with high-profile men and women golfers, including Ernest Holderness and Joyce Wethered.

An aerodrome was built on part of the ladies' 18-hole course during World War II, but the club was later able to construct new holes.

In recent years, Prince Andrew and golfers Greg Norman and Ernie Els have made honorary members of the club.