0 Final piece in Royal Dornoch jigsaw as eighth hole gets makeover

The final phase of an ambitious project to preserve Royal Dornoch Golf Club's status as one of the world's leading courses is under way.

Hard on the heels of major improvements to the seventh hole on the Championship Course, the greenkeeping team and renowned UK architects Mackenzie and Ebert have turned their attention to "Dunrobin," the 434-yard par-4 eighth hole.

Hundreds of tons of gorse and soil are being removed to open up the breath-taking views of 1302-foot Ben Bhraggie which generations of golfers previously enjoyed. The makeover is also designed to restore the challenge envisaged in the 1940s, when a series of tweaks were made to the original Old Tom Morris layout.

"This is the final piece in the jigsaw and we are confident it will further enhance the experience golfers enjoy when they play the Championship Course," said deputy greenkeeper Scott Aitchison.

"The main challenge we face is ensuring the work is completed and the hole is back in play for the new season. The new tees are being pushed towards the location of the old seventh green.

"The likelihood is that more golfers will be playing their second shots into the green from the top of the hill, as was the case before the advances in golf club technology. In a sense, we are turning back the clock to the way the hole was designed to be played.

"There is sure to be a real wow factor with the views being opened up again. The backdrop of Embo, the sea and Ben Bhraggie in the distance is amazing. The gorse had grown and blocked it out for years."

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