March 21, 2008


Unseen Hands on My Game (Rick Reilly, 8/17/87, Sports Illustrated)

How shall I put this? right in front of me, right in front of my disbelieving eyes, on a dark staircase, in an ancient castle, maybe half a dozen fire snorts from the Loch Ness Monster itself, in the remote reaches of Scotland, there was—and I can just tell you're not going to go for this—an apparition...a ghost...a person of the undead persuasion...a ceased-to-be individual AWOL from the grave...a poltergeist on the wrong side of the television set...a soul with a serious case of unrest. I swear on my first communion medal that this is true.

And, right away, do you know what went through my head? What went through my head was, Well, they told me Royal Dornoch is a haunting place, but this is ridiculous.

I suppose this needs some explaining. I mean that the people who told me to come to Dornoch had called it haunting, as in unforgettably beautiful, which it was—and is. But I didn't know they also meant haunting, as in a certain real estate listing in Amityville haunting. Haunting, as in Kathy, the maid on the fourth floor at the Dornoch Castle Hotel, where I was staying and where I was now, once feeling somebody tugging on the back of her sweater and then turning around to find nobody there. Haunting, as in a certain Andrew MacCormack unexpectedly checking in at the hotel one night, which was a mite strange, considering that Andy had been hanged for stealing sheep 150 years before. Not only that, but while playing one day at the Royal Dornoch Golf Club—which was the reason I had gone there in the first place—I five-putted the 4th green, and I'm quite sure mine weren't the only hands on the putter, if you get my drift.

Then again—and this tells you a lot about Dornoch—I thought, for the privilege of playing legendary Dornoch, perhaps some things have to be endured, and sharing my lodgings with a few frequent fliers from the 19th century was one of them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 21, 2008 5:24 PM

Thanks for posting this OJ...

For you golfers out there, I'm a member of Dornoch and can tell you that you won't find a better, more scenic and more fun golf course anywhere in the's absolutely worth the trip.

Posted by: Foos at March 22, 2008 1:06 PM