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Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 08/05/18 18:00



Royal Dornoch Golf Club is over 500 years old and a very special place to me for several reasons.

From when I was born we went to Dornoch on holiday every year in a caravan that my Mum and Dad towed for 250 miles.

We pitched up in the caravan site for a fortnight in July and that was the holiday.  

We marked out a tennis court with sand from the beach beside the caravan, and for that fortnight we had our own tennis court in our garden; but we also had our own golf course.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club is reputed to be the third oldest golf course in the world.

The story goes that the monks from St. Andrews were sent north and decided, when they weren’t working, to build a golf course.

Time and time again Royal Dornoch Golf Club is reported as being the most beautiful golf course in the world.

Many people think it might be Turnberry, but for my money it isn’t and I have played at Turnberry a lot of times.

So, what’s the story and why is there a blog about Royal Dornoch Golf Club.

Well it could go on forever with tales from my childhood when my Dad would fall in the stream trying to retrieve a golf ball, or games against by brother, or professionals coming the week before The Open, but it isn’t about that.

My brother still goes to Dornoch several times a year.

He had phoned them up to ask about membership for his 15-year old son (Kevin has been a member for years, I used to be but gave it up).

Royal Dornoch Golf Club is over 500 years old, they consider their strategy in centuries.

When you think about things like that the next 3 months or even the next 3 years are not so important.

So, while my Mum was visiting recently she tells me that the conversation with Kevin and the people at Royal Dornoch Golf Club went something like this…

Kevin – “I’d like my 15-year old son to become a member, how many sponsors does he need and how much will it cost?”

Royal Dornoch Golf Club – “Sponsors? You’re a member, he doesn’t need any sponsors. Oh, and as for membership fees, it’s free for your son.”

That makes no business sense at all (in the short term). What type of business are you building, how long are you here for and how much trust would you like to engender to people that you serve?

A lady walked into my practice the other day looking to have quite a lot of treatment done to fix problems that she has had for many years in her mouth.

It turned out that when she came for a consultation we made a terrible mistake and we missed her in the waiting room, she had to leave and re book. She sat for an hour and then had to leave to collect one of her children from school.

But she returned, and still at that point I didn’t know about what had previously happened!

She told me gently and without recrimination in her appointment what had happened, so I took £1000 off the cost of her treatment in an instant.

I did that because she came back, I did that to say sorry. Anybody in my organisation can do that under those circumstances.

She was beyond impressed by that gesture despite the fact that I was embarrassed at what had happened to her.

It was a little bit like the free membership for children at Royal Dornoch, except not quite as cool.


Blog post number: 1636 

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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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