Kingsbarns Golf Links can be found a mere 7 miles southeast of the town of St. Andrews along the Fife coast. Golf has been recorded as being played here from as early as 1793 when the Merchants, and Lairds of Kingsbarns formed the ‘Golfing Society’ there before the golf club was founded in 1922. At that time a nine-hole course was laid out by Willie Auchterlonie, but by 1939 the land was returned to farming. When it re-opened in the year 2000 under the stewardship of Mark Parsinnen, it was the first links to have been developed in Scotland for almost 70 years. The course is now part of the triumvirate of courses making up the annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, with Carnoustie and The Old Course in St. Andrews.
Despite its youth, Kingsbarns has attracted many fans for its rollercoaster fairways and steep elevation changes that accounted for almost 300,000 tonnes of the earth being moved around the property. Despite this, Kingsbarns has a very natural feel about it. The golf course takes in a reasonable degree of coastline, most notably on holes three and eight, and on the back nine at holes twelve and especially the Par 3, 15th hole which is arguably one of the best of its kind in the UK & Ireland.
It is difficult to find a weakness in Kingsbarns. The course has all of the elements of traditional links golf in store for you and is always in excellent condition. After a relatively straightforward opening Par four, the 2nd hole presents your first challenge. A 224yard Par three usually played into and towards the breeze coming off the North Sea and Firth of Tay, will test the very best players. Three pot-bunkers await anything hit even slightly offline. This is followed by your first Par five-hole, the 3rd, ‘Brae,’ which comes in at 518yards. The sea again runs’ down your right side where an on/offshore breeze is prevalent. Two well-struck shots will get you within striking distance, though a severe slope about 60yards short of the green will feed balls into the massive righthand bunker. If avoided, a decent birdie chance awaits.
Despite the strength of the front nine holes, the Pro particularly like the second nine at Kingsbarns. There is something for everyone in this stretch of holes from two very challenging par three’s, to the risk or reward 12th. The seventeenth and eighteenth holes provide an excellent finish to what will be a very memorable round of golf where you will have no difficulty remembering every hole.
The facilities at Kingsbarns Golf Links are a superb example of understated excellence. The Pro shop is well stocked without being cavernous, and the bar and restaurant area is cozy, offering fabulous views across the entire links. From the bag drop to the starter to the clubhouse staff, you will receive a cordial welcome at Kingsbarns.