Fabulous Golf Courses in Fife
Fife, or the Kingdom of Fife, is located on the east coast of Scotland and is home to approximately 45 different golf courses. It is a historic region and is famous for the St Andrews Golf Club that was established here more than six centuries ago. In the year 1457, James II banned the sport of golf, as did James III in 1471 and James IV in 1491. But in 1502, James VI eventually bought himself a few golf clubs and gave in to the addictive sport of golf. St Andrews grew significantly over the years, till it opened its 7th golf course in 2007, which was named the Castle Course. Amongst the other popular golf courses in Fife, golfers can look forward to a wonderful golfing day at Dukes, Kingsbarns, Scotsgraig, Crail at Balcomie, Ladybank and Ludin. Fife is a beautiful part of Scotland and it can be seen in the spectacular settings that the golf courses have been designed on.
Just twelve miles from St Andrews, the Mecca of golf in Scotland, in the easternmost kingdom of Fife, is Crail, the seventh oldest golf club in the world. The Crail Golfing Society was founded in 1786 and was initially located at Sauchope just outside Crail, a picturesque fishing village. It is believed that a local farmer laid out a nine-hole course in Balcomie in the mid nineteenth century. In 1895 the legendary Old Tom Morris redesigned that course and about four years later he extended it to eighteen holes at the present location of Balcomie Golf Links.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York hit the first tee shot at the inaugural match here in 1995, giving the course its name. Duke’s is the only non-links course at St Andrews and is the course built by the Old Course Hotel. Despite its location next to the 17th hole of the Old Course at St Andrews, the hotel could not guarantee its guests tee times there. Hence a new inland course was built for their use.
The course does not have an official name or even an architect. It is known as the Links at Elie and has taken shape over the centuries. There is no date of completion either. It has developed its present layout over the past 120 years – all the work of Mother Nature. Golf has been played in western Scotland for centuries and when the Royal and Ancient Club at St Andrews and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield were established, the people of Earlsferry and Elie decided to establish their own Elie and Earlsferry Golf Club in 1832. The club house was built in 1875 and bears the quaint name Golf House.
The Kingsbarns Golf Links along the North Sea coast has the sea visible from almost all parts of the course. Though it is a new course, its golf origins date back to 1793. Kingsbarn lies between St Andrews and Crail and this unique part of East Fife has sandy soils, undulating ridges and hollows, and even its own burn, the Cambo running into the sea. All this is set immediately against the rugged coastline of the North Sea. The original 9-hole course was commandeered by the army in WWII in order to prevent an invasion from its coast.
Ladybank Golf Club is one of Scotland’s best inland courses located in the in the heart of Fife. Unlike other courses here it is sheltered by the Howe of Fife from excessive gusty winds. This course of outstanding quality and rare beauty was originally a six-hole layout designed by Old Tom Morris when Ladybank Golf Club was established in 1879. By 1910 it had been expanded to a circular nine-hole course. This was further expanded to 18 holes in 1961. A new Clubhouse was built in 1971 and the old building became the present Pro shop.
Leven Links can be described as very generous. This is not in terms of size – it is only a modest 6427 yards. It is a course that has been involved in a lot of sharing – hence generous with its possessions. Leven Links is a typical par 71 links course of Scotland located off The Promenade in Leven, Fife just ten miles south of St. Andrews.
Lundin Links has been created out of half an old Tom Morris course. It lies ten miles south of St. Andrews on the East Neuk of Fife, overlooking the Firth of Forth. Lundin Golf Club was founded in 1868 and in the early days used to share its 18-hole golf course with the neighboring Leven Links Club. This course is now known as The Old. Lundin Golf Club was located on the east side of the link and the Leven Clubhouse on the west end. Golfers would start play for each club from their respective clubhouses.
Scotscraig is the thirteenth oldest golf club in the world and closely connected to the legendary St Andrews of Scotland in many ways. It was founded in1817 by the St Andrews Society of Golfers which was later known as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Scotscraig is located in Tayport, Fife and is only 15minutes from the famous Old Course at St Andrews. Even the lands of the Scotscraig Golf Club have always been closely connected with St Andrews. It is a matter of great pride that in 1818, for the first time the Gold Medal was first played at Scotscraig.
The ambition of every keen golfer is to play at the St Andrews Old Course in Scotland - in homage to the oldest golf course in the world. Golf has been played here since the fifteenth century. It has consistently remained the best in Scotland and among the top ten in the world. Playing here is not just for a great game but a complete thrilling experience of being in the birthplace of golf and the spine-tingling, even awe-inspiring thrill of just standing on these hallowed historic grounds. Despite its reputation, it is a public course and you have to either try your luck with a ballot or take one of the guaranteed packages offered, at a price, by the Club.