Kingsbarns – A New Scottish Classic Golf Course

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.

Golf was not played here again for over fifty years after the war ended. It was American golf architect Kyle Phillips who designed Kingsbarns as we see it today, after taking into consideration everything that he saw at Royal Dornoch and other courses. Earthmovers restructured the course entirely but the greatest triumph has been that this course built in the year 2000 looks like it has been around since the beginning of golfing in Scotland. It has the feel and flow of a traditional course. It is entirely possible that this is the last true links course that will ever be built in coastal Scotland.

The immaculate course has impressive fairways and a healthy mix of holes. They range from a long par 5 twelfth along the North Sea with the wind blowing in to the par 3 fifteenth dangerously close to water. Each hole of the course is not only a different one to play it also has a dramatically different backdrop. The crowning glory of the course is probably the fourteenth with the North Sea to the left and the humongous 75 yard green. The greens in general of Kingsbarn are extremely difficult, being very fast and sloping in different directions.

The Kingsbarns clubhouse is well furnished and a welcoming place. Despite being such a new course there is a feel of tradition in the club house which adds a great deal to its ambiance. The course is certainly on most people’s list of favorites and among the top ten courses in the British Isles.

back to Golf Courses