Having recently played Kingsbarns with a friend during a long-weekend in the area playing six of the best courses, I left with very mixed feelings about the venue. From a golf course design perspective Kingsbarns is absolutely fantastic, there's not a single weak hole and the way in which the next hole is only revealed as you step onto the tee is superb. Great use of the coastline means a wonderful edging for a number of the holes and those that are away from the beach are just as impressive and many offer views of the sea. However, the course did not feel like a true 'links' golf course to me, more a great course next to the sea, very much like Old Head if you've had the chance to play there. The fairways don't have the wonderful buried elephant undulations or sandy nature you find at the older links courses like Montrose, and in general it feels much more 'manufactured' than I expected based on all of the previous rave reviews. In my opinion and taking into account that it had been pretty wet over the days prior to our arrival, the course was not in the great condition I expected with many areas showing heavy divot damage (a result of it's success?) and the greens looked very 'mottled', although to be fair they were still firm and impressively quick, they just didn't look very nice! I think you have to play there at least once to experience a great layout, but quite honestly I'd rather play Montrose or Panmure twice for the same money!
Date: June 29, 2007