Kingsbarns - Fife - Scotland

Kingsbarns Golf Links,
Kingsbarns,
St Andrews,
Fife,
KY16 8QD,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1334 460860

  • Golf Club Website

  • 7 miles SE of St Andrews

  • Course closed Dec-Mar – contact in advance


According to golf historian Bobby Burnet, golf at Kingsbarns dates back to 1793. A nine-hole golf course once played over part of the current layout. The “nine-holer” was commandeered by the military at the outbreak of the Second World War because they felt that the beach at Kingsbarns was an invasion risk. The golf course disappeared until American architect Kyle Phillips came along at the close of the 20th century.

Phillips studied various courses, including Royal Dornoch, to ensure that the end design would look natural. The earthmovers then rumbled in and shifted hundreds of thousands of tonnes of earth to create the moonscape that is now Kingsbarns.

The course opened in July 2000 to rapturous applause and the layout appears so natural that you would think that it had been there for years.

One of the many delights of Kingsbarns Golf Links is that you can see the North Sea from virtually every part of the course. What’s more, it has its own burn (the Cambo), which was uncovered during all that earth moving. The terrain is perfect for golf, rippling fairways, humps and hollows.

“As a piece of construction work, Kingsbarns is one of the best projects I’ve ever seen,” commented Tom Doak in The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses . “It started out as a flat field above a small bowl of linksland, but I wouldn’t have believed that if I hadn’t seen it for myself, because the reshaping and grassing of the landscape was so well done.

The routing of the holes takes excellent advantage of the 2 km of sea frontage, though more for views than as a hazard, because the golf had to defer to the coastal walking paths. For me, the 4th and 5th holes on the upper deck may be the best of the bunch, using the edge of the plateau in their strategy and the sea beyond to intimidate. The overlap of fairways between the 6th and 7th holes and the incoming 16th and 17th is brilliant in blurring the edges of the work and helping to make the course feel more natural.”

Situated just six miles from St Andrews, Kingsbarns is an important addition to the ancient links courses in this area. It's one of only a few true links courses to be built recently along Scotland’s coastline, so it is just as well that this course is a cracker and deserves its status as one of the greatest links courses in the world.

Kingsbarns co-hosts the annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the European Tour, together with the Old Course at St Andrews and the Championship course at Carnoustie. The tournament is played as a four-day pro-am, with each team comprising one amateur and one professional. A 54-hole cut is made after teams have played each of the three venues, with the leading professional players and teams advancing to the final round at St Andrews.

The club also hosted the Ricoh Women’s British Open (now named the AIG Women’s Open) in 2017, when South Korea’s In-Kyung Kim won the event with an 18 under par four round total of 270, beating her nearest rival Jodi Ewart Shadoff by two strokes.

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Reviews for Kingsbarns

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Description: One of the many delights of Kingsbarns Golf Links is that you can see the North Sea from virtually every part of the course. Rating: 8.8 out of 10 Reviews: 98
TaylorMade
DG
Played at Kingsbarns for the first time in mid-June in reasonably kindly weather. The course was in excellent condition and the off-course facilities are also to an extremely high standard. This is a course which requires you to think carefully about almost every single shot, but is nevertheless great fun. The scenery is fantastic and favourite holes were the 4th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 15th and of course the very strategic 18th, though there are really no weak holes on the course. Given its age this is a very impressive course and one that I plan to play again in the near future.
June 23, 2013
10 / 10
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Fergal O'Leary
A few miles down the road lays the tiny town of Kingsbarns. Here in this corner of the ancient Kingdom of Fife, where golf has its spiritual and cultural home, Art Dunkley and Mark Parsinen, the developers, along with Kyle Philips, the course architect, have created a wondrous place. The views of the North Sea immediately differentiate Kingsbarns from the Old Course. The hospitality from the get-go and constant desire for golfing feedback makes you realize that Kingsbarns Golf Links is serious about the experience. There are no members at this club. The management decided that everybody will be treated equally and a member for the day. Click here to read Fergal’s full article, “in pursuit of a dream”.
November 10, 2012
10 / 10
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Richard Smith
On a recent trip to Scotland I had the chance to revisit some of the courses I had played over the last 30 years. 10 years ago I had played and reviewed Kingsbarns, and I wrote a fairly harsh review, which I now recant in full! This was our first course off the plane, yet this turned out to be a wonderful and enjoyable test of golf. The ground is magnificent, and even though largely man-made the course appears as natural as any of the great links courses in Scotland. There are many wonderful holes, my personal favorites being the shorter par 4's such as 6 and 14. The highlight of the round for me was a well earned 2 at 15, although a fierce storm made the end very tough, overall I had a wonderful experience. My original criticism centered around the greens, but I realized this time around that the greens, although sloped, in general rewarded good shots and penalized misses. The course has done much to make the visitor welcome and to enhance the experience in every way possible without diluting the Scottish feel to the property. So may apologies for a previous harsh review and a thumbs up to one of my new favorite courses in the UK. This course deserves all the high rankings and accolades it has received.Richard Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
August 08, 2012
10 / 10
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Javier Pintos
My second visit to this jewell gave me pretty much the same as last year: a sunny day, great golf and very poor putting, in this case with a some wind which made it more challenging. After having played Castle Stuart from the same designer team Kingsbarns Golf Course - Photo by reviewer I can say thay they have achieved a great job on both courses, although the course in Inverness in my opinion is a little bit better. Say this I will say that Kingsbarns is a must play in every visit to St Andrews, not only because of the quality of the course but also because the Staff at the Club House is the best in the UK, their attention to detail is so high as in any course in the world. This time one of the guys from my group, the former Argentine Rugby Team Member Rorro de la Arena, aced hole #2 to end a fantastic trip. Some good champagne was served after the round!!! Can I add something else about the course? Yes. The greens are maybe the best in the area and roll faster than the average courses, which in a windy day can be really tough. What I can still say is that 17th is one of the best par 4s i have ever played. Click to read my full story: 13 Courses in 13 Days.
July 15, 2012
10 / 10
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Luke Sheu
September 22, 2015
Great article. I was in St. Andrews with 3 other friends last year. We played at Old Course, Kingsbarns, New Course, and Castle. I think Kingsbarns is more beautiful than Pebble Beach. I am going back to Scotland next year. I will play Carnoustie and Gleneagles this time. I will change my mind to play The Kings instead of PGA Contenary because of you. I really enjoy your review. Good Luck.
Simon Bale
Played Kingsbarns on a glorious day in late May 2012. Course offers everything you can ask for from a links golf experience. Great sea views, dramatic visual appeal, deep tactical bunkering, undulating greens (many 2 tiered allowing for vast variation in how to play the holes), options off the tee, variety of approach shots, infinity greens (just on on the 4th), approach shots over water, superb practice facilities, great clubhouse and a warm, professional welcome. A modern classic of the highest order! My only critisim is they could do with a third tee option between green and whites to bring bunkers into play for low to mid level handicappers.
May 28, 2012
10 / 10
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myke divot
June 04, 2012
Except it is not a links.
Luke Weatherall
I just had to sign up to write a review of this course. It is literally unbelievable, Can't think of one bad hole. As a 12 handicapper I was having the round of my life playing 4 over gross on the 18th tee finishing with a dodgy 7 but still I can't think of one bad thing to say about this course. The views are incredible on most holes, the greens are fantastic and the fairways were in good condition as well. All the par 3s are fun to play with the slopes giving you the chance to get the ball close. The par 5s are strong especially the 12th: this is a magnificent hole similar to the 18th at pebble beachMagnificent course and can't wait to go back to play it
April 24, 2012
10 / 10
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David Russell
Played it twice now and I will be back again. It's a magnificent track and stunningly beautiful. Every hole is tremendous and the round even manages to improve through the back 9! Being a member of North Berwick I am a great lover of golf history and traditional links courses and I often read other comments criticising Kingsbarns for being too American and contrived etc. I say to these people get over yourselves and just enjoy it for what it is. It can't help being only 15 years old! David Russell
November 24, 2011
10 / 10
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Javier Pintos
Can you have a good review on a course where you three putted 1,2,3 & 4 and missed it to the water in the nicest par 3 (15th)?? The answer is YES! Kingsbarns Golf Course - Photo by reviewerDespite this mistakes I managed to score 76 from the 6800yds tees, which is very good. If my putt had worked, it could have been under par. The course itself is breathtaking, views of the ocean on every hole, a very nice set of four par 3s and accesible par 5s (birdied 3 of them and 3 putted on 3 after reaching the green), 2 reachable par 4s and some other very tough holes as 7, 11, 17 and the finishing one. The Club House is perfect and the staff the best of the best, kindness to the highest standars. George, very friendly starter, keeps a collection of more than 2000 different tees so if you go there take him a souvenir from your home course. The very nice bag as a souvenir completes a perfect golf outing, you feel like a KING all day.
October 05, 2011
10 / 10
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Chris Hull
Played last week, fantastic views, super track in excellent condition, played with my brother who has just taken the game up and we were both blown away. Very welcoming and relaxed clubhouse, will definetly play again when we get the opportunity.
September 12, 2011
10 / 10
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Sam Gray
One of the best courses I've ever played and well worth making the trip up there. Immaculately presented and each hole offers a different challenge in itself. Hospitality was first class. I can't recommend this course enough, a real 'gem' on Scotlands coastline.
July 15, 2011
10 / 10
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