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
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Iain Cathro
Have played it 3 times. Way, way better than Dundonald, in fact the latter is just not in the same league. Nowhere near it in fact. Was pleased to par SI2 which was tough into the wind, and with a 2 at the short 8th where you definatlely don't want to be long! Lovely greens. Welcoming and friendly staff cannot praise this course highlly enough - for my money the best in Scotland (from the ones that will actually let you on to play). And, magnificent views.
May 11, 2011
10 / 10
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dan
September 02, 2011
"For my money" is the apposite phrase ! For completeness' sake, we are looking to play Kingsbarns next March/April on our annual Scottish pilgrimage and the only fee I can see is May-Oct for £185 !!! This must be the most expensive round of shoulder season seaside golf in Scotland, and I am struggling to justify it when at the same time Troon would be £130, Muirfield £110, let alone Carnoustie, Turnberry, Prestwick, Castle Stuart, Royal Dornoch, Cruden Bay etc. Do we really have to pay this fee when plenty of reviewers are complaining about the greens ?
Petter Claesson
Played Kingsbarns for the 3rd time on September 18, and everytime I've played it, it's just fantastic. This time it was almost no wind and sunny and the condition was just great. We played Carnoustie the day before and if you're a 10 handicapper like myself, Kingsbarns might be the best course you can play in the world
September 20, 2010
10 / 10
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Andy Flack
Now this is golf the way Keith Richards would design it. It's rock&roll! For links purists who like blind shots and losing a dozen balls a round in knee deep heather it won't tick all the boxes but I can assure you that they won't be able to hide the smile they'll have all the way around!I don't know about you but I play golf to have FUN! This course has fantastic views, an awesome layout, challenging green areas and bunkering to keep all the strategists happy. But you can also ignore that, ignore your score and just enjoy it! In addition you get a very service minded and relaxed welcome. Yes it costs an arm and leg to play here, unless you're a member of a Scottish club in which case it's cheap. But it's worth it no matter what. Kyle Phillips is the master of fun and you will go to bed with a big grin after having played KB.
September 17, 2010
10 / 10
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Vorndron
Played the course in early July and was not disappointed. From driving up to the course we could tell we were not going to be let down. The course starter met us outside the clubhouse as we arrived and couldn't do enough for us. The clubhouse is excellent and very friendly, shorts and flip flops are even allowed which was great considering it was a warm sunny day. The practice facilities are also first class. The course itself is very good, not as good as Carnoustie, Turnberry, Birkdale if rated as an actual 'golf course' but still very good. Stand out holes are the par 5 12th running along the coast and the par 3 15th, and the 18th provides a great finish. Overall the course is very fair, the rough isn't too penal and the fairways are pretty generous. A course that could definately be enjoyed by all levels of golfer. A tip would be to hire a fore caddie, as the greens can be tricky to read.
September 12, 2010
8 / 10
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Christer
Played Kingsbarns last year and by far - it´s the best course I´ve ever played. Have been visiting Ireland/Scotland six years in a row and have been playing some really high ranked courses but none is even close to this one.From the club house, the starter, the first tee, the first par 3... Everything breathes high class golf! And as someone wrote below, regarding hole 12. A superb par 5 which follows the ocean to the left. Remember mentioning to the 3 other people in the group that "Can we have it any better than this? This IS what life is about". If you need to pick out one course to play in Scotland - this is the one to choose. For sure...
September 11, 2010
10 / 10
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kcbritton
I played Kingsbarns for the second time in mid June of this year. First of all, I must say the course was in much better condition than when we played in June of 2007. At the time we last played, I really liked the course but thought it was a bit expensive and felt like an American course in Scotland. After three trips to Scotland and playing about 25 different courses at all ends of the rankings (and cost structure), I stand by my original review. If you are intent on capturing top ranked golf courses…go play it…once will be enough. If you want to play links golf, play any number of courses at a lesser price…Lundin, Leven, Jubliee, New. You will get a better feel for links golf and can play all of those twice for the cost of one over priced round at Kingsbarns
July 08, 2010
6 / 10
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Jim
August 02, 2010
This is exactly how I feel. The conditioning or flow of the terrain does not give that real links feel - overpriced and has a horribly commercial feel to it with all of the rental bags lined up on the first tee and the caddies co-ordinated in beige - this place has the wow factor, no doubt, but lacks any real character in my book...
GGD
Myself and 3 friends played Kingsbarns on 4th April 2010 and we were all very impressed with everything about the course. We were made to feel very welcome by all the staff who were very helpful and made us feel welcomed at the club. There were several nice touches like the little goodie bag with course planner, pitchfork and bag tag whereas we played the New course at St Andrews the following day and were given a score card and a pencil and not even an "enjoy your round", whereas Kingsbarns was the complete opposite, the starter took his time to chat to you and give you some advice on playing the course The course was in excellent condition for this time of year and would thoroughly recommend a visit, you will not be disappointed.
April 06, 2010
10 / 10
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Dewi Henderson
July 02, 2010
Comparing Kingsbarns with the New at St Andrews in terms of whether one receives a warm welcome, some advice and a "goodie bag" is a bit unfair considering that a round at Kingsbarns is a £100 more expensive! I'd choose the New anytime.
erik
Played the Old Course and then here. This course eats the Old course for breakfast. This course if a great course if your going on a trip to Scotland/St Andrews area. Nice layout, reminds me of Chambers Bay but better. Great back nine and well worth it.....better then Portrush
October 14, 2009
10 / 10
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Craig Jobson
June 15, 2010
Eats the Old Course for breakfast !!! I dont think so, How can you compare the two anyway ? they are totally different. One designed by nature over hundreds of years One designed (manufactured) to look like something it will never be, its not even on links land. You could put Kingsbarns anywhere in the world and it would just be another golf course, ok its not bad, but it will never be the Old Course.
Jim Rooney
June 30, 2010
I have to agree. St. Andrews is little better than a municipal course and if it wasn't for its history wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Open roster. Sure, it's a great thrill to stand on the same fairways as many of the game's greats but as a course I wouldn't have it in my top 50.
Tom Kelly
August 30, 2010
Jim what are you on about???!!! The Old Course is little better than a municpal and wouldn't be allowed anywhere near the open rota?? If it is so bad, how come Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, Peter Thomson, Alister Mackenzie, Tom Doak etc etc etc all rank it as the best course in the world?? Plus this year conditon wise it was the best open venue ever, Els described the greens as probably the best hes ever putted on, as did Poulter and quite a few others....little better than a municpal hey??
Jim Rooney
May 13, 2014
Nicklaus, Woods and Faldo may have described it as the best course in the world at one time or another but they have also said the same thing about Augusta National (and one or two others, I suspect). In fact, Nicklaus has often been quoted as saying Muirfield was the best he'd played which, presumably, had something to do with him naming his own course Muirfield Village. Comparing St. Andrew's to a municipal course was, perhaps, a little unfair but I stand by my opinion that were it not for the fact it is the 'home of golf' it would never be chosen as an Open venue. Almost everyone I know who has played it was disappointed by it.
Ross Cameron
Kingsbarns is a very good golf course, although i do not think it is as good as many of the others in the st andrews area. Kingsbarns is though a very challenging golf course with many fantastic holes like the par 5 12th and the par 3 15th. The 18th is a fantastic finishing hole, this course is very scenic but there are one or two weaker holes on the front nine.
October 13, 2009
8 / 10
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David
I first posted about Kingsbarns on here 3 or 4 years ago. I loved it. I have played a lot of top courses in Britain and Europe and Kingsbarns was in my opinion right up there. The course IS manufactured as we know but it certainly doesn't LOOK like it. It follows a beautiful flow which seems entirely natural and each hole is memorable but follows from the one before. There are not many courses where you can recall each and every hole weeks after playing.What I loved most about it was that players of any level could enjoy it from top pro to 22 handicaper. The big championship courses are often no fun for high handicapers with big carries and a punishing lack of bail out options. But Kingsbarns has an option for all players on nearly every hole. I play off 9 and loved it but my group all felt the same despite a range from a short hitting 18 to a 6. The only thing i felt was less than perfect about the course was the greens. They were bare and inferior to the other courses in Scotland. I asumed it was because the course was new but the recent posts seem to show its still a problem and may be down to grass choice, soil and climate?
October 12, 2009
8 / 10
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cc
October 13, 2009
Sorry, but as someone who has played on links courses all his life, and who sees established and shifting dune systems on a daily basis, I feel the course certainly does look manufactured. Don't get me wrong, decent effort and all that, looks natural in photographs, but undeniably the work of man. I believe it's possible to build an artificial course that looks natural, but this isn't it. At least not to my eyes. Should it annoy me? probably not, but it does every time. In saying that the maturing of the whins is helping.