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.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Kingsbarns

Average Reviewers Score:
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
Adrian Gaspar
A fantastic golf course and set up. I have played 3 other courses (RCD, Turnberry, Portrush) in the UK Top 10 and Kingsbarns is right up there with them – behind RCD and a fraction behind Turnberry and I think about par with Portrush. I thought there were 17 great holes just not sure about the 14th?. The biggest compliment I can offer is that standing on the first tee you feel like you are playing an historic Open rota course, it just had that X factor for me. The whole course feels so natural, so I guess the designers are to be commended for it. Numerous standout holes, but yes the 12th is as good as everybody says and I loved the 15th and 18th aswell. The greens are great and a real challenge. Yes some of them are huge but are very true. Stunning views and a lovely club house. Yeap, you may have guessed I quite like this place!
September 17, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Big Dog
Easily the best course ive played so far in Scotland. This is a true test of golf especially if the wind blows. Ive had the pleasure of playing this course in the height of summer with a gentle breeze and also with rain and wind. This is what true Scottish links golf is all about. The 12th, 15th & 18th holes are what always spring to mind when talking about Kingsbarns and i for 1 will play it again this year. Its worth every penny.
August 13, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jim Lowe
Happened to have good weather in the middle of July and the course is indeed exceptional, although after playing Carnoustie it doesn't quite measure up from a difficulty standpoint. Still obviously very good.
July 26, 2006
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Alex Snedden
Terrific Course which is a must for travelling golfer, I have played everywhere and could not believe this was on my doorstep. Well kept challenging and one you immediately want to go back to (just to beat your first score of course) I cant say enough about Kingsbarns even the weather was good.
June 27, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jim Robertson
Yes, it IS as good as everyone says! If there are better holes on earth than the sensational par 5 12th or the short 15th I've not played them. It really should be added to the Open rota. Very difficult but worth every penny!
February 04, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

David
Wonderful mixture of challenge, variety, beauty and enjoyment. There is something here for golfers of all levels. The sea can be seen from every hole and every hole is different. Its expensive but as a once a year treat its worth it. You can believe nearly all you have read about the course, even the gushing stuff. It really is as good as they say it is.
January 13, 2006
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Peter
After playing this course on the last day of the year before the winter closure, and what a glorious day it was too, I can honestly say my socks are well and truly blown off. Kingsbarns really stretches your golf brain. In my eyes it really benefits from being so young, and designed with the modern game in mind. Every bunker is in play forcing you to use your brain more, the course guide was rarely out of my hand. Personal favourites would have to be the 1st, 2nd (beware of the green sloping on the left sending your ball in to the bunker), 3rd, 4th, 6th, 12th, and 15th(take a club more). The greens are extremely difficult, very fast indeed, and slope all over the place. I actually welcomed this, and in a strange way it was nice to see good shots roll off the green and in to trouble. If it’s good enough for Augusta etc… I would certainly suggest a long practice on the green before going out to the course; I will take my own advice next time. Still you live and learn. The traditionalist in me still prefers The Ailsa at Turnberry, but only just.
December 01, 2005
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Richard Smith
Although Kingsbarns is a fine links, I would not rate it nearly so high as this list does. First of all, even though it less than 10 years old, the course does have the feel and flow of a traditional links course. The turf is firm and the holes have wonderful design and flow to them.My complaint is with the greens. Practically every green is split level with 5 and 6 foot changes in elevation. This is fine for a hole or two, and reminsicent of the 14th at the old course, but to negotiate these greens on every hole is to visit Robert Trent Jones hell for the afternoon.If they flatten out the greens a bit, then I do believe that the layout warrants the high ranking which the course currently has. However the tricked up "americanized" greens make me think that they course was designed to be what somebody thought a links course should be, not what a links course truly is.
November 19, 2005
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

David
I could write loads but i would only be echoing the words of others. Its expensive but make it an expensive treat and you wont be dissappointed. I have played Carnoustie, Muirfield, The Old Course and Royal St Georges and this is as good and for the hanicap golfer better. Inspired variety of holes, hugely memorable, the sea in sight all the time. The sort of course you play once and just cant wait to get back to play again. In short: believe the hype.
November 09, 2005
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Very nice looking course.Great layout too.A very enjoyable round!!!
October 31, 2005
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful