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: 101
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Shaun
Here you go, maybe a little bit controversial for the traditionalists but in my opinion this is the best golf course in Scotland bar none.
October 20, 2006
10 / 10
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James Arnold
This course has it all!!! A mix of holes which keeps you thoroughly entertained. From the long par 5 12th which plays into the wind and hugs the North Sea coast as it gradually steers away to your left, to the challenging par 3 15th which is just begging for you to fade a shot into the water (or Pebble Beach depending on the time of day you play the hole). Having played several other well respected courses in the St. Andrews area (the Old Course excluded), I can safely say this is by far one of, if not the best course!! When you stand on the middle of the 18th fairway, having hit a strong up hill drive towards the club house, and look at the shot you have left into the green, you just think golf can’t get any better (nor more challenging) than this!! All in all this is a course with spectacular views, fantastically well kept traditional links fairways and greens that have every turn, break, hill and hollow in them you could ever want to test your putting on!! If you visit the area and don’t play at Kingsbarns you’ve missed out on a gem of a course.
October 18, 2006
10 / 10
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Carl Statham
This is a magical place to play golf. You pay a lot but the overall welcome and package is fantastic. Right from the arrival you are treated as special. The club house is small but welcoming and inside has a real traditional feel. This is all before you start to play this phenomenal golf course. Even the men’s locker rooms are a treat with its leather sofas and views from its bay windows across the course and North Sea. I do however find it strange that people say the course looks like it has been here for ever. To me it feels like a new course, one that has been designed to make the best of the terrain and view. This is no insult, it truly is a wonderful course and to be fair although a tough test of golf there are some holes which in terms of golf are straight forward but in terms of dramatic effect are wonderful. Kyle Phillips should be truly applauded for this new and dramatic addition to Scotland’s golfing history. Playing the course you can see what Kyle was trying to do, he was trying to build a great challenge whilst providing each hole with a different dramatic back drop. You start from the first tee where there is a straight forward left to right drive, then from your second shot the North Sea comes into view and stays in your view and that is the way Kyle has designed it. For example the fourth is a long up hill par four with an infinity green ………. It just seems to hang there in the middle of the North Sea. The holes that hug the coastline provide an even more dramatic golf view. The 14th is really the courses pinnacle with the lateral water hazard north sea to your left and the enormous 75yard long green (it was back left when we played). There can be few rivals in the world for this hole …….. Pebble Beach …….. that course in New Zealand ….. the Old Head maybe. If there is a criticism I think that sometimes the design has not taken the mere mortal into account. I played the 15th signature hole, the par three across the sea, with a wind in my face and the pin on the far right. The green is just 8 paces across with beach and sea front and back. That means I am hitting a green into the breeze 185 yards away and I have to stop the ball on hard green ………… I went left and three putted from 50 yards. The 18th has a similar problem, a great hole with the second shot played over the courses burn onto a green perched right on its banks but about 25ft up. This would be fine if you were playing an 8 iron or less, however the hole is 414yards. That said it is the experience and the beauty that you pay £150 for and it is worth the money. Will it hold an Open? No and I don’t think it should, it is not a classic links just a wonderfully designed coastal golf course. If there was a fifth major, The World Open, then it should come here. Pay the money and enjoy.
September 20, 2006
10 / 10
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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