Top 20 Golf Courses in Fife 2015
Fife Best in Region rankings updated
If it’s generally accepted that Scotland is the Home of Golf then the Kingdom of Fife, and St Andrews in particular, can truly be considered the very cradle of the sport. For local and visiting golfers, especially those travelling from abroad, there’s simply no better place to play a Royal and Ancient game that dates back to the 15th century.
Such is the golfing strength in depth within this region, no fewer than fifteen of our Top 20 Fife Best in Region courses also make it into our national rankings. That’s an unprecedented number of top tracks located in one relatively small district and it’s one of the main reasons why The Kingdom of Fife is regarded as the top golfing destination in the country.
After surveying local clubs and professionals earlier this year and having now collated and analysed their returns, it’s resulted in no major moves up or down our new ranking list for Fife. We’d like to think this is a positive sign and verification, if you like, that we’re actually identifying the best layouts in the region in the correct order.
Retaining its position at number 1 in our chart, The Old Course at St Andrews is the flagship layout of the St Andrews Links Trust, which operates a total of seven courses in and around “The Auld Grey Toon”. The eyes of the sporting world will be firmly focused on this venerable old links when it hosts its 29th Open Championship in a couple of weeks and it’ll be interesting to see just how it holds up when the world’s top players come to town.
Only a handful of courses make an upward move in our new table, the first of which is The Castle course at St Andrews, which is located a couple of miles outside the town on Kinkell Braes. Climbing one to position number 3, this exciting David McLay Kidd design from 2008 has certainly divided opinions on the architectural merits of some its more undulating greens.
The course at Leven Links also rises one spot to number 7, tucked in one place behind its near neighbour at Lundin. Some of the fairways on either side of the Mile Dyke once formed the original course, before the clubs went their separate ways in 1909. Intriguingly, the MacDonald Trophy is still played for annually over both courses, using the eighteen holes that were inaugurated in 1868.
The course at Elie moves up one place to number 10 and it’s where James Braid first learned the game as a boy, with Earlsferry Thistle becoming his first club. Golf here is totally uncomplicated, unpretentious and completely natural. In fact, for many in the know, Elie offers the most homely, traditional links game in all of the country. Above all else, it’s a course that’s lots of fun to play.
The only new course entry is one that we’ve featured for some time as a GEM and it’s Balbirnie Park, in Markinch. One of the few non-links courses to occupy a place in our Fife listings, this parkland track opened in 1984, its fairways laid out within a rolling 400-acre estate. For those who might want a break from playing by the coast when they’re in the area, this is a fine inland option.
We’re very grateful to all the clubs and professionals in this region who contributed to our re-ranking process. To view more details of the courses in our newly updated Fife Top 20, click this link. If you’ve played extensively across this region and would like to help shape the next edition of the chart then please drop Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter an email at [email protected].Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses
04 July 2015 Respond to this article