Where to Stay: The Old Course Hotel
Kingsbarns Golf Links
Kingsbarns Golf Links is positioned just 7 miles up the north sea coast from St Andrews. Kingsbarns is arguably the most picturesque golf courses that feature on the Alfred Dunhill Links.
Dating back to as early as 1793 although only considered to be open since 2000 has golf been played on Kingsbarns. The newest layout has taken on land that would have been once used by golfers that would have played the old “9 Holer”. It wasn’t until the second world war when the 9 hole golf course was mined in the national security defense effort. And the original 9 hole layout was lost forever. In the Millenial year, the new layout opened for play and was the first golf course to be built on Links land for over 70 years.
Kingsbarns Golf Course Design
Kyle Philips was responsible for the re-birth of one of the most exceptional links golf courses anywhere in the world and has since seen him responsible for some incredible golf courses all over the Europe including Penha Longa (Lisbon Coast, Portugal), Yas Links ( Abu Dhabi), The Grove (Watford, U.K), Saint-Donat (France) and Al Maaden (Morocco). It was Kingsbarns though that propelled Kyle into the world’s eye as a genuinely great course designer. You can see the north sea on almost every point of the course at Kingsbarns, and it was noted by Tom Doak “as a piece of construction work, Kingsbarns is one of the best projects I have ever seen.”
Playing the Links at Kingsbarn
Kingsbarns is celebrated as one of the world’s very best golf links, Not bad for a course just 20 years in age. The fourth and fifth holes on the top tier of the links layout are two of the best holes of golf that you will play, and the 5th is a slight dogleg right that includes a pair of bunkers on the inside of the turn, both are really in play dependant on your preferred shot shape and direction of the wind. If possible favour the left-hand side of the fairway to be able to have a good look at the green as the right-hand side is blocked off and guarded by a sod faced bunker and two mounds. The green has some severe swells and is an incredibly tricky putt from almost every point of the green. The par 3 15th Hole is perhaps one of the best par 3’s in golf and has the most dramatic setting. A long Par 3 that runs parallel to the North Sea on a peninsula. Only 166 yards would give you the illusion that this is a natural hole but believe us the hole is a card wrecker if you do not respect the wind.
This is just a flat out beautiful hole that lives long on the memory.
Kingsbarns is easily one of the best golf courses in Scotland and quite arguably in the whole world, and a golf break to the home of golf in Scotland that doesn’t include around here is borderline unforgivable.