Many believe the purest notion of links golf is playing within sight and sound of the sea and striking irons from crisp, sandy turf. If this is indeed central to the perfect links experience then Kingsbarns Golf Links is a course everyone should play.

Remarkably, American architect Kyle Phillips created this new development just 4 years ago, five miles from St Andrews. Perched on the North Sea coast, waves can be heard crashing against the rocky shoreline at every hole.

At 7,126 yards from the championship tees, you might consider this a test of muscle, however, it was designed more to challenge decision making and intellect. And Phillips hasn’t tried tried to make this in any way an American challenge, more a classic old skool Scottish-style test. The 337 yard 6th hole is a perfect example. Your tee shot must carry bunkers to a raised plateau that encourages an approach which will feed to the hole along the greens contours. Anything off line is deflected away from the pin.

The 15th, a 185 yard short hole is Kingbarns’ crowning glory. A spectacular ocean-side challenge, the tee is shielded from the wind by a wood, while the ball must carry 160 yards across rocks and surf to find the sanctuary of the putting surface. Surely a future Open venue.

Best Hole: The 15th is the obvious choice as it brings in natural elements to test your skill and nerve.

Location: Kingsbarns, KY16 8QD

Green Fees: £125 – £135

Tel: 01334 460860


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