A modern masterpiece, Dumbarnie boasts a wonderful, elevated setting above the Firth of Forth and a great mix of holes to both challenge and tempt you

Dumbarnie Links Golf Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 – 40

Previous Rankings
New entry this time

Summer Green Fees

Round: £185-£258

Visitor Times: Every day from mid-March to mid-November. Check for availability.

Medal Tee: Par 72– 6,421 Yards

Website: www.dumbarnielinks.com

Changes since previous ranking

This brand new links only opened in May 2020.

Dumbarnie Links Golf Course Review

It had been talked about for years and eagerly anticipated for some time once work commenced, but it finally became a reality last year.

Dumbarnie Links Golf Course

The view across the 16th green down towards the Firth of Forth

The UK’s portfolio of premier-league courses grew by one in 2020 when Dumbarnie Links, on The Balcarres Estate midway between Elie and Leven on the south coast of Fife, opened its doors for play in May just two week later than planned once the first lockdown was lifted.

With little else going on in the way of top-end newcomers, it has understandably created more than a frisson of excitement among golf lovers.

Dumbarnie Links Golf Course

Many holes serve up glorious views of the Firth (Photo: Kevin Murray)

The brainchild of former Ryder Cup player, Clive Clark, Dumbarnie serves up a truly exceptional golfing experience, playing from an elevated clubhouse right down to the shore at times via a series of remarkable holes, many of which stand out visually.

Among them is a trio playing downhill towards the Firth of Forth – the appetite-whetting 1st, the simply gorgeous short par-3 8th and the attractively bunkered 9th.

Dumbarnie Links Golf Course

The 8th is one of several standout par 3s

Plenty of wow-factor

At times it is the vistas beyond the course that are breath-taking; at others it is the holes themselves and the tantalising glimpses of holes yet to come that give it that wow factor.

Think Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart, for it certainly has shades of both those modern Scottish classics about it in places.

Factoring in the layout’s exposure to the often significant breezes off the Firth, fairways are often sensibly generous (just as at Castle Stuart), and although many greens are sizable, they are often accommodatingly contoured to feed the ball back in.

Dumbarnie Links Golf Course

An aerial view of the 6th hole with the Firth beyond

This is a course that can certainly defend itself but is not out to get you unfairly.

Add in a wonderfully generous helping of risk-reward – the 3rd, 5th, 11th, 15th and 17th all present different strategic choices depending on power, skill level and wind direction – and it all adds up to a visually stunning and beautifully laid-out links that is destined to become a surefire addition to any trophy course collector’s wish-list.

Dumbarnie has wasted no time hitting the tour schedules, either. It has already been chosen to host the 2021 Women’s Scottish Open in August, an event co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET.

Assessor Feedback

In lots of ways, Dumbarnie reminds me of Kingsbarns when it first opened 20 years ago. That is, a playable contemporary links with fantastic sea views that puts a big smile on your face.

A great addition to the Fife golf portfolio – the second-best modern Links in the UK&I after Trump Aberdeen.

Possibly more risk-reward holes than anywhere I’ve played, depending on wind direction and choice of tee.

GM Verdict

The modern masterpiece boasts a wonderful, elevated setting above the Firth of Forth and a great mix of holes to both challenge and tempt you.