Kingsbarns Golf Links Course Review

Kingsbarns is a fabulous modern take on a traditional Scottish links

Kingsbarns Golf Links Course Review
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A very special course, Kingsbarns is a fabulous modern take on a traditional Scottish links set on a beautiful section of the Fife coastline.

Kingsbarns Golf Links Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 15

Previous Rankings

2019/20 – 15 2017/18 - 17 2015/16 - 21 2013/14 - 16 2011/12 - 11 2009/10 - 8

Summer Green Fees

Round - £328

Visitors: Times available from 27th March to 14th November

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,842 Yards

kingsbarns.com (opens in new tab)

Changes since previous ranking

Two new tee boxes on the par-5 3rd and 16th holes. Both tees are now adjacent to the water's edge, enhancing the “wow” factor offered by the East Neuk coastline.

Also approximately 30 m2 of putting surface has been added to the left side of the 10th green, creating two further pin positions.

Kingsbarns Golf Links Course Review

Kingsbarns is visually stunning. Set along a beautiful piece of coastline with the sea visible from nearly every hole, continuous improvements see the layout rightly retain its top-15 ranking.

Related: Top 100 courses UK and Ireland

A creation of Mark Parsinen and Kyle Phillips, Kingsbarns was opened in 2000 and swiftly earned a reputation as a modern classic. It’s a wonderful track, blending the techniques of contemporary course design with the rugged simplicity of a traditional Scottish links.

The 7th at Kingsbarns
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The holes merge seamlessly into the surrounding landscape as they sweep across firm undulating terrain to fast, true greens.

Kinsbarns from above. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

The course features a number of highly memorable holes. A standout is the par-5 12th, hugging the rocky coastline as it curves left to fit the shape of the bay.

When the pin is to the left side of the sprawling green, your approach must be fired over the beach to reach the flag. In an age when par-5s tend to offer respite, this is a true three-shotter where par is an excellent score.

Then there’s the par-3 15th where the tee shot must carry rocks and sea to reach the green.

The 15th at Kingsbarns
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The clubhouse at Kingsbarns also blends the old and new. Wood panelled and decorated with oil paintings, it has the feel of an old-school Scottish club minus any stuffiness or pretension.

Much like the course, it’s perfectly thought out and constructed to the highest specifications.

Kingsbarns Golf Links Course Review

Kingsbarns features in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship each October and was venue for the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open.

Assessor Feedback

Kingsbarns is an absolute masterpiece of modern links golf design.

I still find the realms of outrageous green fees in today’s higher end market mind blowing. But if I were to pick a venue at this price which would draw my attention on regular basis then this is it. The whole experience is simply class. I couldn’t fault it.

GM Verdict

A very special course, with a price tag to match, where the emphasis is on fun and relaxation. It’s a fabulous modern take on a traditional Scottish links set on a beautiful section of the Fife coastline.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?