Kingsbarns Golf Links: Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Information

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
The spectacular par-3 15th at Kingsbarns
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)

Kingsbarns Golf Links Key Information

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
AddressKingsbarns St. Andrews Fife KY16 8QD Scotland
Phone Number01334 460860
Websitehttps://www.kingsbarns.com
Emailinfo@kingsbarns.com
Green Fees£315 - £374
Visitor TimesAny time, although course is closed in winter months
Par72
Slope Rating141 (Black), 138 (White), 132 (Green), 130 (Blue), 126 (Red)
Opened2000
Designed byKyle Phillips
Golf Monthly Verdict

Kingsbarns

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

A hugely attractive, incredibly fun modern links course with highly memorable holes. It's a great take on the links showcasing the very best of modern course design. The holes along the waterfront are exceptional but even those that move inland slightly have a great deal of character and require a strategic approach. This is not a course that will bully you, but you have to treat it with due respect.

REASONS TO PLAY KINGSBARNS GOLF LINKS

– A perfect example of modern links course design

– Striking coastal holes that will live long in the memory

– Small but perfectly formed clubhouse is worth visiting in itself

RANKINGS

UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 15

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-20 ranking. Kingsbarns is an absolute masterpiece of modern links golf design.

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

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

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

The course closes over the winter months meaning it's always in pristine condition when the season gets underway.

Kingsbarns Golf Links Course Review

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Matt Weavers UK&I Top 100 panel
Matt Weavers

The balance and variety is simply world class.  Short, long, straight, dog leg, uphill, downhill, strategic, hero, infinity, aerial, ground based etc.– you name it, Kingsbarns has it all. In terms of sheer fun and enjoyment, Kingsbarns is right up there with the very best.

Paula Crabtree UK&I Top 100 panel
Paula Crabtree

I have now played Kingsbarns three times and left each time wanting to return, and that’s even after one round being played in full waterproofs and a howling gale! The course was in excellent condition with fast running fairways and greens being true and fast, but they also held a well struck approach shot. There is a view of North Sea from most holes which makes the course very visually appealing. 

Kingsbarns Golf Links Location

Kingsbarns Golf Links Green Fees

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25th Mar - 30 Apr£315
Replay within 7 days£190
1st May - 5th Nov£374
Replay within 7 days£225
Course closes for winter monthsRow 4 - Cell 1

Kingsbarns Golf Links scorecard

Kingsbarns Golf Links scorecard

(Image credit: Kingsbarns Golf Links )

Best Courses Near To Kingsbarns Golf Links

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DUMBARNIE LINKS

Elevated tees at Dumbarnie provide great views across the layout, sweeping fairways lead to impressive, sloping green complexes while surrounding dunes have been sculpted to give a rugged feel. This course presents a challenging but fair strategic test. On almost every tee, there’s a choice to be made and there are options for negotiating each hole.

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ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE

There’s the Swilcan Burn, Hell’s Bunker and The Coffins, the Road Hole and its own take-no-prisoners bunker, the Swilcan Bridge and the Valley of Sin. There is everything! A timeless classic with history and character at every turn, golf’s most iconic course

Best Places to Stay Near Kingsbarns Golf links

Fairmont St Andrews - Book now at Booking.com
Set on a 520 acre estate on cliffs overlooking St Andrews Bay, this 5-star hotel features its own championship golf courses. It has free parking, free WiFi, a spa and a pool. A complimentary shuttle service to and from the hotel to St Andrews town centre runs every hour from 09:00-18:00.

The Inn at Kingsbarns - Book now at Booking.com
Super cosy accommodation in this excellent little pub in the village of Kingsbarns. It's very convenient for Kingsbarns Golf Links but not far to drive back into St Andrews or around the East Neuk of Fife towards Elie, Crail, Lundin and Leven. It's dog friendly.

Kingsbarns Golf Links Historical Top 100 Ranking UK&I

  • 2023/24 - 15
  • 2021/22 - 15
  • 2019/20 – 15
  • 2017/18 - 17
  • 2015/16 - 21
  • 2013/14 - 16
  • 2011/12 - 11
  • 2009/10 - 8

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Need A Handicap To Play Kingsbarns?

No - The advice on the Kingsbarns website reads: "We find golfers, regardless of handicap, enjoy the Kingsbarns experience if they can keep up with pace of play."

Do I have to book a caddie at Kingsbarns?

You don't have to, but Kingsbarns recommends it. You can either book a personal caddy or a fore caddie (one for a group of four). Kingsbarns also advises that you pre-book a caddie to avoid disappointment.

Does Kingsbarns close for winter?

The course is closed during the winter usually from mid-November until mid-March. The course is also closed for a week during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship which takes place in late September/early October each year.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He 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 history section of "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?