Kinghorn Golf Club Course Review

Kinghorn Golf Club is home to a massively entertaining and unbelievably great-value hillside course

Kinghorn Golf Club - Feature
An aerial view of Kinghorn with the town and the beautiful Firth of Forth beyond
(Image credit: Kinghorn Golf Club)

Kinghorn Golf Club Course Review
GF
Round: £25wd, £28we, Day: £28wd, £31we
Par 66, 5,166 yards
Slope 114
GM Verdict In a county packed with serious links, this is the perfect alternative; short, sporty and enormous fun
Favourite Hole The 17th, Road Hole, a testing par three played to a beautifully-sited green

The county of Fife is awash with Top 100 and Next 100 links with the result that many visiting golfers overlook the less well-known such as Kinghorn. This is their loss, as it’s a delight, and an absolute bargain. The original 9 holes were designed in 1887 by Old Tom Morris, but golf was played here earlier in 1812. What you now have is a very well presented course with spectacular views, greens that are sloping but fast and true, and where the emphasis is very much on fun.

Kinghorn Golf Club - Hole 1

Looking back to the clubhouse from behind the first green

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The undulating course opens with an uphill par 4 that plays longer than its yardage. If the views from the tee were good, they now become great!

Kinghorn Golf Club - Hole 3

The green at the par-3 third is protected by its very own North Berwick-style wall

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

This is followed by back-to-back short holes, a possibly unique feature of the course as all six par 3s come in pairs. The 2nd requires a marker pole and is 218 yards from the white tee, while the 3rd is not much shorter but plays downhill over an old drystone wall.

Kinghorn Golf Club - Hole 6

Hole six plays up to a partly-hidden green

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The next two take you back down to the clubhouse and up again, before the intriguing 6th which follows a burn up to a well-sited green. The 7th involves a flirtation with OOB all the way up the left, and the same is true at the 8th, a full-length two-shotter that is SI1 but plays tougher than that!

Kinghorn Golf Club - Hole 9

The ninth green with the Firth and the island of Inchkeith and its lighthouse beyond

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

There is a lovely vista at the 9th, a just-about reachable par-4 with the lighthouse some three miles in the distance.

Kinghorn Golf Club - Hole 12

The twelfth is a long par 4 back down to the clubhouse

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The back nine starts with two short, then two long par 4s, each with its own charms and challenges.

Kinghorn Golf Club - Hole 16

Overhead at the short par-4 sixteenth

(Image credit: Kinghorn Golf Club)

The remaining two pairs of par 3s come either side of the 290-yard par 4 16th, Headin’ Hame.

Kinghorn Golf Club - Hole 17

A beautiful panorama, one of many at Kinghorn, is in store at the 178-yard seventeenth

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

Accurate iron play will pay dividends on the closing holes. The 17th has a lovely, almost infinity green, while the closing hole is blind from the back tee, set way down in a dell beside the road.

Anyone who loves their golf and knows a little of how rich this county is in terms of courses will probably still be surprised to discover this short but exceptionally sweet and sporty design. It may not be at the top of the list of the best golf courses in Fife, but if you were to add in adjectives such as fun, playable, different and affordable, it would be way up high. Kinghorn Golf Club is a terrific, informal and very pleasing alternative to the more financially and strategically demanding courses nearby.

Rob Smith
Rob Smith

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played 1,150 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions last year, he still managed to play 80 different courses during 2021, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.