Only 7 miles from St. Andrews, Kingsbarns was designed by Kyle Phillips and opened for play in 2000. Despite its recent history, the layout appears so natural that you would think that it has been there for years. The course co-hosts the Dunhill Links Championship annually and held the Womans British Open in 2017.
Hole by hole guide
- 1st Hole: North
- 2nd Hole: Firth
- 3rd Hole: Brae
- 4th Hole: Castle
- 5th Hole: Tassie
- 6th Hole: Auld Links
- 7th Hole: Lang Wynd
- 8th Hole: Wee Dunt
- 9th Hole: Kirk
- 10th Hole: Cambo
- 11th Hole: Woods
- 12th Hole: Orrdeal
- 13th Hole: Cliffs
- 14th Hole: Haiks
- 15th Hole: Rocky Ness
- 16th Hole: Burnside
- 17th Hole: Harbour
- 18th Hole: Cundle Brig – Par 4 – Stroke Index 4
1st Hole: North
A drive down the left side is ideal avoiding the bunkers in the right centre of the fairway. Pot bunkers on the left and right of the green must be avoided if you want to make an opening par.
2nd Hole: Firth
Again, favour the left side on this downhill par 3. If attacking a left hole location, note the hidden bunker to catch anything hit long.
3rd Hole: Brae
Continuing North-west along the coast, the 3rd hole is a short par 5 with a generous looking fairway from the tee. The approach to the green must miss the bunker on the right which begins 20 yards before the green itself.
4th Hole: Castle
If you are long enough to carry the deep fairway bunker then go for it. The safe play is up the right-hand side from where a low running shot is ideal to access the green.
5th Hole: Tassie
A slight dog-leg from left to right so a tee shot towards the left centre of the fairway is perfect. Make sure that you carry the mound short of the green with your approach shot.
6th Hole: Auld Links
A tee shot played onto the top plateau can work its way down towards the front of the of the green so it may well be worth having a go at it. Otherwise, a lay-up short of the centre bunkers will leave a tricky shot into a two-tiered green sloping from front to back.
7th Hole: Lang Wynd
Two good shots are required here to set up the chance of a par. Once on the fairway, club up for your approach to the elevated green as anything short will kick away to the left.
8th Hole: Wee Dunt
‘Wee Dunt’ has a very interesting two-tiered green with the lower level on the left-hand side. Do your best to leave your ball on the same level as the hole otherwise a par 3 is a big challenge.
9th Hole: Kirk
Don’t try and cut off too much down the right from the tee. Fairway bunkers give you a decision to make on the second shot. A lay-up is best placed on the left side to simplify your third short onto the green.
10th Hole: Cambo
The target from the tee is towards the right side of the fairway. This leaves the best angle into the green. The approach shot plays slightly longer than the yardage so club up to ensure you hit the green.
11th Hole: Woods
A tee shot down the left of the fairway will open up the green for your second shot. There is more room between the left-hand fairway bunkers than there appears to be from the tee. Land your approach short, just left of the bunker and allow the natural contours to bring your ball back towards the middle of the green.
12th Hole: Orrdeal
Enjoy the stunning view from the tee before driving down the right centre of the fairway. A lay-up to your favourite wedge distance should set up a par or even a birdie.
13th Hole: Cliffs
The shortest hole at Kingsbarns but you must take note of the wind strength and direction. Anything missing the green on the right side will leave the toughest up and down on the course.
14th Hole: Haiks
A 3 wood down the left or a driver over the right-hand fairway bunker is the play from the tee here. The green has two tiers and slopes from back to front so an approach onto the same level as the hole leaving an uphill putt is the goal.
15th Hole: Rocky Ness
Regardless of the hole location, aim your tee shot on the left-hand bunker as the slope will feed your ball towards the middle of the green. Secure a three and move on.
16th Hole: Burnside
Longer hitters may be able to carry the right-hand fairway bunker and get maximum distance but a tee shot up the left followed by an accurate lay-up could also yield a birdie with a good up and down. Avoid the deep bunker on the right with your approach at all costs.
17th Hole: Harbour
The bunkers on the right side of this hole must be avoided from the tee. Once on the fairway, a good short iron could set up a birdie chance.
18th Hole: Cundle Brig – Par 4 – Stroke Index 4
Nothing less than two fine shots will do here. A tee shot on the left side of the clubhouse is the best line from the tee. The second shot is all carry to the green and if it is into the wind a lay-up short may be your best option. Anything past the hole on the green could leave a tricky downhill putt.