Kingsbarns golf links is located south of St. Andrews and rated amongst the best in the world. It has hosted many tour events and will host the women’s open in 2017. Everybody I have met who has played Kingsbarns golf links has been very enthusiastic so my expectations were high. I arrived at the course an hour before tee time and practiced on the range.

driving range and short game

kingbarns golf links driving range
driving range at kingbarns golf linkskingbarns golf links short game
The facilities are good and they have a very authentic bunker to practice the challenging links bunkers accustomed to golf in Scotland.clubhouse at kingbarns golf links

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View of the sea and 18th green from the clubhouse

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kingbarns golf links putter green
Putting green

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Very cool wooden pins on the putting green

the golf course at kingbarns golf links

kingbarns golf links view 1st hole
Hole 1 from the tee

The weather had been changing all the time during the week we where there and even to the Scotts it was unusual and pretty cold for the month of June. Anyway this was luckily not the case the day I played Kingsbarns as it was great day for golf with only 7-8ms wind and no rain. I hit a driver on the first tee and had 116m to the pin.
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approach to first hole

kingbarns golf links hole 1 green
I came up short on my approach shot as the wind was a bit stronger than I anticipated. I had a pretty straight forward putt uphill and got an opening par.
2nd hole at kings barns
Hole 2, Par 3

Kingbarns golf links 2nd hole was playing 165m into the wind and I hit a very poor tee shot to the right of the green where I had to take a drop. I did manage to get up and down for a bogey, which was nice.
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Hole 3, Par 5

3rd hole is a slight dogleg left to right par 5 with a pretty generous fairway. As you can see from the picture the water tide was out when we played, but still gave some great views of the sea and golf course.
kingbarns golf links hole 3
3rd green

My drive was good and went for the green in two, but found the green side bunker as you can see from above. view of 3rd green
I hit a decent bunker shot, but missed the birdie putt. This hole is a good birdie opportunity and reachable for many players if you hit the fairway.
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Hole 4, par 4

The 4th hole is a dogleg left par 4 with 3 well placed bunkers up the right hand side. My tee shot went right of the bunkers which was too bad.

nice views of 4th green and the ocean

hole 4 at kingbarns golf links
4th green

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As you can see the green has several undulations. The greens where running very true and a good pace. Good greens are essential to a good course experience and really rewards good putting.
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5th green

5th is a par 4 dogleg right where you can either play safe short of the bunkers or hit over and leave a shorter second shot. There is more room on the fairway then what you perceive from the tee. I went for the driver and had 80m to the pin. I did not really hit my second shot close enough for a realistic birdie, but still a good par.

6th hole is a reachable par 4 at kingsbarns golf links

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Hole 6, par 4

6th hole is a shot par 4 with a large narrow green protected by bunkers and mounts. Risk/reward hole and it was playing 231m to the pin. I was driving well so decided to go for it.
hole 6 kingbarns golf links
6th green

My drive carried the green but rolled over into the fringe. I was hoping for a birdie, but hit a bad first putt and had to settle for par.
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Hole 7, par 4

7th is ranked as the hardest hole on the course. A 385m par 4 where the best aim from the tee is up the right hand side so you avoid the ditch on the left hand side which leaves a difficult shot the green.
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7th green

I missed my drive left of the fairway, but no too bad of a lie. Hit it into one of the green side bunkers and got a bogey.

nice par 3 8th hole

hole 8 at kingbarns golf links
8th hole, par 3

The 8th hole is a good looking par 3 with different levels on the green. The pin was in the front and requires an accurate shot to get close. My tee shot was very poor and was over the right hand bunker with a difficult chip. I hit a decent flop shot and managed to hole the putt for a really good save.
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Hole 9, par 5

9th hole has a large fairway, but preferably hit down left hand side to avoid any trouble.

course maintenance at kingsbarns golf links

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course maintenance with scissors on the 9th fairway. Great to experience first hand all the work that goes into keeping the course in good condition.

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Approach to 9th

9th green at kingbarns golf links
I hit a solid drive and was left with 180m to the green. Came up a little short, but got a birdie anyway. Nice way to finish the front nine which I played in 37 shots.

the back nine at kingsbarns

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10th, par 4

After a bite to eat from the halfway house it was time for the back nine. I had really enjoyed the first nine holes and was already in love with the course. The 10th is a short par 4 with a narrow landing area if you hit driver. I decided for driver and hit a good one, but I would play more safe from the tee next time as the landing area is quite small.
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The 10th green is big and I still manage to miss it even though I only had 90m – bad bad shot which resulted an opening bogey.
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11th par 4

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The 11th hole is quite a nice par 4 and a little tree lined. I hit the left hand bunker from the tee, but hit a good approach shot that came up just short of the green. Made par.
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Walking to the 12th hole I found this little sign

best par 5 at kingsbarns golf links

hole 12 at kingbarns golf links
12th Par 5

After the first 4 holes I texted one of my Scottish friends to tell him that I really liked the course already and all he texted back was – wait till you get to 12… and not surprisingly it is a beautiful hole.  It is rated the best par 5 in Scotland and as I havent played them all it is difficult to judge, but I can say for sure it is a good looking and well designed hole.

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12th green

I hit a solid drive that went a bit too far right, but was playable from the rough. I had 224m the pin and convinced myself that I did not come to Scotland to lay up. Hit a good 3 wood just short of the green which I converted to a birdie.

short but difficult par 3

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13th is a short, but yet tricky little par 3. Well protected by bunkers and basically you just want to be on the green. I didn’t manage and got a bogey.

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14th par 4

A really good par that requires a well placed tee shot. I was between driver and 3 wood and even though I had been driving well I mistakenly went for the 3 wood and ended up in the bunker – see below. Lesson learned.
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It was a good lie and plenty of room, so no big issue and still got a par.

best par 3 at kingsbarns golf links

the best par at kingbarns golf links
Hole 15, par 3

Definitely the best par 3 on the course and the pin was close to the front with wind against us. I hit an 8 iron and had a good birdie chance that was missed.
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16th par 5

A pretty wide fairway with good space up the left hand side.
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16th green

I went for the green in two, but just rolled off to the right and actually into the water. There is hardly any water hazards on the course, but this one was enough for me to find. I would still go for it again and still had a good par opportunity that I missed.

difficult par 4 17th hole at kingbarns golf links

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Hole 17, par 4

The 17th hole was to me one of the most difficult par 4s. It was playing uphill and into the wind with a lot of bunkers in play from the tee.
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approach to 17th

My drive was okay even though in the semi rough. I hit a 5 iron to the middle of the green and made par
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17th green

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18th par 4

The 18th hole at Kingsbarns golf links is a blind tee shot up the hill. Not a very long hole and not the best on the course or as a finishing hole.
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18th green

It is a nice approach shot with a water ditch in front and overlooking the sea. The green is quite big and even though I hit a poor drive it was still a relatively straight forward hole.

my experience

I shot 75 at Kingsbarns Golf Links and I was very pleased with how I played. The conditions could not have been better and I think it can be a completely different challenge with stronger winds. The course is just magnificent and high on my list of top courses. I will definitely be back again and will look forward to maybe plaing it from the back tees if the conditions are reasonable. A must play course if you are in the area.

my score

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