Kingsbarn Golf Vacations

By Jim & Barbara Nicol

King's Barn

Scotland's newest links course, Kingsbarns GolfLinks, officially opened the week following the 2000 British Open, but its golf origins date back to 1793. Basic seaside golf was played there until World War II broke out and the Ministry of Defense took over the land for military maneuvers. Later the golfing ground, with its ideal conditions for a true links course, sat waiting for someone with the vision and the means to make something happen.

The land was leased several years ago by an American group, and led by American designer Kyle Phillips, the course was designed with championship tournaments in mind. A special relationship was also forged with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. The exceptional new Kingsbarns, located just six miles from St. Andrews, is truly a tribute to its rich Scottish links heritage.

A links course through and through, with the North Sea is in view on each and every one of the 18 holes and in play on one, the ground is firm and fast. The 17th is a par four of 480 yards from the back tee, and surges parallel to the sea toward a green set on ground slightly higher than the fairway. The fairway is full of humps and bumps and in a wind - almost always present on a links - the hole will test anybody. Even Tiger Woods.

Sir Michael Bonallack, R&A captain, puts it all in perspective:

"Mere words cannot convey just how extraordinary the place is. It must be seen to be believed. And once seen it will never be forgotten."