For those whom the sea brings a sense of calm on the golf course, Kingsbarns may bring you to a complete standstill. Kingsbarns is a course where the sea can be seen from every single hole. Hence the motto on Kingsbarns’ crest: “Embracing the sea”.
It has been designed as a true links; but incorporating modern architectural ideals. The modern course designer often works with less initially promising sites, but has the ability to sculpt the landscape to suit his purpose. In this case, Phillips had a magnificent site and the vision to bring it to life.
It is his ability to harmonise Kingsbarns, taking the best of both schools yet blending them together, that sets its apart and makes it arguably the finest new course to open in Britain in the past 50 years.
Make no mistake, Kingsbarns looks and plays like a links – but don’t expect to be confronted by a mixture of the eccentric and the blind like you might find on many other courses around here. On most occasions, the challenge – as well as the ocean – is clearly visible from the tee. Ruggedness is combined with more manicured beauty.
The greens are huge, and most of them severely undulating making four putts a distinct possibility if you don’t put your faith in the yardage book. There is a distinct premium on strategy here, despite the length from the back tees, with holes often designed so that they can be played in two different ways. Risk and reward is a common theme.
What makes Kingsbarns so rewarding, aside from the setting, is the fact that visually it looks so challenging yet it is eminently playable for all levels of golfer and you will rarely leave feeling defeated by the course (we can’t promise the same when it comes to the elements!).