Kingsbarns nudges its way into course elite

The aerial view over Kingsbarn's 17th.
The aerial view over Kingsbarn's 17th.

North east Fife’s Kingsbarns Golf Links has recorded an unprecedented leap in one of the industry’s most respected course rankings.

The European Tour venue has leaped 10 places to enter Golf World magazine’s top 10 UK courses which firmly establishes it as one of the country’s finest.

The hike is published in the July issue of the magazine which features the listing in a dedicated golf travel supplement featuring a more transparent marking system and modified set of criteria.

“Kingsbarns has had a strong presence in the top 100 since it became one of the list’s highest-ever entries immediately after it opened,” explained Chris Bertram, Golf World’s Top 100 editor.

“There has always been a great deal of fondness for the links, with plenty among the panel eager to see it rise into the top 10.

“One of the benefits of the newly-adopted marking system is its ability to pinpoint themes more accurately.

“Kingsbarns scored predictably highly in the aesthetics category but also in terms of its overall design and memorability.

“For more than one panellist, it was in their top three and its entry into the top 10 feels like a move that will become established rather than fleeting.”

Kingsbarns, which has co-hosted the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for over a decade and will stage the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2017, has become a firm favourite among both panellists and some of the world’s greatest golfers.

Three-times Major winner Rory McIlroy described it as “a great golf course”, while Scot Colin Montgomerie said “all 18 holes at Kingsbarns are wonderful”.

As Kingsbarns chief executive Alan Hogg pointed out, the move is especially significant given the calibre of courses it joins.

“We are delighted to be recognised in such a prestigious list with some of the very best golf courses in the world,” he said.

“I think it is especially significant that we moved so many places within the top 20 itself.

“To rise up so far in one edition represents a remarkable endorsement from the highly experienced and knowledgeable Golf World panellists.

“It’s not something we take lightly.”