1st and 2nd holes on the Balcomie LinksBalcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society

Balcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society
Crail Golfing Society
Balcomie Clubhouse
KY10 3XN

Phone(s): +44 (0) 1333 450686, +44 (0) 1333 450960
Fax: +44 (0) 1333 450416
Website: crailgolfingsociety.co.uk

The Scots associate golf with Crail almost as closely as they do St. Andrews. Founded in 1786, The Crail Golfing Society is the seventh oldest in the world. Crail Golfing Society oversees operation of two amazing links layouts. The older of the two, Balcomie Links, first appears in the historical records in 1859. The original eight holes, which were first built by the farmer who owned the dune-cluttered seaside property, were eventually redesigned by Old Tom Morris, who also added 10 more holes. While the 5922-yard, par-69 Balcomie Links is the epitome of seaside links, with its shorter yardages and quaint eccentricities, the new 6,728-yard, par-71 Craighead Links is a completely modern design with all the features of classical links courses. Golfers visiting Scotland simply cannot play two more picturesque seaside links courses on the same property. --Kiel Christianson

Balcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society
3.5 stars out of 5 (based on 5 reviews)
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The 1st and 2nd holes on the Balcomie LinksA look at the 13th & 14th at Crail Golfing SocietyA view of the 3rd green at Balcomie Links Course from Crail Golfing SocietyA view of the clubhouse from green #1 at Balcomie Links Course from Crail Golfing Society1st tee on the Balcomie Links ( Photo by Kiel Christianson )

Golf course details

  • Holes: 18
  • Designed by: Old Tom Morris
  • Year opened: 1895
  • Golf Season: Year round
  • Guest Policy: Welcomed during specific times daily
  • Tee times welcomed: Yes
  • Fairways:
  • Greens:


  • Pro in house: Yes
  • Driving range:
  • Rental clubs: Yes
  • Rental carts: Yes

Green fees price ranges

Course policies

  • Metal spikes allowed:
  • Dress code:
  • Credit cards accepted:

Length, slope and rating for each tee

Tee Par Length Slope Rating
White 69 5861 yd. 0 0
Yellow 67 5402 yd. 0 0
Red (W) 72 5207 yd. 0 0

Reader Ratings / Reviews

  • Balcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society
    1 stars out of 5
    by Rebecca C Holder
    on December 31st, 2015 08:39
    Some courses are often overlooked through their location; Silloth on Solway comes to mind along with Old Moray and some such as Crail get a little bit too much of the limelight. Whereas those mentioned above are slightly 'out-on-a-limb' geographically which is why they aren't rated higher the opposite is true about Crail: it is slap-bang on the golf-tourist trail around St Andrews and as a result gets too many ill-informed visitors. Sure, it's a nice sight that greets one on the first tee looking out across the Firth of Forth but at the same time the whole of the front nine is equally visible from the first tee; and that's not a good thing. The course is hemmed-in and as such it is very short. I played with three other ladies in Sept 2015 (our handicaps are myself off +1, scratch, two and three) and we were very under-whelmed. None of us used a driver more than four times in the round and yet our worse score was a one under-par 71 in a two-club wind (there's even a 200 yard par 4 for heaven's sake!) I'd say if any of my group played Crail as a home course we'd all play off scratch at the very worse and I'd be off +4 and there lies the problem: whether playing off the men's or ladies' tees the par and SSS are totally inaccurate. This should be a par-67 for the ladies and it's no wonder a kid of 12 won the ladies club championship this year; she'd struggle to play to 15 on any decent length track or with a properly accurate SSS at this course. It's fine for holiday golf but Crail is vastly over-rated and for reasons that puzzle me.
  • Balcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society
    2.5 stars out of 5
    by Andy M
    on October 02nd, 2014 08:08
    Played both courses on the same day. Really enjoyed the Craighead links in the morning, a very strong course that proved to be a really good test of all aspects of your game. The back 9 of Craighead was fantastic. However we played Balcomie in the afternoon and it felt like a pitch and putt course. It was busy with people everywhere, often on your fairway. There were 2 or 3 utterly magnificent holes, with drives across beaches and bays, but there were too many featureless holes with shared playing areas. Still, fun to play, very unique and friendly place.
  • Balcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society
    5 stars out of 5
    by oc1001
    on May 06th, 2014 10:38
    20 minutes away from St. Andrews, these two courses are truly hidden gems. You will truly appreciate Balcomie only if you play in the cold, windy rain. A beast of a course at 5800 yards! Craighead has spectacular views and a deceptive but great layout. Both courses compliment each other and I feel fortunate to have played there.
  • Balcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society
    5 stars out of 5
    by Andrew Silfen
    on July 21st, 2009 08:41
    Please do not be put off by its length. This is as beautiful a course you will ever play. You will use every club in your bag and watch the weather redefine the word everchanging. What a fantastic course you will be thinking of sherlock holmes as you finish the back 9 amongst the greenery only Arthur Conan Doyle could aptly describe.
  • Balcomie Links at Crail Golfing Society
    4.5 stars out of 5
    by kielc
    on August 19th, 2008 10:44
    Balcomie Links is precisely what you think of when you think of Scottish links golf. Brilliant vistas, historic pedigree, some very tough holes, some quirky holes, and some holes that depend completely on the weather and wind. A must-play for anyone visiting Fife!
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