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The Kingsbarns Golf Links folks envisioned that someday their brand new golf course would take its place alongside St. Andrew’s Old Course, Crail Balcomie Course and some of the other great golf courses in the Kingdom of Fife and became a “must play.” The first time I played it in 2001, I predicted it would happen. Well, it has—and fast!

Kingsbarns was opened only in July of 2000 (the week Tiger Woods won the Open Championship at St. Andrews) and it was immediately recognized as the best new golf course in the world. In addition to the accolades I’ve listed above, for the last two years it has been awarded Most Outstanding Golf Course by the Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association. In addition, Perry Golf’s customers rated it numero uno. PerryGolf is one of the most prestigious of all the golf tour operators.

A few years ago they added 6,000 gorse bushes in the rough areas which has made the golf course even more beautiful. Before you play it, however, realize it is the most expensive course in all of Fife. When I first played it in 2001 it had been opened less than a year and they were charging £105 for 18 holes. By 2002 I was paying £125. In 2008 it was £165. (Check out their website for the latest prices.) That’s more than triple the cost of many of the fine courses in the area. Consider this: The Old Course charges much less and it has more history, is in just as good shape and, though not as challenging a layout, is quite a good test of golf. (The Old Course is truly a “must play.”) In addition, Crail’s two terrific courses, Balcomie and Craighead, together are less than one-third of what Kingsbarns Golf Links charges and, for my money, are great fun to play. The same holds true with Lundin Golf Club. But Kingsbarns Golf Links is a magnificent course, I want to make that clear–surely one of the best in the world and certainly one of the best I’ve played. It’s a truly fine layout and some holes are absolutely outstanding. And for a golfing experience, it’s hard to beat. I’m only commenting on the price.

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