Crail Golfing Society

86%
Rating

About the Club

One of the world's oldest golf clubs, Crail Golfing Society was founded in February 1786 and initially comprised membership of just 11 local golfers. The club's original home was located at Sauchope just outside the picturesque fishing village of Crail and it was not until 1895, with the help of Old Tom Morris, that they relocated to their present home at Balcomie Golf Links.

With the hardships of the First World War, the local town council had to come to the rescue of the club when they took over the lease of the links, which they eventually purchased in 1924. And as with many Scottish courses, the links was requisitioned for military use during the Second World War but by 1946, golf at Balcomie Links was restored. Jointly run by both the council and the club for a time, in 1973 Crail Golf Club purchased the entire facility for the sum of ?30,000.

Crail boasts two links golf courses - the Craighead Links and the Balcomie Links. And while both are excellent tests, it is the Balcomie Links that is recognised as the slightly better layout. Even with a par of 69, the Balcomie Links at Crail is not particularly long but it is a truly beautiful venue with superb views of the sea from every tee. The course is always in immaculate condition and boasts crisp links turf and greens, which can become dangerously fast during the summer months. Far removed from the bustle of everyday life, many fairways climb and tumble alongside the water's edge and the rocky outcrops of the Forth shore.

As befits a classic links, each hole has its own character - a feature that always ensures a fascinating round of golf. The successive par fours at the 4th and 5th offer tempting shortcuts across the shoreline, with the latter aptly called "Hell's Hole", representing a fearsome 459-yard par four, where it's make your mind up time as to whether you try to carry the beach or take the sensible way around. Measuring less than 3,000 yards, the homeward journey offers some of the finest short holes anywhere and the memory of the back-to-back 13th and 14th will linger for a long time. Like many top courses, the last few holes will test the most accomplished golfer but no matter how well or badly you fare, you will remember Crail as a stunning golfing experience.

Directions

Air If you are making a golfing tour of courses in Scotland you will not necessarily want to land at, or fly from, the closest airport to Crail. Thus information is given here on all the airports in Scotland.

Dundee airport is the nearest to Crail (25 miles) but it is small and offers only connections within the UK. Scottish Airways offers return flights to Dundee from London City Airport and Flywhoosh offers return flights from Belfast and Birmingham.

Edinburgh airport (51 miles) and Glasgow airport (94 miles) provide a wide range of UK and international connections. Car hire is available at both airports.

Aberdeen airport (94 miles) has direct connections to many European countries.

Prestwick airport (117 miles) provides connections to many European countries. Ryanair operates cheap return flights to Prestwick from London Stanstead.

Inverness airport (166 miles) is the farthest from Crail. It handles UK flights only.

EasyJet operates cheap return flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness from London Gatwick and to Aberdeen from London Luton.

Rail The main east coast line from London to Aberdeen passes through Fife. The nearest station to Crail is Leuchars (16 miles) but if you wish to arrange car hire then Dundee would be more convenient. The National Rail Enquiries website will help you plan your journey.

Road There are two main roads from England into Scotland. On the west the A74 crosses the border at Gretna, and becomes the M74 as it nears Glasgow. This would normally be the route used if you travelled up through England on the M6 motorway to Carlisle. On the east the A1 enters Scotland at Berwick-upon-Tweed and follows the coast round to Edinburgh.

Sea If you are travelling from Europe it is worth considering using the Zeebrugge to Rosyth car ferry. Rosyth is only 40 miles from Crail and provides an excellent central location for starting and finishing a trip to Scotland. This service is operated by Superfast Ferries. From Northern Ireland there are ferries from Belfast to Stranraer (169 miles from Crail), operated by Stena Line , and from Larne to Cairnryan (163 miles) and Troon (117 miles), both operated by P&O Irish Sea .
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Latest Player Rounds

William's image
Balcomie Links - Whites
SCORE: 108 SP: 23
Alain's image
Balcomie Links - Whites
SCORE: 107 SP: 18
Keith's image
Craighead Links
SCORE: 87 SP: 38
David's image
Balcomie Links - Whites
SCORE: 94 SP: 32

Courses & Scorecards

Balcomie Links - Whites

When you walk the splendid Balcomie Links, you are following in the footsteps of thousands of golfers over the last two centuries. As you do so, you will no doubt experience the same enjoyment as they did, for Balcomie is a beautiful course, not too long and full of interest with magnificent views of the sea from every tee.

Several of the fairways wind alongside golden sandy bays and rocky outcrops of the Firth foreshore. They come into play at the 2nd, 4th and Hell's Hole - the 5th, where you must make up your mind whether to carry the beach or take the east way round.

You will love the challenge and no doubt take with you everlasting memories of the 13th and 14th. Like so many top courses, the last few holes will test you, but no matter how badly you fare, you will remember Balcomie as one of your finest days on any golf course.

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69/72
PAR
70
SSS
5402
YARDS
Hole
Par
Par 2
SI
Yds
1
4
4
15
322
2
5
5
5
493
3
3
3
13
177
4
4
4
9
354
5
4
5
1
447
6
3
3
17
188
7
4
4
7
346
8
4
4
3
419
9
4
4
11
306
Hole
Par
Par 2
SI
Yds
10
4
4
6
336
11
5
5
10
494
12
5
5
14
525
13
3
4
2
214
14
3
3
16
147
15
4
4
18
264
16
3
3
8
162
17
4
5
4
462
18
3
3
12
205

Craighead Links

In 1998, we added a second course, Craighead and this now looks set to join Balcomie as one of the "must play" courses in Scotland.

American designer Gil Hanse studies, plays and is a mine of information on Scottish courses and Craighead features many of the best aspects of Scottish classic links.

It has panoramic seascapes and country views and is perfectly located just south of the present clubhouse.

Gil has made this a testing but fair challenge, however be warned - there are hungry bunkers aplenty. No two consecutive holes face the same direction and with constantly changing conditions, there is enough of a variety of shots to test any golfers ability. We think you will agree that Craighead is a worthy neighbour of Balcomie.

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71/71
PAR
70
SSS
6250
YARDS
Hole
Par
Par 2
SI
Yds
1
5
5
9
0
2
4
4
5
0
3
4
4
17
0
4
4
4
1
0
5
3
3
11
0
6
5
5
7
0
7
3
3
15
0
8
5
5
3
0
9
4
4
13
0
Hole
Par
Par 2
SI
Yds
10
4
4
16
0
11
4
4
4
0
12
4
4
12
0
13
3
3
18
0
14
4
4
2
0
15
5
5
8
0
16
4
4
14
0
17
3
3
6
0
18
4
4
10
0

Reviews by players

image of Patrick Muir
Too short a track even for a 15 year-old girl
Balcomie Links - Whites
P Muir (HC: 1.0)
58%
5
Value
5
Course
6
Greens
6
Welcome

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Played it in a one-club wind with my 15yo daughter (handicaps are +1 and she's off 3). She skated round in 69 without having to use her driver all day so it wasn't too taxing and neither of us could figure out how the par was 72 for the ladies; just as baffling was the SSS69 off the men's back tees. Too many short holes (six par 4s of less than 300 yards for the ladies) which makes the par 72 even more unbelievable. I read somewhere that the ladies club champion played off 10 which would be 15 or 16 anywhere else. It's a decent start with nice views for the first few holes before it turns inland but too many par 3s and a silly 200 yard par 4 from the red tees (13th hole). I shot 66 without breaking sweat and using the driver just four times. It made a pleasant interlude from the longer and more challenging nearby tracks such as St Andrews New and Jubilee course and of course Kingsbarns and I'd say Crail is fortunate to be located so close to these great courses for without that there would be few who would make the trip. Ideal for holiday, fun golf and for the double-figure handicap players whether male or female but not for the serious golfer. Sorry everyone but I'd give it 2 stars out of 5 for the test of golf.

Favourite Hole: 18

Last Played: 06 September 2015.

Reviewed: 26/11/2015
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Club facilities

Club HouseHas a Club House
Club Hire offers Club Hire
Putting GreenHas a Putting Green
Pro ShopHas a Pro Shop
Practice AreaHas a Practice Area
Club BarHas a Club Bar
Driving RangeHas a Driving Range
RestaurantHas a Restaurant
Trolley Hire offers Trolley Hire
Changing has Changing Rooms
Buggy Hire offers Buggy Hire
Lessons can provide Lessons

Green fees

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