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DESIGNER: Old Tom Morris
PAR: 69
SSS (Course Rating): 69
TYPE: Links

One of the world's oldest golf clubs, Crail Golfing Society was founded in February 1786 and initially comprised membership of 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 did they relocate 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. 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. Crail was run jointly by both the council and the club until 1973 when Crail Golf Club purchased the entire facility from the council for the sum of 30,000.

Located 11 miles from its famous sister courses at St. Andrews, the Balcomie Links at Crail, though not particularly long, 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 though can become frighteningly fast during the summer months, always remain true. Far removed from the bustle of everyday life, many holes 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, which always ensures a fascinating round of golf. The 4th and 5th offer tempting shortcuts across the shoreline, with the latter, aptly called "Hell's Hole", representing a fearsome 459-yard par 4, where it's make your mind up time as to whether you try to carry the beach or take the sensible way around.

Like many top courses, the last few holes will test even the most accomplished golfer. With some of the finest short holes anywhere, the memory of the back-to-back 13th and 14th will linger for a long time. But no matter how well or badly you fare, every golfer will remember Crail as a stunning golfing experience.


Rusacks Hotel (20 minutes), Scores Hotel (20 minutes), St. Andrews Old Course Hotel (20 minutes), Carnoustie Golf Course Hotel (1 hour), Gleneagles Hotel (75 minutes)

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