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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 252
T HE original 9-hole Kingsbarns course from 1793 is now long gone, and it took until the third layout of holes on the links land – Kingsbarns Golf Links designed by Kyle Phillips and opened in 2000 – for golf to find a permanent home here. Highly-praised Kingsbarns hosts its maiden major championship this week and players and spectators of the Ricoh Women’s British Open alike will find a combination of traditional links golf and characteristics more commonly found on inland courses. High dunes and mounds covered in thick gorse and long grasses surround many of the wide, rippled fairways that appear as if shaped not by the earth moving equipment used by Phillips, but rather by winds whipping off the North Sea running along the entire Eastern border of the course. Although the burns, pot bunkers and huge putting surfaces will remind golfers of the Old Course at St Andrews located to the North, the dense stands of trees found in parts of the back nine are a relatively foreign entity in traditional seaside Scottish golf. Kingsbarns is unlikely to play to its maximum 7,224-yard length, making club selections and placement key for players as they look to navigate their way around the risk-reward layout where strong winds are inevitably a factor. And while the front nine offers scoring opportunities and beautiful views of the coastline, it is the stunning and challenging back nine that will surely prove decisive on the former land of kings. Beginning at the par-4 11th [pictured] is a stretch of holes that will require players to hold their nerve and showcases Kingsbarns unique style as the woods encompassing the nearby Cambo Estate come into play for the first time.
GA Express 251
GA Express 253