Crail Golfing Society
Balcomie Club House, Fifeness,
Crail, Fife KY10 3XN
Tel : +44 (0)1333 450278 Fax : +44 (0)1333 450416

11 kms southeast of St Andrews

Course Details

Course Name: Balcomie Links Holes: 18 Yardage: 5720 SSS: 68
Although this course (Balcomie Links) has a shorter yardage than the average course, the architect has used the most imaginative and adventurous blueprint, so that each golfer will file its successful challenge to memory. The greens and fairways are impeccably maintained. One can also enjoy the sea air and the panoramic view of the sea.
For an appreciation and independent view of this course please see golfer reviews.

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Course Name: Craigshead Holes: Yardage: SSS:
For an appreciation and independent view of this course please see golfer reviews.

press here for Crail Golfing Society course reviews

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Crail Golf Course in Fife

    john o neill wrote on: Jul 10, 2008

    played crail in 2007 found it to be a great place loved the course some great par 4`s as well as par 3`s would go back to play again


  • Crail (Balcomie)

    Geoff COLMER wrote on: Jan 26, 2005

    Loved this course. Is it the 5th that requires you to belt a driver over the beach and try and hit, what looks like, a tiny fairway. You've managed that feat, so, you then crack a fairway wood into the headwind leaving only a 9-iron into the greatly undulating par-4 green. Great. Unfortunately, I don't feel 15/16/17th are up to the quality of the rest of this marvellous golf course.


      • RE: Crail (Balcomie)

        John Campbell wrote on: Jun 20, 2007

        Yes, the 15th, 16th and 17th can be a small disappointment. Of course, this depends on the wind direction. All in all, Crail is in the top 5 of all the places I have played in Scotland. This is a "must play". The people are very polite and the course is unforgetable.
        John Campbell


  • Crail Golfing Society

    Barry Graham wrote on: Jun 21, 2004

    As a Glasgow-based member, I don't get to play nearly as often as I'd like, but I love this place. Talk about getting away from it all ...
    Craighead is a tough, uncompromising links ideal for the low handicapper, but for the romantics and/or high-handicappers, Balcomie is a dream. That's not to say it's easy - because it's not, although play straight and consistently and it won't punish you unfairly. What it is, is links golf at its beguiling best: beautifully wind-swept and interesting.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews Alister MacKenzie 09/01

    Alister MacKenzie wrote on: Aug 31, 2001

    Crail could and perhaps should have been one of the great golf courses of the British Isles. Sadly it isn't but it's not for the lack of trying. There is a real gem of a golf course inside trying to break out, unfortunately we only see glimpses of it. The first five holes are the first sign.
    Although I wasn't particularly impressed with the opener, it's a quick getaway. The second through the large sand hills gives you a taster of what is about to follow. The third is a nothing hole stood on the tee, but once on the green you realise how good it is. This can be said about every one of Crails one-shooters, they don't look of any particular note whilst on the tee box, but once on the green you can see how good they are. The fourth is an effective hole along the coast. The fifth is one of the best holes I have played, a slight dogleg over the sea (if you dare) and approach to a green in the distance. The drive is awe-inspiring and if you do hit the fairway you can be forgiven for bailing out with you second.
    The middle part of the course is a bit tame, the highlight being the 12th green. Two par threes follow; one up the hill and one back down, both well built holes. After the excitement of the 14th you have a walk almost along the shore to the 15th tee. Whilst walking round you get a sense of anticipation for what should follow, for what should be a majestic finale.
    Sadly this is not the case, after the successive par threes you have a drivable par four, another par three, a bland par four and then yet another par three to finish with. Such an anti-climax.
    Crail is a lovely course. It starts fabulously, teeters off then has a poor finish. It is a shame it doesn't follow through on its obvious potential. Still comes highly ecommended.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews David Halliday Handicap 13 (

    David Halliday Handicap 13 wrote on: Nov 30, 2000

    I have lived in Crail for all the years of my life and have layed golf since I was about 6. I think it is one of the best courses around and the new course Craighead is a must play course for someone looking for a challenge.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews Ulf Johansson 9/00

    Ulf Johansson wrote on: Aug 31, 2000

    Overall the impression of Balcomie is one of a course of high standard, with fine greens, links character and excellent views. However the course is quite uneven and mixes very challenging holes with very simple ones. While the front nine is challenging and very good, the back nine, especially the last four holes, are quite average and not very demanding.
    The course also feels very 'tight' in the respect that you feel very close, in a negative
    way, to your fellow golfers on the course. Thus, a fore seems never far away. The
    same is of course true for many of the other famous links courses but it seemed more
    so here.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews chris.nicki 8/00

    chris.nicki wrote on: Jul 31, 2000

    What a fantastic golfing experience! Make sure you pay a visit to this beautifully maintained links. Hells hole will stick in the memory for all who play as will the impeccable greens. Also dont forget to check out the clubhouse and take in the history of this great golf society. Having played golf for 20 years I have not played anywhere better.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews John King, Norway 05/00

    John King, Norway wrote on: Apr 30, 2000

    I hadn't played at Balcomie since I was a boy of 14. Almost 26 years later this was a wonderful experience from a great old course. Testing yet generous this is an ideal visit for golfers of all standards. Views are stunning and the atmosphere is just great. Breathe it in! Have a look at the stuff in the clubhouse cabinets.
    Then, once you have warmed up go play the new Craighead Links. Again a great course but very new. Features a good layout with superbly conditioned contoured and bunkered greens. Rather reminiscent of R. Portrush or R. St George's from 50 yards in. A great test with a rather interesting wall on the back nine and great use of the coastline on 13/14. Could benefit from mounding and planting in the rough to give more definition off the tees (which could be elevated more), the wall could be opened just to give a peak of what lies beyond on 11 and 15, but a potentially great new course, well worth playing.
    Then back to the relaxed clubhouse and the great view and refreshments. What a package!


  • Europe Golf courses reviews B H T 05/00

    B H T wrote on: Apr 30, 2000

    Its nice to see so many American visitors detailing their experiences of the Balcomie Links at Crail. My friends and I, we're from Glasgow, have an annual trip to Fife and a 4 round competition known as The Balcomie Masters. We play for a 'jacket' (probably heard that one before) known as The Balcomie Blazer.
    It is some achievement to win this after 4 rounds. We play over 2 days. Some years the wind has been howling from the North in the morning then from the South in the afternoon. Some years, 75 degrees and blue skies on the Monday then horizontal rain on the Tuesday. We love it! There's now a second course at Crail. The Craighead Links. Word of Warning, if you can't hit straight, take plenty of balls. The rough is so tall that we found a Japanese soldier who didn't know the war was over in it! Respect and Good Golf


  • Europe Golf courses reviews Terry and Lindsay Glusko 11/98

    Terry and Lindsay Glusko wrote on: Oct 31, 1998

    The links course outside this small, almost sleeping town is, in my experience the best golf experience I may ever have. The ocean views are almost as close as you will get, without swimming. The greens are wicked and like moonscapes. The clubhouse is very relaxing with more ways than one to warm you after your round. I visited in late September 1997, my timeshare (Kilconquahar Estates) holds a golf tournament there weekly for the guests of that week. (Wednesdays). I won that week, my prize being a bottle of Jameson whiskey from the resort pub. (Definitely the highlight of my infamous career). This was a quarter of the price of the old course and much truer links terrain. I will be sure to return. Hope to see you there.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews David Gibbs 9/98

    David Gibbs wrote on: Aug 31, 1998

    I played this course a couple of years ago in early October. The rain was blowing horizontally and I was the only player on the course for the entire front nine. It is a beautiful course with the ocean breaking on the rocks on several of the early holes. It has some tough uphill par fours made even tougher when hitting into the wind. I can't wait to play it again.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews P.V. Griffin II 9/98

    P.V. Griffin II wrote on: Aug 31, 1998

    We were staying in the village of Crail and asked our innkeeper about some of the local places that he would recommend. Without hesitation he recommended Balcomie Links. I am very glad we asked. We played Balcomie Links on a very blustery day in July and found it to be a wonderful experience. The scenic beauty is in a class all its own. The first five holes are located right on the bluffs overlooking the North Sea. Breathtakingly beautiful. The greens were very good and true. There were a couple of severe changes in terrain so be prepared for a couple of good climbs, especially after leaving 18 and heading back to the clubhouse. It is a short but very good test of golf, especially with the wind blowing as hard as it was on this day. Absolutely wonderful golfing experience.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews Bill McGregor 9/98

    Bill McGregor wrote on: Aug 31, 1998

    Nice little golf course, much narrower than I am used to. Ability to hit straight vital. If you slice your tee shots bring plenty of balls. Nice variation in terrain but watch-out for the climb back to the clubhouse. All in all recommended.


  • Europe Golf courses reviews Jan Flygh 9/98

    Jan Flygh wrote on: Aug 31, 1998

    Nice course well suited for the 18 and downwards handicapper as one has to be able to hit long shots on the up-hill par threes.


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