Crail Golfing Society

Balcomie Links,

Crail, Fife KY10 3XN

  • Office

    +44 (0)1333 450 686
  • Pro shop

    +44 (0)1333 450 960
  • Fax

    +44 (0)1333 450 416
  • Golf pro

    David Snodgrass (Head Professional)

About the course

  • The Course:

    18 holes. Seaside links. Undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb

  • Surroundings:

    Coastal duneland.

  • Designer:

    Balcomie Links - Old Tom Morris (1895). Craighead Links - Gil Hanse (1998).

SSS or slope

At the same location:

Above distances are for the Balcomie Links. Also at Crail is the 18-hole Craighead Links (par-72; 6722 yds from back tees; the first solo design of famous course architect Gil Hanse; 1997).






How to get there:

11 miles SE of St Andrews

From the centre of St Andrews take the A917 direction Crail. After 10.7 miles turn left at the "Golf Hotel" T-junction in the centre of Crail. After 2 miles golf is in front of you.

Crail Golfing Society (Balcomie Links)

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.

Est. 1786

Crail Golfing Society (Balcomie Links): Here at the world's 7th oldest golfing society, you'll find two 18-hole courses. The celebrated Balcomie Links plays to a par of 69, much shorter than its less renowned par-72 companion, the Craighead Links. If you play all 36 holes, you'll have gone a long way to discovering the full array of sea and coastal views offered by Fife Ness, the most easterly tip of Fife.

The Balcomie Links follows the north-facing seashore on its early holes, with sandy bays and rocky outcrops just an errant drive away on your right. At the dangerously doglegging, par-4 5th (Hell's Hole) you must make up your mind whether to carry the beach or take the safer way round. (From Hell Hole's green, the 12th green of Kingsbarns Links is just 1 km away).

This ever scenic, treeless, undulating layout is never more open than on a wide slope that contains the parallel-running 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th holes. Here the rough is usually not too penal, presenting the opportunity to capitalise on a solid opening score.

The final stretch might look inviting, with four par-3s in the closing six holes, but don't underestimate the card-wrecking potential of some of them. The long uphill par-3 13th is followed by the "signature" par-3 14th, a small and isolated chapel-like building giving the heavily bunkered green its unmistakable backdrop.

The final-four are tucked away behind the clubhouse, where Fife Ness faces eastward onto the cold North Sea. Although short by modern standards, Balcomie's unspoilt openness and wonderful coastal views, ensure it remains one of the Kingdom's most popular and visited courses.

List of courses: Home of Golf


Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.

Must book in advance. Handicap required

Green fees

Visitor fee, 18-holes in high season (May thru' Sept) on Balcomie Links: £120 (all days); on Craighead course £90; day ticket £150.

Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2022].

Other information

Players generally walk this course. Golf carts available for hire. Caddies available if pre-booked.

Practice facilities


Did you know?

Crail Golfing Society, the seventh oldest golf club in the world, was instituted by eleven "gentleman in and about the Town of Crail" on February 23, 1786. The original 8-hole course at Sauchope Links (no longer used for golf) were complemented by a further 8-holes on the Balcomie Links at Fifeness, just outside Crail. In 1895 Old Tom Morris designed an 18-hole layout for the Balcomie Links, creating a links course that is regarded as one of Scotland's finest.

The Club's adjoining Craighead Links, built to reduce increasing pressure on the Balcomie Links, was designed by Gil Hanse of Pennsylvania and first opened for play in 1997.

Published ranking

Balcomie Links:
Scotland's 54th best course (Golf World, 2022).
Britain & Ireland's 176th best course (Golf World, 2022).


  • Balcomie Links Hotel2-star

    Balcomie Road, Crail, Fife KY10 3TN

    +44 (0)1333 450 237

    Visit website

    This family run hotel situated on the outskirts of Crail offers you a comfortable base to explore the beauty of the East coast of Fife.

    • Golf at this hotel:


    • Golf within 5 miles:

      Crail (Balcomie and Craighead Links); Kingsbarns

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Lundin; Leven; Elie; Ladybank; Fairmont St Andrews (Torrance and Devlin courses); St Andrews Links (x7 courses); St Andrews (Duke's course); Scotscraig (22 miles).

  • The Golf Hotel3-star

    4 High Street, Crail, Fife KY10 3TN

    +44 (0)1333 450 206

    Visit website

    The Golf Hotel, situated in the heart of the historic town of Crail in the East Neuk of Fife, is a grade A listed coaching inn and is said to be one of the oldest licensed inns in Scotland, built in 1721. The hotel has been tastefully refurbished to enhance its original features, whilst providing guests with the comfortable, modern accommodation.

    • Golf at this hotel:


    • Golf within 5 miles:

      Crail (Balcomie and Craighead Links); Kingsbarns

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Lundin; Leven; Elie; Ladybank; Fairmont St Andrews (Torrance and Devlin courses); St Andrews Links (x7 courses); St Andrews (Duke's course); Scotscraig (22 miles).

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