Crail Golfing Society formed in 1786 is the 7th oldest golf club in the world. The society has two amazing championship golf courses Balcomie Links and Craighead. Only a short drive from the village of Crail these links courses provide some challenging holes and superb panoramic views across the Firth of Forth.
Balcomie is a classic links course designed by the great man himself Old Tom Morris. The course which opened in 1895 has three par 5’s, six par 3’s and nine par 4’s producing a tough par 69. It’s seaside location provides players with some challenging shots over rocky bays and a par 3 perched on a cliff top with a sloping green. The wind is always a factor and then there is the gorse ready to claim that wayward shot. However despite it’s challenges a round at Balcomie should be on every golfers bucket list. Balcomie can boast some of Scottish Golf’s most scenic holes and provide the visitor with a round of golf which will stay in the memory for a very very very long time.
The picture below shows the short fourteenth hole on Balcomie one of golf’s iconic views. The large bunker is somewhere you don’t want to go if you can avoid it!
The clubhouse which is open to non members offers a range of meals, snacks and drinks all day. Perched high on a rock overlooking the 18th green on the Balcomie Course the clubhouse offer some spectacular views. As you look out to sea you can spot gannets from the nearby Bass Rock diving for fish, local lobster boats, and on a clear day the Bell Rock Lighthouse.
There is also a well stocked pro shop with a good range of clothing for all weathers. Equipment can be hired such as golf clubs, buggies, push trolleys. Caddies are also available by arrangement. Prices can be obtained from the club website.
Craighead was designed by golf architect Gil Hanse and opened in 1998. This is a challenging cliff-top course offering superb panoramic views over the Firth of Forth towards North Berwick and Berwick Law.
Craighead has four sets of tees red, blue, yellow and white providing lengths between 5340 and 6722 with pars 74 (red) 69 (blue) and 72 (yellow and white). With no two holes facing the same direction the wind is always a factor when playing this course. The second hole sets the scene, a 364 yard dog leg to the right with a sloping green and bunkers on either side.
Bordering the course is the old naval air station HMS Jackdaw, a World War 1 pill box behind the 7th green and Danes Dyke a 1200 year old defensive wall built by the Vikings and flanking the 13th and 14th Holes.
Craighead has been the venue for many international competitions recently hosting the Scottish Amateur Team Championships. Since 2011 the Battle Trophy is played hear annually.
Golfing in Crail
Both courses are a delight to play – truly a place to enjoy Scottish links golf at its finest.
- “Best kept secret and best bargain in all of golf”
- “Standing on the first tee affords you the first of many stunning views that you will experience as you make your way about the Balcomie course”
- “Balcomie Links: History with a dose of fun, scenic golf near St. Andrews”
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Other Golf Courses only a short drive from Crail and Sandcastle Cottage
There are a further five golf courses within a short drive of Crail making Sandcastle Cottage your ideal base for a golfing short break.
Kingsbarns Golf Links – Kingsbarns enjoys a top 100 worldwide ranking. This is a challenging links course situated along 1.8 miles of North sea coastline and only a few minutes drive from Crail on the A917. The course is open from April to October and hosts the European Tours Alfred Dunhill Links championship annually in October. Clubhouse restaurant facilities, equipment hire, buggies. Caddies by arrangement see website for details and booking.
Anstruther – Nine hole course with a challenging par 3 along the sea shore known to the locals as the “Rockies” This hole has also been voted the toughest par 3 in the UK. The golf club also has an excellent restaurant known as the Rockies. For more details and booking see website
Charleton near Colinsburgh – 18 hole parkland course with superb panoramic views over the Firth of Forth. Opened in 1994 by former President George Bush Senior. There is also a driving range. Clubhouse facilities providing drinks and snacks all day and buggies for hire. This is a pay and play course and players are advised to book in advance. For bookings and more information see the website.
Elie Golf House Club – 18 hole links course with excellent sea views as well as a six hole children’s course. The clubhouse has recently enjoyed a £1.25m refurbishment and offers excellent facilities for visitors to enjoy. There is also a sports club providing drinks and snacks into the evening. A well stocked Pro Shop has a wide range of golf wear, equipment as well as equipment hire. For bookings and more information see the website
Lundin Links – Lundin Golf Club 18 hole links course founded in 1868 on a Tom Morris Course. Extensively redesigned by James Braid in 1909. Narrow fairways, bunkers, burns and ever changing wind direction provides a testing but memorable golfing experience. Clubhouse facilities meals, drinks and snacks daily. Well stocked Pro Shop with golf wear, equipment hire including buggies. Caddies by arrangement. For further details and booking see the website
Self Catering or Staying in a Hotel or Guesthouse
A self catering short break in Sandcastle Cottage could be a very cost effective alternative to staying in hotel accommodation.
- You don’t have to get up in the morning for breakfast at a set time
- You can come back and relax in the house or garden at any time
- You have the flexibility to cook your own meals when you want and what you want
- There are plenty of shops in Crail only a short walk away see our blog Self Catering near St Andrews
- If you want to eat out there are restaurants/pubs within walking distance of the cottage
- There is a regular bus service 95 taking you St Andrews Bus Station which is only a short walk from all the golf courses.
- Free parking outside the cottage
- Free internet
- You are 20 minutes drive from 15 Golf Courses and two children’s courses
If you are planning a golfing holiday or short break and don’t want to pay hotel prices then self catering at Sandcastle Cottage may be an option for you. If you want to find out more about short break golfing weekends or mid week breaks then click on our website or call us at Sandcastle Holidays on 0131 476 4011. We are always happy to help.