The newest addition to the world’s links courses and Fife golf is a worthy one and already garnering accolades and high ratings. Over a decade in the planning stages to ensure the best possible outcome, Dumbarnie Golf Links has quickly become a “must play” on any St. Andrews golf trip.
Founded, developed and designed by former DP World Tour professional and European Ryder Cup team member, Clive Clark, the course sits in between Lundin Golf Club and The Golf House Club at Elie along 1.5 miles of pristine coastline. Players enjoy magnificent sea views from 14 holes across Largo Bay and the famous Firth of Forth to Muirfield and the courses of East Lothian.
The 345-acre site is unique and part of The Balcarres Estate and gardens, a 5,000 acre tract of land that has been in the Balniel family for over 400 years. After initial skepticism, the current Lord Balniel and his interest in the project was key, Helping to get this once-in-a-lifetime tract of land through multiple planning processes to fruition as a world-class links layout.
Clark designed the course to inspire rather than intimidate players. With a variety of tees stretching from 5,300 to 7,600 from the “pro” tees, there is plenty of challenge and enjoyment in every weather condition and for any level of golfer. The fairways are generous and bordered by rough that isn’t too punishing for wayward drives affected by the constant wind. There is enough variety to ensure the course is memorable from the first outing and still fun to play on the 100th time.
The natural topography of the land and its dual elevation allowed for elevated tees with stunning views down to the Firth, especially at holes 6, 8 and 9. Three potential drivable par 4s at holes 3,11 and 17. The drivable par 4s are especially key in giving players the option of “going for it” as a risk/reward, especially in a tight match.
The bunkering, as well as the dune separation, are all manmade and rather than a singular style found on many designs, the bunkers at Dumbarnie come in all shapes and sizes. From penalizing small revetted pot bunkers to large waste areas. The green complexes feature large runoff areas allowing for creativity in shotmaking.
Dumbarnie golf was created as a welcoming facility to all golfers and as such is operated as a daily fee course and open to visitors on the weekends. Located less than 12 miles from St Andrews, this Fife golf course is in high demand and it is recommended to make advance bookings. As the Kingdom of Fife endures a cold, dry winter adverse to grass growing conditions, Dumbarnie closes from late fall to mid-April. This ensures the highest quality maintenance standards when it is available for play.
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