Despite COVID-19 restrictions preventing a full opening of all facilities, and limiting play to local residents, the Dumbarnie Links near St Andrews in Fife opened for play in late May.
Designed by former Ryder Cup player Clive Clark, the public access course is built upon land that is part of the historic Balcarres Estate and set along the north shore of the Firth of Forth.
Scotland’s newest links features views across the Firth toward golfing hotbeds Gullane and North Berwick.
According to the golf course website:
The aim of Dumbarnie Links is to provide a world-class, prestigious golf course on a site of genuine links land that is only minutes away from St Andrews, the “Home of Golf” coupled with service standards that do justice to the quality of the experience.
This incredible piece of land has a mile and a half of sea frontage with panoramic views over the Firth of Forth.
At first glance Dumbarnie Links may have the appearance of the style of the classic links courses where The Open Championship has been played since 1860. However, the extensive 345-acre site at Dumbarnie is particularly special. Its dual elevations, which are connected by a flowing escarpment, have provided the opportunity to create a number of elevated tees where holes play directly towards panoramic views of the expansive Firth of Forth. A further outstanding feature is that a number of tees and greens are in close proximity to the water. In fact, fourteen of the holes have views of the Bay and the Firth of Forth.
The design incorporates three potentially driveable Par-4s and features several holes that engender 'risk and reward'. This course is designed to inspire rather than intimidate golfers. Total yardage for the golf course varies from 5,300 to 6,900 yards. However, there is a special set of professional tees positioned such that should an event be held at Dumbarnie sometime in the future, there are 12 extra tees whereby the course can measure up to 7,600 yards.
Dumbarnie Links is part of The Balcarres Estate which is owned by Lord Balniel. The 5000-acre Estate has been in Lord Balniel’s family for more than 400 years and the distinctiveness of this piece of land dates back to the 16th Century. The Balcarres House is also part of the Estate and is based on a mansion built in 1595 by John Lindsay, second son of David, the 9th Earl of Crawford. The buildings and formal gardens are preserved as being of special historic interest; hence the proposed location for the golf course is unquestionably rare and will be associated with a piece of history in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Once COVID-19 travel restrictions end and golf tourism into the UK can resume apace, it will be interesting to watch progress at Dumbarnie and see whether golfers include the course as part of their Fife itinerary.
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