Crail Golfing Society

Crail is a perfect day of contrasting links. This is the olde worldly Old Tom Morris gem.

Crail Golfing Society

Fife, KY10 3XN, Scotland


Famous for its boathouse near the first green of the Balcomie Links, the historic Royal Navy training school on the approach to the club is the best-preserved RNAS in the world!

The club still plays for the Lindesay Medal, dating from 1830, making it one of the oldest medals in golf!

Course Review
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Golf Course Review

Crail Golfing Society dates from 1786 when 11 gentlemen established the Crail Golfing Society on the 23rd of February. Crail Golfing Society is the 7th oldest golf club in the world!

The links consisted of 12 holes until they were extended and in play in about 1900. There was also a nine-hole course known as Sauchope Links associated with the club closer to town. The stretch upon which the links once stood is now a holiday lodge and caravan park that pays homage to its origins.

Crail Golfing Society Balcomie Links

The current iteration can be attributed to Old Tom Morris from 1895 when he laid out 12 holes. He returned five years later in 1900 to lay out the additional six. The course makes the most of the shoreline and the holes are quirky – exactly what you would expect from Old Tom Morris from 1900! The design also is known for its bunkers clad with old railway sleepers.

Donald Steel wrote that not even North Berwick brings the beach into play than Crail Golfing Society Balcomie Links. The opening holes, from two through five, run along the seaside before holes six through 13 make use of the inland property. The final stretch from 14 through 18, finishes near the seaside. The course measures less than 6000 yards and sports five one-shot holes on the back nine – four of them in the final six holes to finish!

Crail Golfing Society Craighead Links

Craighead Links is perched atop the cliffs affording breathtaking coastal views of the North Sea, the Firth of Forth, and the Isle of May National Nature Reserve. The medieval dry stone walls are used as part of the course’s strategic design.

Crail Summary

Uniquely, the club features two 18-hole links golf courses that contrast harmoniously. An Old Tom Morris design alongside a modern-day Gil Hanse production is a study in the evolution of golf course design on one location.

Perhaps surprisingly, you’ll pay £20 more to play Old Tom Morris’ Balcomie Links than the new and shiny Gil Hanse Craighead Links. Opened in 1998, Craighead Links is Gil Hanse’s first international and solo design. It isn’t as well known due to flashier clubs nearby like Kinsgbarns and Dumbarnie but no doubt as Gil Hanse’s reputation and legacy continues to grow, so too will that of Craighead Links.

Crail Golf Course Photography

Purchase Kevin Murray’s Crail photography.

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Crail Golfing Society - Videos

enjoy cookie jar's old tom trail review of crail golfing society



Featured Architect: MacKenzie, Alister

As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...

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At A Glance



Driving Range
Short Game


Old Tom Morris Collection
Best Scottish Golf Collection

Contact Details

Fife, KY10 3XN, Scotland
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