A week ago Friday I played one of my favorite golf courses on this planet, Scotland’s Kingsbarns Golf Links. This was my 2nd round on this brilliant course, my first back in 2011. In 2012 I posted my Kingsbarns Golf Links review. This is simply a recap of last week’s experience as well as a refresher to HOG readers to check out my review and photos of this world class course. If you get to St. Andrews to play the Old Course you MUST, I repeat MUST play Kingsbarns.
I’ve said many times that the best part of running a popular golf blog is the great people I meet. I’d like to thank my new friend Alan Hogg, Director of Golf at Kingsbarns, for his hospitality. I had a great time chatting with Alan who has one of the best jobs in all of golf. We laughed at the fact that his last name is Hogg and how his last name stands for “Hooked On Golf.” I could really tell he reads the blog because he made comments he only could have made if he’d read some of the articles. That impressed me.
Difficult But Fun Conditions
I have a couple of unbelievable stories from my latest round at Kingsbarns. The winds this time around were substantial. I started off par-par on the first two holes and was feeling great. I realized the strength of the wind when I reached the par-5 3rd though. My drive had a tiny bit of fade spin on this hole which runs with the shoreline of the North Sea to the right. Once my ball was above the dunes the wind took it and threw it into the north sea. It was crazy. The ball is flying with a very small fade, then takes a 90 degree turn to the right and is gone.
The par-3 8th hole is an amazing little par-3 with teeth as sharp as a shark’s. Arriving at the tee my caddie Gordon told me “I’m no givin’ you a yahdage. Here’s ur 4-iron. Hit i’ as hard as ya fookin’ can at the rock wall.” I did just that. I crushed that 4-iron at the rock wall on this downhill shot. The wind grabbed it, held it up and threw it into the green side bunker right, pin high. After the shot Gordon told me that my crushed 4-iron on this downhill shot traveled an impressive 131 yards.
The next hole, the par-5 9th was equally as entertaining due to the wind. I’d managed to crush a driver and then a 3-wood to a good position, 136 yards from the green. Gordon and I spent a few minutes debating which club to hit. That 136 yard shot was either a hybrid or a 3-wood. I went with hybrid, killed it, and ended up a few feet short of pin-high. That’s a club that can go up to 240 yards at home and I just hit it 130 yards and hit it well!
I ran into some trouble on the signature par-3 15th hole (pictured above). My 4-iron was blown into the rocks short of the hole and it bounced around for what seemed like 15 minutes. The drop area was left of the green. From where I was I could hit putter, which is always my choice if I can. Never had this happen until this point. Gordon my caddie shot the yardage with his laser and gave it to me. I’ve never lasered a yardage with a putter in my hand. 70 yards.
Food & Beverage
The restaurant at Kingsbarns serves fantastic food and the tastiest “wee pints” anywhere. Perhaps the wee pints taste that much better after playing such a satisfying round on a world class golf course. Maybe it is the views from the windows which overlook the 18th and the North Sea. Pebble who?
I enjoyed the Kingsbarns chili. Chili is a popular dish in Scotland.
Look For The HOG Ball Marker
In 2011 the nice chap George Lawrence who was the starter at Kingsbarns had an amazing golf tee collection he’d been building for years. Players who had unique tees gave them to George. I gave George a Golf Space tee which was proudly displayed. George retired and new starter David Wilkie too over. David is doing something similar, building a ball marker collection. I’m happy to report that the Hooked On Golf Blog marker is one of the very first, prominently displayed right where players pick up score cards and tees! Look for it when you’re there!
I’m hurting right now. It is painful to write about Kingsbarns and look at my photos. I’m aching to go back and it has only been a week. I’ll be back no doubt. Hopefully sooner than two years.