Crail Golfing Society - Craighead Links Course
Established in 1786, Crail Golfing Society is the seventh oldest golf club in the world. It boasts two of the finest links golf courses in Scotland. Craighead Links is the younger of the two courses by over a century, but it still provides the same challenging features that characterize the best of traditional Scottish links. The lack of trees subjects the course to the fury of the prevailing winds, requiring golfers to have a variety of shot-making skills in their repertoire. There are no two consecutive holes that face the same direction and numerous bunkers strategically placed throughout make the course even trickier. There is plenty of scenic respite to balance the challenging hazards provided by the stunning views of the Forth and Tay estuaries.
|White M: 73.1/135 W: 79.3/143||469||385||323||455||231||518||197||513||376||3467||299||357||344||157||411||552||376||197||457||3150||6617|
|Yellow M: 70.8/130 W: 76.7/137||463||361||292||427||211||475||165||487||347||3228||280||313||316||140||402||511||358||173||421||2914||6142|
|Blue M: 67.0/116 W: 71.8/124||399||317||267||382||177||475||145||404||273||2839||253||279||281||113||346||425||293||132||379||2501||5340|
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Good course, but if you only play one, play Balcomie
You can look at Craighead as two courses. The front nine was nothing special, but the back nine was everything you could ask for. That pretty much makes the front nine almost a warm-up for the back nine followed by Balcomie. Would I play Craighead again as a single round for GBP 69? No, I'd rather play the St. Andrews courses. Playing the two Crail courses for GBP 95 makes for a great day.
We played late July about 63 degrees no wind overcast. Owe never had to wait good pace of play. The greens and course in general were in excellent condition. Greens had good speed not to fast or slow. Staff very friendly and one rented brand new Taylormade m2 for 30 pounds. Would highly recommend.
Good course with surprising beauty
Played both courses on a day ticket of 95 pounds. Worth the money and was not a hard walk. This course is the longer and newer of the two. It is relatively flat walk with no large dunes although there is some undulations uphill and downhill with plenty of tall (but playable) grass, well places bunkers and gorse to avoid. The layout was quite fun and when it gets breezy a few of the holes along the cliffs will catch your attention. The wall holes were very fun too! Conditions of the greens were excellent. Some great picturesque views!
This is links golf. Beautiful course beautiful views. A wonderful place to play.
Under appreciated links
When I first played Crail 18 years ago, the recommendation from a member was to play the original Balcomie Links, not the "new American monstrosity". I happily took his advice and enjoyed Balcomie immensely.
This year, I had the opportunity to play at Crail again. This time the member recommended we play Craigshead as it was fun, interesting and under appreciated. I wholeheartedly agree.
The course conditions were excellent, the greens having good speed for Scotland and a number of them quite undulating. In classic links style, there is always a safe play to get to the green area. As the course sits unprotected on top of a cliff, wind plays more of a factor.
The front nine has 3 par 5s, starting with the 1st, a dogleg left. The 2nd & 4th are challenging par 4s. Each of the holes move in different directions, bringing the wind from different angles. Gorse is generally set well back from the fairway, but there is good fairway bunkering on a number of the holes.
The back nine starts with a Classic risk/reward driveable short par 4. Plenty of room to miss the green right, but your chip shot will run away from you. Even the layup off the tee has to be accurately judged as a series of bunkers influence your distance and angle choices. The 11th is again a mental challenge off the tee as a stone wall crosses the entire fairway, again giving you a tee choice between layup and challenging the wall. The 14th is a great dogleg left par 4 that runs along the cliff side and with the par 5 15th, you again have a stone wall to contend with for your second shot - stay short and you have a blind approach to the green. The 16th has.a minefield of bunkers occupying the left side of the fairway/rough, while the 18th gets the same challenge on the right side. The 17th has quite a lumpy green, so accuracy on this par 3 is essential.
Pro shop is very well stocked. The grill was also very nice - highly recommend the mac and cheese.
All in all, a very enjoyable experience of a modern day links.
Criaghead seems to get over shadowed by it's elder counterpart Balcomie, but be sure not to overlook this fantastic course. The first 3 holes offer views over the older Balcomie course, then the course snakes away down to the Firth of Forth. the view over to Edinburgh, Gullane, North Berwick and back along the Fife coast is not be missed from the back of the 7th green. The views are great but the course is just as good. A great mixture of short and long holes that require a sharp short game.
Not a second Balcomie.....
I might be a bit harsh but if visiting Crail for the first time play the BALCOMIE not this one. Give it another 10 years and it may turn into a decent track but now it's just a bit "meh"
Played with some friends on a Saturday afternoon.
Great course greens had bee cored and were a bit hairy
but didn't spoil a good day out.
One negative comment would be the noise from the race track next door.
Our only day of rain
Was really excited to play the this course, course reviews and pictures I had seen and read before going really painted a great picture. Sadly the day we played it bucketed rain most of the round, enough that 2 of the guys quit after 9. The 4 of us that continued were treated to a challenging back 9 with undulating greens and great views! We would like to play it again in the hopes that the weather wouldn't be as wet. Ill always recommend a day at the Crail Golfing Society!
Scenic bargain course near St. Andrews
If you're spending a week or so in St. Andrews on your Scottish golf vacation and don't make the drive out to the edge of Fife to Crail, you're missing a wonderful complement to the birthplace of golf. Crail has two courses, the original Balcomie, and the more modern Craighead, designed by Gil Hanse. Craighead is longer than the historic Balcomie, I played the course on arrival day in Scotland and it was just what I needed: an interesting but very playable design and a top-notch clubhouse for lunch. Many holes have subtle doglegs towards the water, and the 14th plays along the coast from tee to green.
Crail fits into a St. Andrews itinerary particularly well if you're entering the Old Course Lottery or want to play 36 holes in a day. It's a lesser-trafficked and affordable - yet very fulfilling round.
Lovely course and stunning views, well maintained, we played on a sunny day and had a most enjoyable round.
This is the second course and not as famous as the Balcomie.
It does not have as many holes with a view of the ocean but it has a number of signature holes on other courses. Greens have a lot of contour and are a challenge. We played in a lot of wind and I was 6 or 7 over my index. We are going back later this week, use the hot deals special
One of the best courses I have ever played!
Absolutely awesome scenery. Very interesting layout with a large, ancient stone wall to hit a blind approach shot over on two magnificent holes.