R & A – Kingsbarns Deal to Benefit St Andrews Golfers

R & A Golf Club News Bulletin
By Kieth Mackie

A substantial interest free loan has been granted by the R&A to the developers of the new golf links at Kingsbarns. In return they will make a number of starting times available to local golfers in St. Andrews and north-east Fife.

The agreement has been reached after discussions between the R & A, St. Andrews Links Trust and local golf clubs identified the growing pressure for starting times on the St. Andrews courses.

There are clear indications that this pressure will continue to increase and the R & A’s agreement will provide an additional course for local golfers at times when bookings for St. Andrews courses are strong.

Chairman of the St. Andrews Links trust, Bill Ritchie commented: “Last year, play on the links by local golfers jumped 16 percent to a record high of 122,000 rounds. The R & A’s arrangement with the Kingsbarns golf development will certainly help towards relieving the growing pressure and provide local golfers with an additional option.”

R & A Secretary Sir Michael Bonallack commented: “Kingsbarns might well be one of the last true seaside links sites capable of development in Scotland. It is an extraordinary setting and I look forward to my first round of golf there.”

The high quality links course which is being constructed at Kingsbarns, just six miles to the south-east of St. Andrews , is based on the site of the nine-hole course which was the home of the Kingsbarns Golfing Society, established in 1793. The original course reverted to farmland after being used for military purposes during the second world war.

The new development is being carried out on a split level site which runs around the edge of a shallow bay towards Cambo Ness and covers more than one-and-a-half miles of sea coast. One hole is set spectacularly on a rocky promontory and there are uninterrupted sea views from every hole.

Prime movers behind the new course are American Mark Parsinen, who was responsible for the successful development of Granite Bay Golf Club in Sacramento, California, and Art Dunkley, a real estate developer with investments in North America and the United Kingdom. They share a great enthusiasm for links courses which dates back to the late 1960’s when Parsinen was a student at the London School of Economics. He said of his project at Kingsbarns: “The site speaks for itself. I pray our hard work and commitment do it full justice.”

Seeding of the site will take place during the summer of 1998 and the course will be open for restricted play in the year 2000.


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