KINGSBARNS MARKS RECORD-BREAKING YEAR
In a season that saw Kingsbarns Golf Links host two European Tour events and its first Major, the Fife course has confirmed it welcomed more guests to Scotlandâ€™s east coast in 2017 than ever before. The results round off a memorable year for the celebrated links which also won the Best Customer Service accolade at this yearâ€™s Scottish Golf Tourism awards.
The annual results show a healthy upward curve in rounds played at Kingsbarns in 2017, and follow on from an equally impressive increase recorded last year. The year-on-year figures indicate a continual positive trend at Kingsbarns which its chief executive believes is underpinned by a commitment to consistent and continual improvement.
â€śThe 2017 season has been outstanding for a number of reasons, not least hosting the Ricoh Womenâ€™s British Open,â€ť noted Alan Hogg. â€śWelcoming the worldâ€™s best players to Scotland was a privilege that all the team at Kingsbarns enjoyed. It is, however, an approach we adopt day in, day out with our guests. The standard of service doesnâ€™t alter. The fact we recorded more rounds this year than any other is testament to this consistent approach.â€ť
The Ricoh Womenâ€™s British Open was held at Kingsbarns in August with the 2017 line-up boasting players from 27 different nations, including all 25 of the worldâ€™s top golfers in the Rolex Rankings. The course received praise throughout the week, most notably from Michelle Wie, who opened the tournament with a new womanâ€™s course record of 64.
â€śThe fact it is a course record is a huge honour for me, especially at a place like Kingsbarns, which is definitely one of the most scenic courses Iâ€™ve ever played,â€ť she said following her historic round. â€śYou get lost in the views out there and it almost feels like playing back home in Hawaii.â€ť
While the players enjoyed views from the elevated tees at Kingsbarns, including new teeing areas at the 3rd and 16th holes, the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) recorded a remarkable set of performance figures during the tournament, culminating in some of the most unswerving championship statistics ever collated.
â€śThe green speeds at Kingsbarns were some of the most consistent we have had during tournament testing,â€ť said Richard Windows, STRI agronomy services manager. â€śIt was a great example of the implementation of good agronomic practices executed by a team of expert greenkeepers.â€ť
The STRI confirmed the womenâ€™s major was contested over an exceptional course. Windows continued: â€śAchieving the targets was particularly pleasing because of the challenging weather conditions experienced throughout the championship with heavy rain falling on most afternoons and evenings. The results were outstanding.â€ť
The regular greenkeeping team at Kingsbarns, led by Innes Knight and augmented during the tournament by over 20 volunteer greenkeeping professionals from Scottish, English and international golf courses, worked tirelessly during the tournament to ensure the course was presented to a world-class standard. It is a policy the team adopts throughout the year regardless of whether the tee-sheet is packed with the best players in the world or not.
â€śOur policy is to present Kingsbarns to the highest possible standard throughout the year,â€ť explained Knight. â€śIt could be a mid-week match for local golfers, a four-ball of international tourists or the closing Sunday of a Major. It does not matter. All members of staff at Kingsbarns are committed to delivering a truly unique golf experience for all our guests.â€ť
Art Dunkley, director of Kingsbarns Golf Links, agreed. â€śWe continually seek to improve how we present Kingsbarns and welcome our visiting golfers from the UK and from around the world. Hosting the Ricoh Womenâ€™s British Open showcased our ability to meet the high standards expected of a Major venue.â€ť
Kingsbarns is looking forward to an exciting 2018 with another busy tee sheet based on early golf bookings, the Open Championship taking place at nearby Carnoustie Golf Links and the 18thÂ staging of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. In addition and as a follow on to this yearâ€™s Womenâ€™s British Open, an exciting new ladies-only golf day designed for the enjoyment of amateur golfers is scheduled for Saturday 14 April 2018.
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Note to editors
- Kingsbarns Golf Links is located seven miles south east of St Andrews, widely known as the Home of Golf. Kingsbarns opened in its present form in 2000 and has since been recognised as one of the very top golf courses in the world.
- Kingsbarns Golf Links is ranked No 6 in Golf Worldâ€™s Top 100 Golf Courses in Britain & Ireland for 2016.
- Golf has been played at Kingsbarns since 1793. Dressed in blue coats, the Kingsbarns men met for their spring and autumn meetings to compete for the Kingsbarns Golf Society medals. After the course died out in the 1800s, in 1922 the Kingsbarns Golf Club was re-established with Willie Auchterlonie laying out a nine-hole course on the links. The course again reverted to rough pasture with the onset of the Second World War.
- Todayâ€™s course was designed by Kyle Phillips and has received a host of awards including being ranked No 1 by Golfweek Magazine (2010, 2011 and 2012) in the Great Britain and Ireland Modern Courses category, the 19th best course in the world by Golf Course Architectureâ€™s 2013 poll and awarded Best Golf Club and Course Experience of the Year by the Scottish Golf Tourism Excellence Awards (2011, 2012 and 2013). In 2014, the course was awarded Overall Best Golf Experience in Scotland by The Scottish Golf Tourism Awards.
- Each Autumn Kingsbarns joins the Old Course, St Andrews and Carnoustie Golf Links to co-host the European Tourâ€™s prestigious Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
- For further information about Kingsbarns Golf Links, please visit kingsbarns.com
- For further information about the STRI, please visit strigroup.com
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