Crail Golfing Society - Craighead Course

Gil Hanse


With spectacular views - the sea is visible from every hole - Craighead Links achieved fame in the 2001 Guiness Book of Records for the most nationalities playing in an international tournament.This challenging, cliff-top course was designed by world-renowned, golf course architect Gil Hanse to provide golfing aficionados with a true test of their shotmaking skills in a links environment.

Built in the style of a traditional links course - with no trees protecting golf shots from the wind - Craighead provides panoramic views of up to 100 miles, legally protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest flanking the 13th and 14th holes, and a World War I pill box behind the 7th green, all in addition to serious golf.

Featuring 'Danes Dyke' - a 1200 year old defensive wall built by Viking marauders to keep out the local Pictish tribes and which comes into play on four holes - Craighead Links was opened in 1998 and achieved almost immediate recognition when the R&A held the World Junior Open there in 2000. The recognition of its quality has continued, with both the Scotland v. Spain International hosted there in 2006 and the Seniors' Home Internationals in 2010. From 2011 the Battle Trophy  has been played annually over the course as a World Counting Event and in 2013 the prestigious Scottish Amateur Team Championships was also played over Craighead.

Four sets of tees – red, blue, yellow and white – provide lengths between 5,340 and 6,722 yards, and pars of 74 (red), 69 (blue) and 72 (yellow and white). With no two consecutive holes facing in the same direction, managing the wind is a significant factor in playing the course. A real puzzler arrives early in the shape of the 2nd hole, a right angle 364 yard dogleg, with a wickedly sloping green and deep bunkers. This hole played the hardest in the international tournaments held on the course.

As Gil Hanse's first course outside the USA, Craighead Links provides a contrast to Balcomie, but with many natural similarities. The combined ticket giving play on both courses is the ideal way to experience the Crail golfing challenge.

Golf Course Video