Crail Golfing Society - Craighead Links Course

4.4902117647 4.5 stars from 5 (14)
  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 6651 yards
  • Layout

  • Crail Golfing Society, Balcomie Clubhouse, Crail, Fife, KY10 3XN
  • +44 (0) 1333 450686, +44 (0) 1333 450960
  • +44 (0) 1333 450416
  • crailgolfingsociety.co.uk
Write Review

Year built: 1998
Architect(s): Gil Hanse (1998)
Style: Links
Golf Season: Year round

Rentals/Services

Carts: Yes - £40
Pull-carts: Yes
Clubs: Yes
Caddies: Yes

Practice/Instruction

Pitching/chipping area: Yes
Putting green: Yes
Teaching pro: Yes

Policies

Walking allowed: Yes

Tees | Layout | Full Scorecard

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
White 72 6651 yards N/A N/A
Yellow 72 6185 yards N/A N/A
Red 74 5340 yards N/A N/A
Blue 69 5340 yards N/A N/A

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.

Rating Snapshot

GA Rating Index 4.5 stars from 5
Off-Course Amenities: 4.5 stars from 5
Value: 4.7 stars from 5
Pace of Play: 4.7 stars from 5
Staff Friendliness: 4.6 stars from 5
Course Layout: 4.4 stars from 5
Course Conditions: 4.7 stars from 5
Rating Breakdown 14 Reviews
5 stars:
7
4 stars:
6
3 stars:
1
2 stars:
0
1 stars:
0

recommend this course

14 out of 14 reviews


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Reviewer Photos

Reviews


Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender

"Spectacular views"


GMunney's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/25/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course



mk8q16ophx4775919's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/06/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Good course with surprising beauty"


MDLopez77's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  0-4

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/19/2017
First time playing Walked Perfect weather

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Amazing"


u187010088's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 06/02/2017
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

This is links golf. Beautiful course beautiful views. A wonderful place to play.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course


"Under appreciated links"


RavensGolfer's avatar
Top 100 Contributor
Age:  55-64
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  15-19

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/28/2017
First time playing

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course




5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 05/10/2017
Previously played Used cart Perfect weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"Stunning"


Fraser1986's avatar
Age:  25-34
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  0-4

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 03/24/2017
Previously played Walked Windy weather

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Excellent

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Not a second Balcomie....."


Nick2348119's avatar
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

3 3.0 stars from 5 Played on 10/18/2016
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

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"


Pace of Play: Good

Course Layout: Average

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Average

Off-Course Amenities: Good


I recommend this course


"GREAT COURSE"


u000006264166's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  10-14

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/17/2016
Previously played Walked Played 18 holes Excellent weather Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Good

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Our only day of rain"


Colin468's avatar
Age:  35-44
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 09/08/2016
First time playing Walked Played 18 holes Poor weather

Reviewed on

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!


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Good

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Good

Off-Course Amenities: Good

Course Difficulty:  Somewhat Challenging


I recommend this course


"Scenic bargain course near St. Andrews"


BrandonTuckerGA's avatar
Golf Advisor
Age:  25-34
Gender:  Male
Skill:  Advanced
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  5-9

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 07/08/2016
First time playing Walked

Reviewed on

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.


Pace of Play: Excellent

Course Layout: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Off-Course Amenities: Excellent


I recommend this course



"Great"


None's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Once a week
Handicap:  20-24

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 9/20/2013
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Lovely course and stunning views, well maintained, we played on a sunny day and had a most enjoyable round.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Average

Value for the Money: Average

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course


"Great Views"


Artbrownca's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

4 4.0 stars from 5 Played on 8/15/2013
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

This is the second course and not as famous as the Balcomie.<br/> 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


Pace of Play: Average

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Extremely Challenging


I recommend this course


"One of the best courses I have ever played!"


uESAU2360ES's avatar
Skill:  Intermediate
Plays:  Few times a week
Handicap:  10-14

5 5.0 stars from 5 Played on 5/21/2013
First time playing Verified Purchaser

Reviewed on

Absolutely awesome scenery. Very interesting layout with a large, ancient stone wall to hit a blind approach shot over on two magnificent holes.


Pace of Play: Good

Course Conditions: Excellent

Staff Friendliness: Excellent

Value for the Money: Excellent

Course Difficulty:  Moderate


I recommend this course



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