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Kingsbarns Golf Links (Cambo)
'Manufactured' links course on leased land - co-controlled - partly funded by loan from R&A
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Recent News:

Kingsbarns Golf Links (KGL) operates on land leased from Peter Erskine of Cambo Estate, near Kingsbarns. Prime movers behind the new 'manufactured' links course are American Mark Parsinen, who was responsible for the 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.

In August 2005 David Wasserman, an American based developer and opportunity fund manager, secured a co-controlling interest in KGL. Wasserman is also developing St Andrews Grand, an exclusive enclave of luxury residences on the site of Hamilton Hall.

"There is a synergy between both Kingsbarns and St. Andrews Grand, highlighted around the land's unique character and offerings," says principal David Wasserman.

In August 2008 Wasserman bailed out and general manager Stuart McEwen announced that "Art Dunkley, cofounder and director since 1997, is now sole owner of Kingsbarns Golf Links' parent company."

KGL is also partly funded by a £1 million loan from the R&A, which receives the rights to 2,000 rounds at the course in return.

KGL co-hosts the annual dunhill links championship, and KGL declared an interest in hosting the 2010 Ryder Cup.

Local golfers have access to the course - they get the tee-times not required by the R&A and various corporate golfing groups.

"It is expensive and really aimed at foreigners who are prepared to pay £85 a round [recently increased to £160 ($315) before the addition of caddies fees - minimum £50 ($95)], but it looks awesome and is a great achievement," said Ron Stewart, secretary of the Kingsbarns Golf Club.

Reaction from foreign golfers has been mixed - one member of Golf Odyssey, an impartial online information site for golfers, had this to say:

"...I agree that it is a stunning golf course, and more important that it is a Fabulous Fraud, and that it is heresy to have this kind of golf course in Scotland.
When I go to the British Isles to play golf I want tradition and natural terrain and undisturbed golf courses, not courses where most of the construction budget was spent moving millions of tons of earth. We can get that in Florida or Arizona."

Local and casual golfers should note that the initial intention is to operate on a PAYP basis, but the developer has expressed a wish to:

"petition the District Council to make the pay-as-you-play element a requirement for 5 years of operation only; the future key to financial viability for this project is uncertain; long-term financial viability may lie with a membership concept exclusively; operating management requires this longer-term flexibility."

For those interested, a detailed PAYP agreement should have been hammered out by now, and it should be available for inspection in Fife Council's Planning Department, in Cupar.

Several issues were raised during the development of this golf course - and several issues have been raised since - arrangements for the dunhill links championship, STB investment in this tobacco sponsored event, suitability as a venue for the Ryder Cup, safe access for non-golfers, local access for golfers, PAYP, the coastal path, seasonal nature of the work, informal employment arrangements, etc

Relevant articles have been added to the following Kingsbarns Golf Links News archive:

  • general news since the golf course opened in 2000
  • planning control
  • issues of concern
  • promotional material
  • developer background
  • Further background information regarding this development.
    Coverage of issues raised regarding this development.
    General coverage of dunhill links championship and 2010 Ryder Cup bid.

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