THE Official Guide to Golf in Scotland puts it very simply – the Kingdom of Fife is “the most famous golfing region in the world”. So, what more needs to be said? Well, two things in particular.
First, there is wonderful golf to be had in Fife that is not expensive. How does a five-round Golfpass for much less than the cost of a single round on the Old Course sound? And, secondly, the group that offers this great value golf in this historic region where golf began hundreds of years ago is also leading Scottish golf into the 21st century with a state-of-the-art website that lets golfers buy their Golfpass and then book their tee times online – all at the touch of a few buttons.
The First in Fife Golfpass has been going since 2004 and, undoubtedly, is the best-value way to play in the Home of Golf. A three-round pass is still just £63, and a five-round pass is even better value at only £99.
First in Fife also has its own online system for buying your Golfpass and then booking your rounds – still the only Golfpass in Scotland to offer this unique facility.
Read all about the courses, buy your pass, check tee time availability at all 13 courses and then use your online account to book.
The Golfpass can be used any time from April 1 to October 31, 2011 but, if you can’t wait till April, just contact any of the clubs direct and they’ll be delighted to give you details and prices for some great winter golf in Fife. Supplements are payable at some courses, particularly at weekends.
The courses in the Golfpass group are Aberdour, Balbirnie Park, Burntisland, Canmore, Charleton, Dunfermline, Elmwood, Forrester Park, Kinross Bruce and Montgomery courses, Kirkcaldy, Pitreavie, and Thornton. Together, they offer a great mix.
Some of the earliest Open Champions of the 19th century – including Willie Park Jnr and Old Tom Morris himself – had a hand in designing courses such as Burntisland and Kirkcaldy, while Charleton and Forrester Park are among the new breed of courses that are “open to all” without restriction.
Aberdour and Burntisland are by the sea, with wonderful views over the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh, while the other courses offer widely varying parkland golf in beautiful and relaxing surroundings.
You can soak up golfing history at clubs such as Dunfermline with its magnificent clubhouse housed in a 600-year-old Scottish tower house, or Canmore, where Thomas Bjorn helped the club celebrate its centenary in 1997. Or fit in your weekend Golfpass rounds at “pay as you play” courses such as Charleton, Forrester Park, or Kinross, where it’s visitors who come first!
To help you choose, here’s a selection of the courses – travelling from west to east – but there’s much more information on www.firstinfifegolf.com or on the courses’ own websites.
A big new course – the newest and longest in the group at over 6,800 yards from the back tees.
In the village of Cairneyhill west of Dunfermline, the course is quite hilly and challenging – a buggy course for some. It has a magnificent clubhouse offering everything from a sandwich to seven-course fine dining.
In Crossford, just west of Dunfermline, this is a fine undulating parkland course with five par 5s and five par 3s, which makes for a varied round that tests every club in the bag. The par 3s are particularly good, and there are several interesting dog-leg par 4s too. The clubhouse is a stunning 600-year-old Scottish tower house.
One of the courses in the group that is less well-known to visitors, Canmore is well worth discovering, as Thomas Bjorn did when he helped the club celebrate its centenary in 1997. He went round in 65, too!
Located on the north side of Scotland’s ancient capital city of Dunfermline, Canmore is quite short at 5376 yards but has many good holes, including the challenge of finding the “hidden” green at the 11th.
The third of the Dunfermline clubs, and the easiest to reach from the Forth Bridge as it is on the south side of the town, Pitreavie’s claim to fame is that it was designed by the famous Dr Alister MacKenzie, who also laid out Augusta National, home of The Masters. In common with that illustrious course, Pitreavie shares undulating greens, which will test any golfer’s putting skills. It’s an enjoyable round, with a sense of history and in a fine parkland setting.
Burntisland Golf House Club, steeped in the history and traditions of the game was founded in 1898. It is also the home of the “Old Club” – the Burntisland Golf Club, founded in 1797 and the 10th oldest club in the world. This 18-hole parkland course – measuring 5995 yards and a par 70 – is set above the coastal fringe, and was designed by the legendary Willie Park Junior of Musselburgh on the recommendation of no less a golfer than Old Tom Morris himself. As Old Tom reported: “I went over the ground at High Bents and my opinion is that it would make a first-class golf course.”
First in Fife Golfpass: www.firstinfifegolf.com or phone tourist information centre on 01592 267 775 to buy your Golfpass.
Dunfermline Golf Club: www.dunfermlinegolfclub.com Tel: 01383 723 534
Forrester Park Golf Resort: www.forresterparkresort.com Tel: 01383 880 505
Canmore Golf Club: www.canmoregolf.co.uk Tel: 01383 728 416
Pitreavie Golf Club:
www.pitreaviegolfclub.co.uk Tel: 01383 722 591.
Burntisland Golf House Club: www.burntislandgolf houseclub.com Tel: 01592 872 116