Crail Golf Society was founded on 23rd February 1786
with an inaugural meeting of eleven members.
Several gentlemen in and about the Town of
Crail who were fond of the diversion of golf agreed to form themselves
into a Society which should be known by the name of the Crail Golfing
The original links were at Sauchope on the coast
just north of Crail. The layout of the nine-hole course, which developed
there, was five holes out on the landward side and four back along the
Click on the picture for larger image
After matches, members would dine at an inn, now called the Golf Hotel, shown
below, whose landlord, Mr Daniel Conolly, was a
founding member of the club.
In the early 19th Century,
like many other clubs, Crail went into decline. By 1813 there were only eight members, when the
decision was taken effectively to dissolve the club. By the end of the
century, it was revived and flourished in the great boom of golfing which
the new prosperity and the railways brought to many parts of Scotland.
Links 1895 Click picture for larger image
In 1895, the Crail club officially left Sauchope to play over the
Balcomie Links. The members had been playing there before
then evidenced by a
record of a society competition held at Balcomie in September 1857.
First fairway and thirteenth green of Balcomie
It is believed that Old Tom Morris, who was based at St Andrews, ten miles
away, laid out nine holes at Balcomie in 1892 and returned later in 1896 to
add another nine. Maps of the subsequent development of the course in 1900, 1904, 1994
and 1995 are on display in the Crail clubhouse,
seen below, which has incomparable views
over the North Sea.
A second 18-hole course, the Craighead Course, was added in 1995.
This site gives more information about
Golf Society, which welcomes visitors and societies.
Golf Hotel Crail website
Accommodation at St Andrews
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