So much has been said and written about the transformation of Kingsbarns in Scotland from ploughed fields into stunning linksland, that the development team at PGA of Sweden National could have identified architect Kyle Phillips with a Google search for ‘turning featureless farmland into great links golf.
However, we can be pretty sure this wasn’t the case, as it was only after Phillips had been engaged that a plot of featureless farmland near Malmo in the south of Sweden was chosen as the site for the PGA’s impressive new golf facility. Identifying an architect early in the development process is an approach that Phillips has championed in a previous edition of Golf Course Architecture (see GCA 2, p52), arguing that the architect’s expertise can be employed for identifying the site’s suitability for development, with a view to saving costs and minimising development time.
Phillips’ Kingsbarns has been one of the success stories of modern golf development. High rankings aside, it is an aesthetic delight. There are few better examples of a course that appears to have been crafted by nature, whereas every contour was in fact the work of architect and construction team.