ROYAL SUCCESSION

Taking the reigns at one of the world’s most successful modern courses is a daunting prospect. But as Mark Alexander finds out, Alan Hogg seems more than up to the challenge

There can’t be many courses that have had the same impact as Kingsbarns. In the 12 years since it opened, the beautiful links course found on the east coast of Scotland has drawn praise from just about everyone who has played it.

It must be something to do with the roll of the fairways or the undulations in the greens, but you would swear the 18 carefully crafted holes have been there for centuries rather than just a decade. In fact, golf has been played at Kingsbarns since the late 18th century although it wasn’t until the beginning of the 21st century that the course took on the form we know and love today.

Since then Kingsbarns Golf Links has picked up awards like sticky toffee paper (the latest being named the best modern course – built after 1960 – in Great Britain and Ireland by GolfWeek). The layout simply works.

With so much expectation surrounding it, taking charge of Kingsbarns would be an undertaking some would shy away from, but not the club’s new chief executive. In fact, the opportunity to take charge of one of the world’s most admired courses was a dream come true for Alan Hogg. “It was a surreal experience,” he recalls. “It was like all my birthdays and Christmases had come at once, and it still feels that way today.”

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