One of the many things that sets an H&B Expedition apart from other golf trips across the pond is the depth and variety of courses visited by our Members of the Forces. While the desire to tick the checkboxes on the golf travel bucket-list is understandable, we find that the most rewarding itineraries go far beyond the game of Open Rota hopscotch to include links on the edge of the well worn path. These courses may not be found on the annual Top 100 lists, or the pre-packaged itineraries of unenlightened tour operators, yet that doesn’t make them any less worthy of play. In fact, our members often cite these courses as the best of their trip, due in part to their lack of notoriety and accompanying expectations.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll shine a spotlight on a number of these less-heralded courses in a series we’re calling Peripheral Links. First up… The lovely Lundin Golf Club.
For many courses in Great Britain & Ireland, the difference between mainstream acclaim and a seat on the periphery often comes down to little more than geography. Such is the case with the Lundin Golf Club, thanks to its proximity to a little place known as St. Andrews. But those willing to venture beyond the confines of the Auld Grey Toon are treated to an exceptional course and even a dash of the Good Life.
The story of the Lundin Golf Club (pronounced “London”) is just as unique as the course itself. Golf has been played over this stretch of seaside for nearly 150 years, but only a handful of the original holes at Lundin remain – the rest were given to the Leven Golf Links next door a little over a century ago. An event that merits further explanation…
For roughly 40 years, the members of Lundin Golf Club and the Leven Golfing Society shared the out-and-back links situated between their two respective clubhouses. Play would begin from each side – Lundin from the east, Leven from the west – and the players would turn home on the nine which technically belonged to the other club.
The arrangement served both sides well for many years, until the popularity of the game and flourishing membership numbers at the two clubs forced a change. The links was eventually severed in two, with Lundin and Leven each claiming the nine holes on their side of the Mile Dyke which cut across the course. It was then that Lundin enlisted the services of five time Open champion, James Braid, for a new nine on adjacent land to compliment the original Old Tom Morris holes.
Braid’s “new” course at Lundin offers the rarely seen combination of both parkland and links golf. The course opens hard against the sea before turning inland for several parkland style holes. The links then returns to the sea at the 14th and one of the most aptly named holes in golf: Perfection. With the waters of Largo Bay serving as backdrop, the downhill par-3 offers one of the finest views in the golf rich Kingdom of Fife.
Another reason to venture to Lundin has little to do with golf, and everything to do with the Good Life. A slight detour on the return to St. Andrews leads one through the seaside village of Anstruther. There you’ll find the world-famous Anstruther Fish Bar, home to arguably the finest fish & chips on the planet.
As you enjoy one of these magical little baskets along the waterfront, you’ll likely come to a realization shared by countless Members of the H&B Forces… Sometimes venturing to the periphery of one’s golf travel radar leads to the greatest of days. For every Old Course and Kingsbarns, there’s still another Lundin and Anstruther just waiting to be discovered.