Designers: Old Tom Morris,
The story of the Lundin Golf Club (pronounced “London”) is just as unique as the course itself. Golf has been played over these seaside hills 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 just 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.
The “new” course Braid designed at Lundin is brilliant mixture of parkland and seaside links golf. The course opens along the sea, before turning inland for several holes, followed by a return to the linksland for the finish. It is a rarely seen combination of style, but one that is refreshing to any golfer that’s keen to a little variety.
What may not be so refreshing, however, is the set of challenges that Lundin presents throughout this seemingly innocent layout. There are over 100 bunkers, blind tee shots, blind approach shots, a burn on eight holes, and sixteen that feature out-of-bounds thanks to an abandoned rail line. All of this played through the ever present winds which can range from a soft breeze to an all out gale. With so many defenses in place to test even the best of players, it’s little wonder why the R&A often holds qualifying at Lundin when the Open Championship is played at St. Andrews.
A highlight of any round at Lundin is almost always the incomparable 14th hole. The downhill par-3, set against the boundary of Leven Golf Links – is played out of the parkland, over gorse, to a heavily protected green. Only a perfectly executed mid to long iron – depending on the wind – will find the putting surface. A task that’s exponentially more difficult than usual, due to the stunning view of Largo Bay in the background. If James Braid wanted a single hole to summarize the experience at Lundin, this is certainly it – where the club’s history and the remarkable test of golf are both on display in just 175 menacing yards.