Lundin is located 10 miles south of St Andrews in an historical area known as the East Neuk of Fife. The course lies between the villages of Lundin Links and Lower Largo. In the centre of Lower Largo stands a statue of Alexander Selkirk, who was born in the village but later left for a life at sea. Following a quarrel with the ship's captain, Selkirk was put ashore on the deserted island of Juan Fernandez where he remained marooned for four years. This was the real Robinson Crusoe, immortalised by Daniel Defoe in his famous novel.
Lundin Golf Club was founded in 1868 and in those days, the 18-hole Tom Morris out-and-back course, now called the Old, was shared with Leven. The Lundin clubhouse is sited at the east edge of the links and the Leven clubhouse at the west end. Play started at each clubhouse.
As golf grew in popularity, the arrangement became untenable and in 1909, the course was divided in half. Each club took nine holes on its side of Mile Dyke and then each acquired new land to the north of the railway line. It was at this point that Lundin needed James Braid's assistance to design the new holes and to incorporate the existing holes into a new layout. Very few modifications have since been made to Braid's 1909 design. Lucky Lundin and Leven members still contest an annual competition over the original Old course.
Today's Lundin course has a bit of everything: burns, blind drives, out-of-bounds, a nimiety of bunkers (many of which are deep and punishing), the ever-present wind and truly excellent greens. There are also many memorable holes on this relatively short, 6,394-yard par 71 layout, most notably the 2nd,3rd and 4th, which play close to the beach. There are spectacular views across Largo Bay from the elevated 14th tee. James Braid called this hole "Perfection" and we thoroughly agree – it's a cracking par three.
Make no mistake, Lundin is a challenging course, which belies its relatively meagre yardage. British Open Final Qualifying is held here when the Open is at St Andrews and the East of Scotland Amateur Championship is also hosted annually at Lundin. There are many fine courses in Fife and this is no exception. There's a delightful spirit around Lundin and the green fees are excellent value too. We thoroughly recommend a visit, which we guarantee you won't forget or regret. Finally, the Lundin Clubhouse is rather good too, in fact, in 2007, it was awarded "Clubhouse of the Year". Click here for the full story.
I have wanted to play Lundin Golf Club for a number of years, ever since I glimpsed across from neighbouring Leven Links in the summer of 2001.
It took me 14 years to come good on the promise I made to myself back then but now I’m very pleased that I have done so, for this is an extremely appealing links.
The history of the two clubs are closely intertwined and in the early years Lundin and Leven shared 18 holes that ran out and back, from clubhouses at each end of the links, and were wedged between the sea and the railway line. Starting from their respective ends the course inevitably became congested as the popularity of the game increased and the decision was made to split the original layout down the middle and for each course to add nine holes on their side of the newly formed boundary.
The new holes, for both courses, naturally had to be on the inward side of the now abandoned railway line and Lundin certainly got the better deal in this regard because their new holes were created on what was then the original Lundin Ladies golf course and occupy the more interesting terrain.
This all means that the first five holes and the final four holes of the course that we play today are part of the original layout whilst holes six to 14 are the ‘new’ holes. The current yardage is 6,371 and par is 71. There is a clear divide in the style and the quality of the opening and closing holes compared to the newer section but it all comes together quite nicely to produce an interesting and varied links.
I now have the desire to return to Leven because from my hazy recollection Lundin has a lot more character than its next door neighbour but I want to be sure.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
Lundin was the first links played on a golf trip during The Open week and was a pleasure to play the Old Tom Morris/James Braid design. The 6,371 yard par 71 links was in excellent condition and has 13 par fours with a nice mix of challenging long and short holes. Five of the holes were over 420 yards while the other 8 were less than 367 yards. The views along the Firth of Forth are excellent and Lundin was a good selection as the opening course on our trip.
The first 4 holes are all par fours that in classic Scottish tradition go away from the clubhouse along the Firth of Forth. On this day the breeze was in our face and the 420 yard first hole and 455 yard fourth hole were excellent tests. The second and third holes are only 345 and 331 yards but have many well placed bunkers and a burn on the second hole makes club selection on the tee shot critical. The 141 yard par 3 fifth is the last the old holes on the front nine where accuracy is key as the green is protected by 7 bunkers. The 331 yard par 4 sixth starts the stretch of the 9 new holes and goes back toward the clubhouse. This hole played relatively easy as it was downwind but beware of going to the right as it is out of bounds. The par 4 seventh is only 272 yards but club selection on the tee shot is again critical as a ditch protects the front of the green. The 367 yard par 4 eighth has a stream that goes across the fairway about 270-290 yards from the tee and is shorter on the right side of the fairway. The 555 par 5 ninth again goes away from the clubhouse and played long on this day against the breeze.
The 352 yard par 4 tenth runs parallel to the eleventh hole and the fairway ends about 270 yards from the tee. Hitting to the right on the tee shot is better than going to the left as the 11th fairway is to the right. The 464 yard par 4 eleventh is the longest par 4 on the course and played downwind on this day which made the hole play much shorter than the distance. The uphill 149 yard par 3 12th is a picturesque hole that is protected by 7 bunkers. When you get to the green there are fabulous views of the course and the Firth of Forth. The 499 yard par 5 thirteenth is at a high point on the course and again has fabulous views. The second shot must be accurate as large pine trees are on both sides of the fairway. You go downhill at the 177 yard par 3 14th and it plays much shorter than the distance with the green protected by 6 bunkers. The last four holes are the old holes and go back toward the clubhouse. The 420 yard par 4 fifteenth hole is challenging with a blind second shot. The short 311 yard par 4 sixteenth was drivable on this day but keeping the drive a little to the right of the green is ok. The 343 yard par 4 seventeenth is a nice little hole that favors a drive down the right side. The round finishes with the challenging 439 yard par 4 eighteenth hole with a long 44 yard narrow green and out of bounds just to the left of the green.
The Lundin Golf Club was a pleasure to play and would highly recommend it to any golfer that enjoys a classic links. Click below to see a You Tube slideshow of some pictures I took during my visit. Jim Brady
Six, seven and eight are short par fours and are real birdie opportunities. However, they are all well bunkered and a burn is in play with your second shot on the 7th and 8th holes. The 9th is a par five and is easily the longest hole on the course at 555 yards. The front nine does not play long and, provided you are driving straight, is the easier of the two.
The 12th is a par three of only 149 yards but it is up a steep hill making club selection very confusing. The 13th is another unusual hole that is on a plateau above the rest of the course and near the main highway. If you drive left you are in trouble with the fairway sloping that way and if you go right then you are either in thick trees or out of bounds over the roadside fence.
The last four holes, part of the original layout, are all par fours. The 15th and 18th are reasonably long with the 16th and 17th very tight driving holes. Into a strong wind, the burn can be in play on these two holes. The 18th is rated index 1 but I would rate it as the most difficult. The fairway is very narrow with a road on the left. Out of bounds lies just a few yards left of the green. I suspect many a good score has come to ruin here.
This review is an edited extract from Another Journey through the Links, which has been reproduced with David Worley’s kind permission. The author has exclusively rated for us every Scottish course featured in his book. Another Journey through the Links is available for Australian buyers via www.golfbooks.com.au and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.