Lanark - Lanarkshire - Scotland

Lanark Golf Club,
The Moor,
Whitelees Road,
Lanark,
ML11 7RX,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1555 663219

  • George Cuthill

  • Old Tom Morris, George Sayers, James Braid

  • Alan White


Most golfing Sassenachs won’t know where Lanark is and even fewer will have played this remarkable course, which is located some 15 miles to the southeast of Glasgow. The course is sited 600 feet above sea level and the ground is sandy and links-like thanks to Ice Age glacial sands. Is Lanark the finest moorland course in Scotland? 

Founded in 1851, Lanark is one of the world’s oldest golf clubs and a rudimentary 6-hole course was laid out in these early days. In 1887 Old Tom Morris was paid the princely sum of three pounds and ten shillings to extend the course to 18 holes, assisted by George Sayers. James Braid made further revisions in 1926 and little has changed since. 

Lanark measures 6,428 yards from the back tees and it opens up gently with a straightforward par four and then it begins to show its mettle. The next three holes are brutal par fours, each stretching out in excess of 400 yards from the back tees. The 4th hole – called “Houston” – is the stroke index 1 and it measures 446 yards. Invariably the hole plays directly into the prevailing wind and a par here is certainly one to be savoured. 

By today’s standards Lanark is relatively short, but playing to handicap on this former Open Championship Regional Qualifying course is another matter. The greens are deceptively tough to read and the putting surfaces are fast and true. Lanark prides itself on course conditioning and you can expect to play on perfect turf – from tee to green – for much of the year. This delightful moorland course is totally in tune with Nature and should be included on any serious golfer’s itinerary. 
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Reviews for Lanark

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Description: Founded in 1851, Lanark is the world’s 25th oldest golf club and the course is sited 600 feet above sea level where the ground is sandy and links-like thanks to Ice Age glacial sands. Rating: 4.7 out of 6 Reviews: 11

Just back from a visit to one of my favourite golfing venues in Central Scotland - Lanark. With one glaring exception nothing has changed and I still love the place. The fairways were as good as ever and the greens quite splendid...everything just fine...then we reached the 16th. A short par 4 (every course should have one) so the big-hitters can have a go but well-bunkered and with trees and rough on both sides of a narrow fairway, And the bombshell : my playing companion (a member) informs me they have put a ditch just in front of the green!!! With the contours of the land this is hidden from both the tee and where most drives finish. Sure enough as we approached the green there it was. An ugly, contrived monstrosity that completely ruins what had been a really lovely golf hole. Tom Morris and James Braid would be horrified to see what has been done to 'their' course. I was told that most members hate it. Those responsible should hang their heads in shame and undo the damage asap.

5 / 6
Lanark
June 28, 2017


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A quick stop-off at Lanark, to break up the journey on the way home from St. Andrews, proved to be a very enjoyable few hours out on one of Scotland’s premier inland courses.

There is some fabulous undulating terrain on this moorland-parkland hybrid and it has been used exceptionally well to create an interesting and varied layout, albeit quite a demanding walk.

The first thing you might notice by looking at the scorecard is that there is just one par five and only three par-threes. That leaves us with a grand total of 14 par-fours, however, the mix of these two-shotters doesn’t give us the feeling of hitting drive followed by approach on a regular basis.

The green setting of holes such as the first, third, fourth, sixth, 12th, 14th and 17th are particularly impressive and it was a real joy to play to these holes. There is some fabulous contouring around the greens and there is quite often a preferred side to miss should one wish to escape with a par.

Based on its moorland billing Lanark didn’t play as firm and as fast as I had hoped and predominantly calls for the aerial route to access most of the greens, although there were a few holes that gave the option of a running approach.

Two of the par-threes are particularly memorable for me personally but for differing reasons. The 18th, a 200+ yarder, will likely be remembered by many for the proximity of the clubhouse to the putting surface and I’m sure it has been struck on several occasions. The seventh will also stay in my mind but for non-golfing reasons, although this dropping one-shotter is a delight. As I teed my ball up to play this 135-yard gem there was a very strong and absolutely wonderful smell of fresh gingerbread that came wafting across the air! Surrounded by trees I have no idea where this scent came from but it set the taste buds tingling.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

4 / 6
Lanark
April 04, 2017


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I played at Lanark yesterday, more than ten years since I was last here, and really enjoyed my round on a course that was in remarkable condition for the time of year. The club is really blessed with the quality of turf on its fairways – when walking them, you’d never think for a moment we’ve just had one of the wettest winters ever recorded in west central Scotland.

The long par four 4th into the wind is a brilliant hole, its fairway tumbling across rolling terrain to a raised green, and the 6th and 7th holes make great use of the higher ground in the north east corner of the property, close to the railway line. I loved the little loop at holes 9 to 11 and “Quarry Knowe” at the 14th is a terrific par four with a huge dip in front of its putting surface. The greens at 15 and 17 are also cleverly concealed within a little dip that runs along a ridge, forcing approach shots to be played semi blind.

All in all, there’s plenty to enthuse about when playing at Lanark. Incidentally, the club claims to be the 25th oldest in the world, which is quite a remarkable fact, but an even more impressive statistic for me is the one that lists the original 6-hole course at Lanark as the 13th oldest in the world – now that’s something the club really could be using in its marketing.

I’m sure there’s a good reason why the winter course has holes 16 and 17 played as holes 2 and 3, as they were yesterday, but that reason doesn’t seem very obvious to me, though playing slightly out of kilter was only mildly irritating. Old-fashioned crossover fairways (as at holes 1 & 18 and 2 & 15) indicate that nothing much has changed here in a long time but such features might also suggest the course could possibly benefit from somebody taking a fresh look at the routing to see if it could be improved by eliminating such eccentricities.

Jim McCann.

4 / 6
Lanark
March 26, 2016


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Played the course 3 times in late August 2013 in a Scotland v England GCMA match. The overall condition of the course was first class. The greens were quick and true - very inadvisable to be above the hole on a number of them particularly the 3rd, where it was very easy to putt back into the hollow short of the green. Only one par 5 and three par 3s but a wide variety of interesting and challenging par 4s and a long course for a par of 70. All the staff were most friendly and welcoming and the food was excellent.
6 / 6
Lanark
February 06, 2014


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The golfing gods showed me a little glimpse of heaven on a beautiful summer evening at Lanark. Paid £20 (using Open Fairways) to walk these ancient, hallowed fairways which were, as always, in pristine condition. I have played here many times but always get a thrill from it. So many fine holes : the 1st is the perfect opening hole, 2 a narrow, demanding par 5 and the 4th the jewel in the crown. One of the finest holes anywhere. The 5th is a smashing short par 4 and the 7th a gorgeous par 3 from an elevated tee. 9 is another great par 5 with perfect bunkering (Dave Thomas take note).The 11th and 12th are fascinating, unusual par 4s and 13 another shortish par 4 with a choice of lines off the tee. Apart from the 16th the finish isn't as memorable as what comes before but, hey, who's caring? Play here on a nice day and re-connect with your golfing soul.
5 / 6
Lanark
June 29, 2011


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I have played Lanark often and in my opinion it has got to be the best moorland course in Scotland. Having played many of the top courses in the ‘home of golf’ Lanark is up there with the best of them. The fairways are always in great condition, tight firm lies, just like links. The greens are fast and true with some tricky run-offs. And don’t mention the rough, very punishing. The 4th hole is a fantastic golf hole, as is the 8th, which is the only par 5 on the course. To be fair there isn’t really a bad hole on the course. The par 3 last, in front of the clubhouse, is a cracking finish. Lanark is a must play for any serious golfer!
6 / 6
Lanark
October 25, 2010


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Played Lanark along with 7 friends in July 2009. We recieved a warm welcome in the lovely clubhouse. The course itself is a delight. A great variety of holes with challenging sloping greens. The condition of the fairways and greens was superb. An added bonus was we payed a discount price advertised on the club website. Great value and a must for a revisit.
5 / 6
Lanark
September 08, 2009


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Which word connects the London Palladium, Woolworth’s Pick n Mix stall and Lanark GC? The answer is …VARIETY. The Lanark course provides oodles of it. A few fairways seem to invite a lash with the big stick, others are tighter than a Scottish mortgage lender during a credit crunch. Some greens sit invitingly atop steep embankments, a few others are blind and require you to aim for the marker pole and hope for the best. There are two almost driveable par fours and others that require two full-blooded smacks with everything you’ve got. There are dog-legs left and dog-legs right. Some fairways are pancake flat, most are attractively undulating. There are parts of the course reminiscent of Gleneagles but the turf and landscape is almost links-like in places. A lateral water hazard pops up from below on a few fairways and there’s more than enough in the way of rough, bunkering and copses of trees to concentrate even the most easily distracted mind. A rough stone path operates as the fringe at the 18th – by then you have had so much fun you don’t really mind! Unless you have the iron play of Olazabal you are likely to have lots of long putts on generously proportioned greens that are deceptively nuanced and tricky to read (perhaps I need to visit Specsavers!). There are only two consecutive holes running in the same direction, the course condition is very good and the setting is picture-perfect. On a late summer evening in the dappled sun (yes SUN!!!) this is a cracking place to play as badly as I do. Derek, Edinburgh, September 08.
5 / 6
Lanark
September 09, 2008


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Being the 25th oldest club in the world you would expect Lanark to be steeped in history, and you would not be wrong. The fact that the course has been used in the past as an open qualifier tells you that this course has undoubted quality but being only just over 6100 from the yellows it means that it is a course which also appeals to mid to high handicappers. A gentle open hole gives way to 3 tough par fours where bogey is often seen as a good score. I loved the three par 3’s, the longest being the 18th which measures 200 yards. Be careful to avoid hitting the road which runs at the front of the green, and I am speaking from personal experience here. So, if you are in the area, give this friendly and accommodating moorland course a visit. You will not be disappointed . MPPJ
3 / 6
Lanark
June 27, 2008


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I have played Lanark a few times now and have found it to be a difficult and challenging test of golf. The fairways are always in mint condition and the greens are generally excellent.(Although the last time I played there the greens were pitted with pitch marks.) The location and views from some of the holes are stunning and there is absolutely no sign of civilisation from any part of the course. The only negative thing I can say about this course is that there are 3 holes that cross the path of another, so you have to stay alert when walking up to your ball on some holes. All in all though a course that should be played if you're in the area and one I'm sure I'll play again.
5 / 6
Lanark
April 15, 2007


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