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 1897 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.
Visited this course in June 2004 using a golf discount coupon with a mate. I think we payed 15 quid each – what a bargain because Lanark is a cracking track! Greens were true and fast, as good as you would want to play on anywhere. Every bunker we visited had been newly raked. When was the last time that happend when you played midweek?
This is a course where you see in so many ways that they are paying attention to little things (like keeping grass cut low and often). Honestly, some of the large tees and surrounding areas were immaculately groomed in a manner that would put some highly regarded courses to shame – hats off to the groundskeeping staff for presentation.
The rough is penal if you stray from generous fairways and so it should be. I'd play this course again in a minute, and might well do so this summer. Bar meals in the clubhouse were very reasonably priced. You will love this moorland course if you play it as it's a genuine Scottish golf treasure.