Luffenham Heath - Leicestershire & Rutland - England

Luffenham Heath Golf Club,
Ketton,
Stamford,
Lincolnshire,
PE9 3UU,
England


  • +44 (0) 1780 720205

  • TBC

  • Harry Colt, Charles Alison, James Braid & CK Cotton

  • Ian Burnett

Rutland Water is the largest man-made lake in Western Europe, set in the middle of England's smallest county. Three miles south of Rutland Water, as the crow flies, is the Earl of Ancaster's Common with its peaceful and tranquil golf course. Luffenham Heath Golf Club is set on high ground in an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because it is home to some of the country's most important flora and fauna, and a feeling of calm washes over as soon as you drive into the car park.

The club was founded in 1911 and the course was originally laid out by the famous design partnership of Harry Colt and Charles Alison. James Braid revised the layout between the wars and C K Cotton made further changes after the Second World War.Thatched shelters bring a touch of Royal St George's to Luffenham Heath

Luffenham Heath is laid out principally in an out-and-back fashion, but the holes are routed in every conceivable direction. When the wind blows – as it often does on this undulating and elevated common – it hits you from all directions. Despite the numerous trees and bushes which line many of the holes, you never feel hemmed in. Most tee shots are pleasantly inviting. Measuring 6,563 yards from the back tees against a par of 70, Luffenham is not long, but it's an intriguing test.

The golf is good and honest and there are some excellent holes. The 7th, a par four of medium length, requires a precision approach shot to an elevated green, which is fiercely guarded by five bunkers. The next hole is the easiest on the card (SI 18) and it's a fun, drivable par four. But our favourite hole is the 17th, a dramatic one-shotter, which measures 201 yards from the tips and usually plays directly into the prevailing wind. The elevated tee provides a fine vantage point... a par here is one to savour.

Luffenham Heath is a course to enjoy rather than to slog round. You will find the golf infinitely pleasant and, at times, rather exhilarating. The recently extended and upgraded course has been awarded Open Championship Qualifying for the 2013 Open at Muirfield. Click here for more. Despite the club's Lincolnshire postal address, Luffenham Heath is affiliated to the Leicestershire & Rutland Golf Union.

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Reviews for Luffenham Heath

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Description: The course at Luffenham Heath Golf Club is charming, adorned by oak, elm and ash. Set in an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Rating: 4.1 out of 6 Reviews: 14

I arrived at Luffenham Heath Golf Club on a beautifully bright and mild March morning after a pleasant and stress-free two hour drive.

The car park was empty, the course was clear and I was an hour ahead of my allotted tee-time; every lone golfers perfect scenario.

And then disaster struck!

Imagine my disappointment when registering in the pro-shop and being told that the course was currently on temporary greens (holes cut in the fairway) and they would only return to the normal ones once a light top dressing had been applied to the putting surfaces. The staff were very apologetic and quickly offered a discount off my green-fee, however, I declined and opted to play two rounds instead; the first one to the temporaries and the second to the normal greens later in the day.

It was a good decision because I got to walk the course twice and despite the top-dressing the proper greens were superb; firm but receptive, quick and true. A real credit should go to the head green-keeper and his team.

It’s a fine piece of land that the course is routed over. The opening holes use the terrain especially well and then after playing a few holes on flatter ground the undulations return for the closing stretch.

Despite its name the course isn’t really laid out over heathland, certainly not nowadays. There is plenty of width for the playing corridors but should one venture a little more wayward you are likely to find thorny bushes, scraggly trees, brambles or gorse with very little chance of executing a recovery shot…. at least pain-free!

In my opinion the strength of Luffenham is in the par fours. There are a series of high quality two-shot holes and rarely a straight one amongst them. Many of the holes dogleg or curve significantly and this makes for good strategic golf.

Overall I was very impressed with the golf on offer at Luffenham Heath and it’s a course I will try and return to in the summer when the course is no doubt playing even firmer than it was in March.

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

4 / 6
Luffenham Heath
April 24, 2017


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This a reply to Hugh below ( sorry if I have not placed it in the correct area) We played at Swinley Forrest last week and sadly the greens were so poor that we were refunded our money! Food and hospitality were as per usual but the course was very shabby and frankly, a bit tired looking. Yes we have all had a long winter but compared to New Zealand recently, it was very sad indeed.This is a somewhat discursive way of saying that whilst I agree that Luffenham is not as fine a course as Swinley, it is closer in quality than your somewhat dismissive reply. When we return there in the summer, I may again assess the course but I do think that some courses are living a little on past reputation. By the way- New Zealand is emphatically not one of them.
5 / 6
Luffenham Heath
April 19, 2013


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I tend to agree with the observations regarding the recent 6-ball postings (not in a million years!) … this is a decent 4-ball course and at a push I can see some reviewers going for a 3-ball or a 5-ball but nothing more either way. There are not many standout courses in this neck of the woods, so being No. 1 in Leicestershire & Rutland is unlikely to be challenged for a while. Being part of the English Top 100 (#90) is a great achievement and having played the bulk of the country’s 100 I think this feels ok, just. The club is a traditional members club and well worth a visit with plenty of decent holes. As early as the 2nd there is a strong par-4; this has a left to right feel all the way and especially at the green. The 7th will probably be mentioned by most who play here, under 400 yards but a tough uphill approach to a protected green makes a par-4 a really good score. The 13th is the longest par-4 on the course at 481 yards, reaching in two shots is not easy. The last par-3 is at the 17th and is my favourite of the short holes; plays around 200 yards downhill and has the trickiest green on the course (looks a bit similar to the 6th hole at Coombe Hill, Surrey) . The strong finish continues at the last, with a 550+ yard par -5, with great bunkering at tee-shot length and also around the lay-up point. I think the club plan to spend on the clubhouse and the course, which is a must … no investment these days means standing still and standing still really means going backwards.
4 / 6
Luffenham Heath
March 09, 2013


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Hugh
March 10, 2013
A very measured review IMO... pretty much spot on.
These two latest six balls reviews are surely the work of Luffenham members or club staff? Luffenham does have positives in that it is set in a lovely place and 17 is one of the best par threes in the Midlands and 18 a great closer. But there are too many average holes at Luffenham which makes the experience rather forgettable. I’m always sceptical when reviewers say that the members are welcoming and the staff friendly – these aspects are of secondary importance to the golf course and suggest the reviewer is somewhat biased. Unfortunately the soil at Luffenham is too heavy for it to play like a heathland course and compared to Notts, Luffenham is in a much lower league which may suit higher handicappers as the Luffenham test is not exacting. When I last played here in Sept 2011 I managed to play to handicap and I was playing poor golf that day. If I was on similar form at Notts, I’d have finished eight or nine shots off handicap. In summary, an OK course, worth playing if in the area, but it will never stand up to scrutiny compared to Notts. They will need to grow the rough and narrow the fairways when Open Qualifying comes here in 2013 or it will be ripped apart.
3 / 6
Luffenham Heath
May 28, 2012


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Laurence
January 17, 2013
Have just come back to this site and amused to be suspected of being either a member or employee of Luffenham Heath simply because our travelling fourball happened to like our experience there the best out of the three fine courses we played on that trip. In retrospect, I did word my review poorly in that I ranked the whole experience as being more important than purely the golf course. Not that LH is too shabby in that respect. It is a Colt course which immediately reminds the Southerner of the beloved Swinley Forest. I suppose I may have allowed too much for the very old fashioned " Swinleyesque" feel of the place- ancient lockers, deserted rustic course and old fashioned - yes- obviously old monied membership. I felt at home and was made to feel very welcome.
Hugh
January 19, 2013
I’m a Southerner and there is nothing about the Luffenham Heath golf course that reminds me of Swinley Forest. Swinley is one of Harry Colt’s finest, Luffenham is not and the only thing in common is the old-fashioned nature of the clubs. Period.
Steven Goodson
January 05, 2015
Dear God, please tell me they didn't grow the rough up! I promise you that the legendary architectural figures that designed the course would not approve of that.
Mashie Niblick
January 05, 2015
Reply to Stevie G - You're absolutely right, too many clubs today think that growing the rough improves the course, it just makes the experience tedious, but then who was it that said 'the ignorance of committees is invincible' - I wouldn't mind betting that Stevie G knows the answer to that, only the very knowledgeable do.
We played this lovely and eccentric old course during the same week as Little Aston and Hollinwell and this was our favourite. A wonderful example of a Harry Colt heathland course and one of the best of its kind in the Midlands. The downhill par 3 17th is justifiably famous but the graceful uphill par 4 7th is a real gem. The last four holes are as tough a finishing test as you will get. The clubhouse is appropriately rustic and old worldly and the members were very welcoming. A real treat.
6 / 6
Luffenham Heath
May 26, 2012


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A real old fashioned club. The course is wonderful and will require every club in the bag, most par 4's are dog legs and require thought rather than just blast away with a driver. Firm, fast greens and proper bunkering, you wont reach the green from a fairway bunker here.Clubhouse and pro shop very friendly and great real ale in the bar.
6 / 6
Luffenham Heath
October 14, 2011


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Played this course on a lovely September evening and enjoyed it immensely. There are some very good holes (notably the 2nd) and the bunkering is excellent. The course was very quiet. I saw more deer on the course than fellow golfers!
4 / 6
Luffenham Heath
September 13, 2010


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I like Luffenham Heath. Three holes stand out. I love the long two-tiered seventh green, perched on the edge of a hill. It asks for a great approach shot. The seventeenth is a goodie too, a downhill one-shotter to a well bunkered upturned saucer-type putting surface. It’s not quite Dornoch but it’s a tricky green. And the last hole is a cracking par five which I’ve often birdied and often double-bogied. Overall maybe it’s slightly bland. But if you let yourself get involved with the strategy here there’s much fun to be had. It’s basically one of the better member’s courses. ANGLOSCOT
3 / 6
Luffenham Heath
September 01, 2009


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very disappointed with this course in as much as it is too highly rated,why.yes the course is nice and in good condition,but that doesnt mean its special.it is not what i would call special and to be up there surely it has to be.the course is flanked by trees in a lot of places but they are too far apart to give it real definition and character.it is not a classic heathland course and it is not what you would call tree lined,either.the seventeenth is a treat and the rest of the course is ok,not in the same league as Notts, Sherwood and Woodhall. i enjoyed abbotsley down the road in cambridgeshire better and its not rated.
3 / 6
Luffenham Heath
September 01, 2009


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When our group played here it was a lovely spring day yet the club seemed almost deserted and this was a Saturday, after reading past reviews on here we pre-ordered our food as we also had a long journey, glad we did as they must have no demand for it, but the staff and members we did meet were polite and helpful. Onto the course, it is a stern test with lots of well placed bunkers and is exposed to the elements. The tees and fairways were in excellent condition, but the greens were a bit bumpy, i'm sure these will improve as the weather gets better. It has a purposely rugged look to the course which makes it feel like you've steped back in time, this adds to its charm. Some fine holes here, but I think its placed too high in the rankings, there is no way this is better than Hindhead and Woking, to name just two. Don't let this put off though as it is a nice course in its own unique way.
4 / 6
Luffenham Heath
March 25, 2009


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neil
March 01, 2012
you just seem to miss the whole point . this is a great test. and hard to play to handycap , it is a lovely walk with no traffic , down in surrey they all seem so loud and busy long may luffenham stay just as it is
Carl
January 07, 2015
I haven't missed the point at all, this course is simply nowhere near as good as Hindhead and Woking amongst others as the rankings now indicate too.