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 C.H. Alison. James Braid revised the layout between the wars and C K Cotton made further changes after the Second World War. Little changed until the new millennium when Martin Hawtree completed a renovation in 2004.
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 was awarded Open Championship Qualifying for the 2013 Open at Muirfield. Luffenham Heath awarded Open Qualifying
Despite the club's Lincolnshire postal address, Luffenham Heath is affiliated to the Leicestershire & Rutland Golf Union.
Respond to above review
Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful
Luffenham Heath is a pretty course set on high ground and in many ways it is reminiscent of Gog Magog. The main difference is that Gog Magog plays on free-draining chalk and Luffenham is ostensibly clay. I couldn't see anything remotely heathland about Luffenham, perhaps for the sand in the bunkers and some gorse and the odd silver birch. Nevertheless, it's a pleasant place for golf and none too difficult...I certainly wasn't on form when I played here and managed to score very close to my handicap. As already mentioned, the 17th is a superb hole as is the 7th, where the green site is a masterpiece. When I played here, a pheasant shoot was going off and for the first hour it was as though we were playing in the midst of a firing range...not exactly tranquil. Anyway, it’s worth a trip as long as the shooting club is on holiday.