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.
Brad Faxon – USGA Tour Pro: “I'll always have a special place in my heart for Lundin Links”
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 Links 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.
Lundin's short par four 16th ("Trows") was Leven's original 7th hole. A copy of this hole was incorporated into C.B. Macdonald's National Golf Links of America. The NGLA's 17th, known as "Leven", has become one of the numerous "template" holes that can be seen across several Macdonald/Raynor designs in North America.
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.
Lundin’s course was in much better condition than neighbouring Leven when we played them both last week. The comparison is inevitable as both courses are laid out on the same stretch of linksland and each club has nine holes from the original 18-hole course they shared between 1868 and 1909.
Understand this difference in conditioning might not be temporary and instead mainly down to money and management. Apparently, member numbers in Lundin GC are similar to the two Leven clubs taken together, but Lundin has reportedly made more room for visitors. Together with a higher greenfee, the much higher visitor income (2-3x was the proportion mentioned) has allowed Lundin to spend more than Leven on things like irrigation.
In layout terms, the two courses are similar with four par 4s going out to the low stone wall, aka the Mile Dyke, and then a short par 3 turning inland. Lundin’s front nine does not go all the way back to the club-house but turns at the large maintenance shed, where the 9th tee occupied a strange, narrow position hard by the wall of the shed, apparently due to a dispute with a wealthy lawyer neighbour (also a club member...et tu Brute) who has forced the club into this arrangement in order to stop getting sliced drives onto his property.
Another difference is the par 5 hole 13, which plays on the coastal escarpment above, whereas Leven has all its holes down on the seaside links. This creates the need for the par 3 12th to get to the upper ground. I tend to find most uphill par 3s poor or uninteresting designs, but I quite liked this one as it is routed sideways up rather than straight up. The excursion on the escarpment also results in the sea views on the par 3 14th tee, which are nothing short of glorious, although I am sure this tee-shot can be a real test if the wind is a lot stronger and from a different direction than the breeze we played in.
Lundin is a bit shorter than Leven on the scorecard, but all three of us felt it was wider and occasionally also more forgiving, but perhaps this is due to a more benign finish. The 16th and 17th are short par 4s and the 18th is long, but miles wide with not as much to threaten the approach as Leven's brutal 18th.
If you intend to cast your net wider than St Andrews itself, Lundin should be near the top of your list, at least among the traditional layouts. Perhaps the arrival of nearby Dumbarnie will entice visiting golfers to also play Lundin. It was our motivation and we do not regret it.
The golfing kingdom of Fife is full of traditional links courses which is how life started at Lundin back in 1868. Competition with adjoining Leven, each with its own Clubhouse at opposite ends of the property, saw Lundin redesigned into nine pure links holes and nine more inland, being a parkland/links hybrid. The combination works well and provides a good variety of holes.
The links turf on both the greens and the rumpled fairways is as good as it gets, and the golf course, although clearly heavily played, was presented in good condition.
I liked the opening stretch of 4 par four links holes and then the short downhill par three 5th with its well protected green. The hybrid section was interesting although not always of top quality with the strategic 13th a good par five followed by an excellent par three at 14 named ‘Perfection’ with a large dune in front of the green. The return to pure links for the homebound stretch ensured the course ended on a suitably upbeat note.
The setting of Lundin Golf Club is exceptional, bordering as it does the north shore of the Firth of Forth. And the golf is mainly very good and hugely enjoyable.
Lundin starts off with a bang, 4 holes in a row along the shore, into the prevailing wind, which take you to the furthest part of the course where an attractively bunkered par three, guarded by a burn at the front, is waiting for you next to Leven golf course. You need to make sure you have warmed up properly before you reach the first tee.
After the superb start, the rest of the course is a bit of a let down. It's not poor, it just doesn't maintain those early high standards. The exception is the short par four 16th, which tempts you to drive the green, although I felt very smug after a mid iron then a wedge left me a tap in for birdie.
Early in the back nine, the course climbs away from the links land to play a few higher holes. These have a very different feel and don't really belong with the rest of the course. The only upside is once you have climbed, you get to play the downhill par three 14th which is a great looking hole. But after good holes at 14 and 16, disappointingly 17 and 18 provide a low key finish, with the 18th green awkwardly wedged into a narrow strip of land.
Lundin’s worthy of any Scottish itinerary. By links standards it’s very hilly, making for many dramatic holes, blind shots and bumpier fairways than usual.
The whole place feels elegant, and for its quality of greens is excellent value. It has a lot of holes which would be deemed the highlight of lesser layouts. There are a couple of weaker ones on the flatter parts of the land, but I have a list of 9 holes here which I could list as favourites. The views also make it one of the most scenic courses I’ve played.
It’s also a pretty tough nut to crack, despite its yardage. It’s definitely a strategic and often penal course, rather one that encourages driver. Of the links I’ve played in Scotland, it has the most crumpled fairways, something I struggled with.
I strongly recommend adding Lundin to any Fife trip, it will fit comfortably into the top half of the courses you play.
The first five holes at Lundin Links are magnificent! Four holes that head straight out along the Firth or Forth are followed by a wonderful little par three. Those first four holes feature excellent bunkering, interesting green complexes and, at the 4th, a treacherous approach shot over a burn to an elevated green. It is undoubtedly these five holes that linger long in the memory. In truth the rest of the course is something of a letdown although the par five 9th with trouble all down the right is a fine hole. Things at Lundin get very strange at holes 12 and 13. These are two holes completely out of keeping with the linksland below as the course swings upwards and inland. The par five 13th in particular, played along high ground on a tree-lined fairway, is pretty dull. There follows 'Perfection' : every golfers favourite type of hole, a downhill par three! The views from this tee are simply stunning. I'm afraid I find the closing four at Lundin distinctly bland with the wide-open 18th especially disappointing. Nonetheless, that opening stretch justifies a four-ball rating even if my overall feeling about Lundin is 'what might have been'...
If you go on a trip to St Andrews, Lundin is a must play. It's got everything you want in a links course; charm, quirk, fast fairways, views, and it won't beat you up. The par 4s are generally under 400 yards, and are all interesting in their own right.
Standout holes are 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17 and 18. There are very few weak holes. I can't imagine a more fun course to play. Don't be silly and skip Lundin!
A little bit of everything. good set up, nice location, decent length from the tees, large variety of holes, charming club house....the only thing missing to me maybe a signature hole.
If you stay in the surroundings do not miss out on the opportunity to enjoy a few days of golf on the south coast of Fife. Lundin, Elie, Leven and the soon coming Dumbarnie have plenty to offer to links lovers.
Wow! This my 11th and last rounds in 6 days in St Andrews back in August during the Centenary of the Eden Tournament, an experience I strongly recommend to all devoted golfers who wish to to something special here … playing for “something” it makes it just even better!
After the morning rainy round at Strathtyrum Course and the prize giving I drove to Lundin which was recommended by Francisco “Paco” Aleman (ESPN’s Main Broadcaster for Latin America) where he played the Open Qualifying back in 1990. It was supposed not to be possible to play as Fridays afternoons are for Members but I just took the chance.
When arrived there was nobody at the ProShop so went to the bar and one of the guys said to me “Just go and play” but when I was about to tee off the Club Pro Ron approached to me from 18th and stopped me. We had a very nice conversation and he agreed to let me walk the course but not play it and my answer was “You are breaking my heart” (it was true, I was flying that night back to Argentina) and suddenly he said “Get your drive and hit it” … it was the perfect farewell of the trip: sunny twilight, little wind and the course almost for me.
It has a similar setting as Nairn with out holes away from the Club and then back with a forest part of 3 holes before heading back to the ocean and to the Club House. There are so many good holes that I would be unfair if not saying this.
All the same there are some to really highlight:
- Short par 4s 6th and 7th, with tricky tee shots are really good.
- Par 3 12th up the hill and breaking from left to right.
- Par 3 14th called “Perfection” is just that facing the ocean with a drop from tee to green of 15-20mts.
- Short 16th reachable but very tough to get in properly on the green.
- 18th very challenging were an OB second shot ruined the round.
The afternoon/night ended with a lonely dinner at the Club House before driving to Glasgow Airport and it completed a fantastic week of golf. This course together with Leven and soon to open Dumbarnie staying at Old Manor can be a great alternative if you don’t find lodging at St Andrews.
And this course gives another lesson about the UK: there are many non famous courses (because of not hosting Pro or TV Events) that you can play for great value, Lundin and Leven (I walked it as well as Dumbarnie) are good examples. Many thanks to Ron Walker for that kind permission of allowing me to play my 11th round in 6 days. I will be back!
The historic Lundin Links has a rich heritage, originally designed by Old Tom Morris and revised by James Braid. The course does have two distinct feels to it. The original linksland holes along the water have greater character than the newer Braid holes which play up the side of the hill. The starting hole provides a stiff challenge at 420 yards with an elevated green. The course’s defining characteristics are: 1) hidden burns that snake throughout the course and catch balls of the unsuspecting golfer; 2) blind shots, especially blind tee shots; 3) small, staid, circular greens. I found the two par five holes to be quite demanding at 555 yards and 499 yards, both playing into the wind. My favorite hole is the short par 4 tenth at 352 yards. The green is set at an angle off to the left of the fairway and really isn’t visible until you reach it, being blocked by a combination of a high mound that sits within a circular bunker and a small hill with gorse on top of it. It creates the perfect defense for a short hole and makes it quite challenging to hit an accurate shot to the green. The most famous hole on the course is the 16th hole, named “Trows”. This hole was the inspiration for Charles Blair Macdonald when he designed the 17th hole at the National Golf Links of America in New York. It is only 311 yards with a burn to carry off the tee and a green situated behind a sand dune. Balls hit left off the tee are thus blind to the green. The finishing hole is a very good one, with a punchbowl style green set in a hollow. Lundin is a pleasant place to play for golfers who are touring around Scotland and staying in nearby St. Andrews. The staff are welcoming and the greens fees are reasonable.
The mouth-watering first fairway that slopes dramatically from left to right is a gorgeous opening hole and sets the tone for the brilliant opening stretch of 4 holes that intimately hug the coastline and bring you to the end of the property. The playing conditions at Lundin were wonderful and notably superior to adjacent courses. The delightful par 3 5th hole takes you inland along the famous wall before a string of short par 4s close out the front nine. This stretch includes a couple of blind tee shots whereby you can’t see the landing area, but the approach shots are straightforward and relatively short.
The holes at Lundin are stacked alongside each other in a compact property, but it is blessed with the 12th, 13th and 14th holes which play on elevated ground and offer beautiful views across the property. While these holes are more tree lined, I thought they were a perfect complement to the true links holes. Let’s not forget the evolution of why these holes exist, so they are the best we could have hoped for away from the coastline.
Holes 5 and 14 are par 3s at the end of the property and are really the only holes that play perpendicular to the water, otherwise all other holes on the course run in parallel. An aerial view of the course will validate this routing observation. Several holes on each nine feel the same, run in the same direction and exist in a string of holes that bring you up or down the property in one big line. With that said, there is plenty of challenge and diversity to conclude that Lundin Golf Club is certainly not a pushover and is spectacular in places.
Along with Elie and Crail, it is just yet another example of how strong the golf is in Fife without stepping foot in St. Andrews.