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.
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.
I came back to play another wee winter away day game at Lundin today, some five years after my last visit. This course really epitomises all that’s good about Scottish links golf -- even if the holes from 9 to 13 have a slightly unlinks-like feel to them -- and it does you good to remind yourself from time to time that this is what the game is all about with blind tee shots, forced carries over acres of gorse, raised greens that sit behind burns, cunningly-positioned pot bunkers on fairways and around greens, out of bounds aplenty and putting surfaces right out of the top drawer.
It’s not too long either (only five of the thirteen par fours on the card play more than 355 yards from the gents regular tees) so it’s certainly not a slog round Lundin. Far from it; it’s an absolute pleasure.