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 cannot believe I wrote in a previous review for this course that Lundin was not punishing if you stray from the fairway. My word, only the par 3 fifth hole on the front nine and holes 10 to 12 on the back nine do not have an out of bounds to contend with so how wrong could I be !
I fronted up with my mate on a frosty December morning (three and a half years after last playing Lundin) fully expecting to be turned away – not a bit of it! The golfers here are as hardy as their counterparts across the Firth of Forth at Gullane where I last played in such wintry conditions.
OK, putting was a bit of a lottery, as you might expect on surfaces that were bone hard and white with frost but the sky was clear and sunny and we were well layered to keep the cold out so nothing could stop us enjoying a round on such a fine course.
I’d forgotten lots about Lundin – how tricky the 7th and 8th were with burns running right in front of elevated greens, how thrilling some of the blind drives were at several of the holes on the flatter middle section of the course and how good a hole both “Thorntree” the 10th and “Perfection” the 14th were; the former played semi blind to a tight green surrounded by gorse and the latter played downhill with 150 yards of carry over gorse.
The clubhouse has been extensively refurbished to the highest standards and the club even throw in soup and filled rolls as part of their winter package for visiting golfers, which is fantastic value.
I played in their May 2003 Open and was very lucky to have a glorious day to play golf -- I can only imagine how hard it would be with a wind blowing. The course is not too long and not as punishing as its next door neighbour Leven should you stray from a fairway.
Holes in the middle of the round take you away from the coast to higher ground but this does not detract at all from the enjoyment -- if anything, it whets the appetite for the closing holes back to the clubhouse. Lundin's a fine example of Scottish links golf where you'll love every minute from arrival to departure.