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What others say
Lundin Golf Club ©A final qualifying course for the Open Championship, Lundin Golf Club is in the town of Lundin Links. And yes, it's pronounced "London," just like the capital of England. But this is in Scotland. Confused? Well, the course might confuse you a bit too because it's a combination of a pure seaside links course and a pure parkland course. Strange but true, and it sure makes for a fun day of golf.
Lundin golf course is a favorite of independent golf travelers and golf prosOriginally designed by one of Scotland's most famous architects, Tom Morris and updated by the great James Braid, Lundin is a challenging course and certainly one of the most unusual ones I've played. In fact, it's a true little gem and a well-kept secret--outside of Scotland, that is. It's well regarded in Scotland and is annually voted one of the best of British courses. Add to that the fact that it is one of the friendliest places to play golf and you can have yourself quite a pleasant day. But don't rely on a golf travel company to book you here. There are too many "famous" golf courses to book people on and so this fabulous Scottish links/parkland golf course goes unnoticed by them. Too bad, really, because it's one of the favorites of the independent golf traveler.
Lundin is a final qualifying course for the Open ChampionshipThe Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the governing body of golf in Great Britain, thinks so highly of Lundin Golf Club that it uses this golf course as a final qualifying course for the Open Championship. Many a professional's heart has been broken by this deceptively difficult 6,394 yard (from the medal tees) par 71 layout while trying to qualify for the "Big Show." Brad Faxton qualified here and says it's a golf course he will always remember fondly.
The first hole looks friendly enough but watch out, it can pick your pocket and you don't want to start your round with a bogey--or worse! You tee off in front of the pro shop with the ocean on your left and bunkers on your right. Because of the water on the left you may be tempted to favor the right side of the fairway, but make a note to yourself that the fairway slopes right so any ball too far right can roll right into the bunkers. Typical of this course is the choice you face on this first hole. This is rated as the 5th toughest hole, but considering that the prevailing wind will be in your face and your second shot is uphill to a green that doesn't have a flat spot on it, you'll have your hands full making par.
The second hole will let you catch your breath with an elevated tee and only 346 yards to navigate. But be prepared for the 4th--it's mean. From the visitor's tees it's a 415 yard par 4 with a stroke index of 3, I thought it was the toughest hole on the course. I'm straight enough but I'm not exactly the longest hitter in the world, and you need to be straight and long to have any kind of a birdie chance on this hole. And since there is a creek about 50 yards from the green, you need a long and accurate second shot to get onto the green or you'll have to lay up. If the wind is in your face, it's usually better to lay up and pitch over the creek. If you par this hole, take your ball and run to the next hole. Like the 1st, the prevailing wind will be in your face on this 4th, so the 415 yards can easily become 450 yards.
The 9th is the number 1 stroke index and is called "Long"--and it is. At 546 yards you'd better pray that the wind is at your back because you have a long way to go. The 13th is also long and is another of my favorites. It's a beautifully designed hole with a slight dogleg that you must reach on your approach so you can fire to the green through a narrow entrance lined with firs.
You'll like the 14th. Some traditionalists claim it was James Braid himself who named it "Perfection." It's 175 yards from a highly elevated tee with a great view of the golf course, the Firth of Forth, the green and the Leven Golf Club to your right (the golf clubs are side-by-side separated by a small fence--see separate write-up for Leven Golf Club). Take at least one club less than you think you need.
When I first reviewed this course in early 2002, they were using the StrokesaverTM yardage book. In my humble opinion, StrokesaverTM is the worst of the yardage books. (Not only does it barely fit in the average pocket, it is filled with advertisements. I could live with that if these books were also filled with meaningful information, but all they have is the most elementary stats--yardage from a few spots and an indication of a few landmarks. There is not even an arrow showing the direction to the next tee. I don't know why so many courses use them.) Okay, okay, enough complaining. The good news is that David Thomson, club Secretary, sent me a new yardage book, a "3D Virtual Course Guide" to be exact. It's fabulous. Not only does it show the hole in its entirety, with all the trees, traps, and undulations, it shows it in a perspective that resembles an actual 3 dimensional view. And the Pro has written short helpful guidance notes for each hole. Thank you, Lundin Golf Club, for helping us hackers.
What I like most about Lundin golf course (other than the exceptional friendliness of the staff and members) is the fact that it has both links golf course and parkland golf course feel. It's rather unique in this sense. Just when you get into a links mode it turns parkland. Then, after playing in a parkland style, the finishing holes play more like links golf. It's really quite a treat and one I highly recommend.
One of the pros at another golf club in the area (who shall remain nameless!) told me Lundin Golf Club was his favorite golf course in the entire area. Quite a compliment from a man who can play any golf course at any time free of charge. If you get a chance, be sure to play this golf course. And when you do, try to commiserate with the poor touring pro who is trying to play his way into the Open Championship. You'll get the feel of what a really challenging layout this is. I encourage you to play this course. About 10 miles south of St. Andrews off of the A915 on the west side of the town of Lundin Links.
Golf Nook Scotland rating -- EAGLE