Designed by local hero and five-time Open champion James Braid in 1908, Lundin Links came about after detaching itself from neighbouring Leven to deal with the rapidly increasing membership of the shared club. The new course, following some early tweaking, still stands over 100 years later. Now a pedigree championship course that has often hosted qualifying prior to a St Andrews Open, Lundin Links has well and truly come into its own.
A layout possessing significant charm and superb conditioning, Lundin Links offers players the impression of being scorable, even if it usually isn’t. The course lures you into a false sense of security with its views, superb greens and array of so-called birdie opportunities.
The 6th and 7th, short par 4s, are just such holes. Both wonderfully sum up the teasing and quirky nature of Lundin Links, as those who’ve already penciled in two threes will likely leave the 7th green red-faced, either in anger or embarassment. A combination of both emotions will be the result if you fail to notice the mischievous burn running short of the 7th green.
The course mostly runs along the coastline, but much like the first three holes at nearby Elie, and quite probably due to land constraints, has two holes running up and along a hill, with a short hole eventually dropping players back down to the flatter linksland that makes up the majority of the course.
For Lundin Links, this hole is the par 3 13th, considered by its architect and Elie native James Braid to be ‘Perfection’. Playing at 177 yards downhill off the whites, it offers exceptional views of the North Sea before the sharp left turn for home.
Overall, Lundin’s layout works very well, and although some may question the parkland-style uphill par-3 11th and par-5 12th in comparison to the rest of the course, these holes do sprinkle more variety in a layout that is already packed with the stuff.
Those who play Lundin Links for the first time will likely have a very eventful round, but are sure to enjoy every second of it.