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Longniddry: A modern inland links shaped by some of golf architecture’s biggest names

 

Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that Longniddry’s character is so elusive to pin down. After all, it has been shaped at various times by several of the great names of design.

Harry Colt, James Braid, Philip Mackenzie Ross, and Donald Steel have all left their mark on this East Lothian club that dates back more than 100 years.

It is in many ways a rarity. There are lots of modern inland courses that claim to play like links. But when you did you last see a course at sea level and on the coast that is for the most part parkland in character?

History

Formed in 1921, Longniddry is situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, arguably the finest stretch of golfing coastline in Scotland, 18 miles east of Edinburgh and known as Scotland’s Golf Coast.

Mary Queen of Scots is reported to have played golf in the Longniddry area around the mid-16th century, and, 350 years later, just after the First World War, the 11th Earl of Wemyss asked renowned golf architect Harry Colt to design an 18-hole course over 150 acres of his estate.

During the war part of the course was ploughed up for food production, following which Philip Mackenzie Ross was invited to make good the damage and, in 1945, the course was redesigned. Some of the changes were quite significant, with two holes by the sea being scrapped.

More recently Donald Steel was engaged to advise on the course architecture, particularly the bunkering. Many of the original cross-bunkers were removed, or to be more precise, relocated.

What makes it special

Many of the trees that were cleared to create the course were in what was called Boglehill Wood, reported to a site of worship for local witches and warlocks – now the location of the 6th and 10th greens.

Where does it rank?

311th in GB&I, 15th in East Lothian.

Where is it?

Longniddry Golf Club straddles the coastline of Longniddry in East Lothian along Links Road and is a 30 minute drive from Edinburgh.

Get in touch with Longniddry

For more information about the club and course, visit its website or call them on 01875 852141.

Have you played Longniddry before? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us.

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