Scotland and more so Fife (the home of golf) is Blessed with the world’s most iconic golf course, The Old Course, St Andrews. If you play golf you want to walk on that hallowed turf. However, in this Kingdom of Fife we are blessed with some of the finest Hidden Gems in Links Golf you will find anywhere on this planet.
Not only are these great courses. They are steeped in over 800 years of golfing history.
ELIE GOLF HOUSE CLUB
The golf links are the feature that join the beautiful villages of Earlsferry, and Elie and the local population are justifiably proud of their ancient course. The course has evolved over the centuries from a simple links golfing tract in the 1500’s to the fine 18-hole course it is today.
It has been confirmed from Royal Charter that golf was played over “the golfing tract” in Earlsferry from that time and the Charter was renewed in the 16th century by King James VI of Scotland reconfirming the right for the villagers and visitors to play golf ….. all at a time when Christopher Columbus had just discovered America and most people believed that the earth was flat!
Elie is one of the most highly regarded courses in Scotland and the historic links terrain effortlessly combines undulating fairways with large, fast and firm greens.
Elie boasts some of the finest putting surfaces in the country and is such a fun golf course, with short risk and reward holes and long demanding holes it has a mixture of everything. With 16 par 4 and 2 par 3s the golfer has to play well to score at Elie but there are a lot of chances.
It also has some sensational views for golfers to enjoy and these play an important part in creating what is one of the most wonderful golfing experiences not just in Fife, but also in Scotland.
One of Elie’s unique features is there to see before you even strike a ball. The first tee starters box hosts a Royal Navy Submarine periscope that was donated to the club by member Darren Reekie of the HMS Excalibur in 1966. So, before you tee off you can have a glance down the first fairway that sits 20ft above you using this very famous periscope.
LUNDIN GOLF CLUB
The Lundin Golf Club was founded on the 8th May 1868. In that year the Leven Clubs had extended their links from the Mile Dyke eastwards towards Lundin Links. This extended course occupied the narrow strip of land lying between the railway line and the Firth of Forth.
A magnificent old Tom Morris/James Braid designed golf course, Lundin Links, just 20 minutes from St. Andrews is one of Scotland’s gems. Historically a qualifying course to The Open Championship when played in St. Andrews, Lundin Golf Club is renowned for its beautiful greens and some of the most demanding Par 4’s in the game of golf.
A complex links course with open burns, an internal out of bounds (the old railway line), and strategic bunkering, Lundin presents a challenge for the thinking golfer where position from the tee rather than distance will yield just rewards on the scorecard.
Lundin is famed for its incredible greens, they are arguably the best greens in the Kingdom of Fife and all who can putt fall in love with these greens. Nothing proves that more than honorary member and PGA tour winner Brad Faxon, a man who was hailed as the best putter in the world.
Leven Links is one of the very oldest links courses in Scotland with golf dating back to the mid 1800's. Leven is thought to be the very first course in the world to feature 18 tees and 18 separate greens. A traditional links with rolling fairways, many of which are lined by ancient sand dunes, fast putting surfaces, burns and pot bunkers.
A six-time Open Championship final qualifying venue, Leven has stood the test of time and continues to host leading amateur events and international matches to this day. In 2020, Leven Links will host a PGA EUROPRO TOUR event. The event runs from 9th – 11th September and will be covered on the Sky Sports channel. Definitely something to look for.
The Editor of Golf Monthly has described the older parts of Leven Links as “being one of the best stands of bents and fescues in Scotland – the place in summer to put away the solid ball, leave the wedge in the locker room and hone your chip and run approaches because this is where the real game is played.
Leven Links also has one long lasting memory, the finishing hole. 18. Described by many a golfer as the toughest final hole in Scotland, the 18th at Leven Links all 458 yards, over the Famous
Scoonie burn, into the strong prevailing westerly wind has destroyed some of the best golfers in the world. The saying goes at Leven “you haven’t finished until you play 18”. This may be true on all courses but it’s a FACT at Leven Links.
CRAIL GOLFING SOCIETY
Arguably the most famous of the 4 courses Crail is one for everyone.
A combination of stunning coastal views, centuries of history and hugely enjoyable golf is what makes Balcomie Links one of Scotland's most finely polished, golfing gems. This traditional, classic links course was laid out by the old master himself, Tom Morris, and opened in 1895. Created in the days when course design was governed by the natural lie of the land and not the mechanical earth mover, Balcomie has the unusual combination of three par fives, six par threes and nine par fours, producing a tough par of 69. Extraordinary holes abound, along with those which seriously challenge and those which are more comfortable. The layout which both enchants and delights, also demands and punishes, testing all the skills in a golfer's armoury – as well as his nerve. Those length seekers who believe Balcomie will be a soft touch, do so at their peril.
With the wind a constant and ever-changing feature, the challenge is enhanced at many of the holes, but perhaps none more so than at the extraordinary 13th. A longish par three at 210 yards, it is played up and over a vertical cliff to an invisible, viciously sloping green and, more often than not, the wind is an added hindrance. This supremely challenging hole was made famous in Michael Murphy's seminal book 'Golf in the Kingdom'. It is followed by another par three which is one of Scottish golf's most scenic holes. The 14th is played from the top of the cliff to a green far below surrounded by bunkers, with an out of bounds beach to the right and fronted by an enormous sleeper-faced bunker. The golfer's difficulty at this hole is to pause long enough from admiring the view to concentrate on the demanding short iron shot that is required.
This wonderful links course just has so much to give any golfer, it’s such a memorable experience from start to finish and most definitely enough to challenge any of the greats.
To find out more about these courses and how to experience them contact us direct.