Scottish Links Golf
AFSD - how to determine
the real length of a golf course
Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...
Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick...
Just east of Edinburgh
Scotland's Golf Coast
Royal Dornoch, Brora, Nairn...
St. Andrews area
Other golf courses
Great links golf for everyone
What others say
Luffness New Golf Club ©
Luffness New. Strange name, isn't it? Makes you want
to ask, "Okay, what's a 'Luffness' and
where's the old one?" Actually, the
original Luffness golf course was founded
in 1867, and laid out by the legendary Tom
Morris, architect of many a great Scottish
links golf courses. In 1894, however, they
had to abandon their layout and start anew,
with Tom Morris again as architect. The original
membership was made up of "102 gentlemen
as life-members on payment of six pounds
each" (not a bad deal). And thus the
new Luffness course was launched. Of all
the names they could have chosen, for some
reason the name Luffness New Golf Club was selected.
|Kind of gets your golf juices flowing, doesn't
Luffness New is a final qualifying course
for the Open Championship
A true Scottish links golf course, Luffness New is seldom if ever chosen for a play by the
golf travel companies, who would rather concentrate
on the more "famous" golf courses
in the area. But it is a favorite of the
independent golf traveler. Luffness New runs adjacent to the three fine Gullane
courses, all of which are also true Scottish
links layouts. In fact, it's difficult to
tell where one golf course ends and the others
begin. Like Gullane #1, Luffness New Golf Club is used as a final qualifying course when
the British Open Championship is played at
Muirfield. It has the same turf, hills, tough
bunkers, deep rough, and wind that Gullane
#1 has. In addition, it has fabulous greens
that are always in terrific shape year round.
The fairways also are beautifully kept and
the views from the course are stunning.
Bring your short game
The course measures "only" 6,122
yards but it plays to a par 69, so don't
be put off by the yardage. It's got an AFSD of 186 yards. That's long enough for the
best players. And, too, there is only two
par 5's so you know the par 4s are going
to be long. On a calm day, if you keep the
ball in the fairway, you'll score well. Don't
forget the wind (as if you could when you
play in it!). The wind makes this course
much tighter. Remember, where you are. The
Firth of Forth is just a fraction of a mile
away and the wind is generally a factor.
Caddies have been known to say, "It
will take you three to be up there in two
today." Holes #2, 9, 14 and 18-all long
par 4s and on many days it will take you
three to get there in two, so bring your
short game. Having said that, remember that
on links golf courses, because of the soil
and short grass, the ball runs a lot further
than on other golf courses. A 225 yard drive
can easily run another 30 or 40 yards. And
with a strong wind behind you a drive that
would normally travel 225 yards on a parkland
golf course can travel 275 yards on a links
course. That "advantage" can quickly
turn into a disadvantage, however, because
the more a ball runs on these undulating
fairways, the more opportunity for a bunker
to gobble it up. The way to score on a links
golf course is to hit the ball straight,
not necessarily long.
The bunkers are well-placed, but they will
severely penalize those who have trouble
getting out of bunkers--especially deep bunkers.
As with so many other Scottish courses, the
first rule to remember when you are in a
bunker is "Get Out!". Don't try
to be fancy, just get out. Rely on your short
game to get you your par or, at worse, a
bogey. Just get out of trouble. Take your
bogey if you have to and start fresh on the
next hole. The same holds true for the rough.
It's penal with deep grass in some areas.
Trying to do too much from a bunker or the
deep rough accounts for the high scores that
this course can dish out. Take a drop if
you have to and get on with your bogey
The greens at Luffness New are on the smallish side and relatively
flat. Just because they don't have the exaggerated
undulations of a North Berwick West Links
course doesn't mean they are easy. Bobby
Locke thought them to be "...the best
greens in Scotland." Tony Yeates, the Secretary, tells me they
are in the process of speeding up the greens.
That should make them an even better test.
|Nuff bunkers for you?
Like Gullane #1, this course has the downhill,
uphill, and side-hill lies that come
the gently rolling Gullane hills. Because
of the hills, it also presents the
you will have to make to club up or
depending on whether the green is far
you or far above you. Add to this the
views and you'll have quite a good
Golf Nook Scotland rating -- PAR
But I hasten to say, however, that
links golf course with a "par"
rating is a fine golf course. I would have rated Luffness New slightly higher but their relatively high
green fees influenced my rating.
I found this to be a friendly private club
that welcomes guests. You'll enjoy the goodwill
you will be shown as a visiting golfer. When
women play they use the same tees as the
men but certain long par 4s are made par
5s for the women.
|The golf course is always kept in tip-top
shape--one of the best conditioned in Scotland.
Their clubhouse is a bit more formal than
the others in the area. (The only place where
ties don't have to be worn is in the showers!)
*For What to Do All Day, please see Craigielaw