Established in 1894 and designed by Tom Morris, Luffness New Golf Club has changed little to the present day. Although Luffness hosts the qualifying rounds for the Open Championship, its main purpose is to serve the needs of its members and visitors. Not for them the island greens surrounded by water, lakes on every hole or a succession of problems far beyond the average player. Luffness can be hard – mighty hard – when the wind blows down the Forth and the rough is thick enough to whet the whistle of a hungry herd. There are distinctive bunkers too but, like all great courses, Luffness rewards the virtues.
The fairways are beautifully kept, and the golfer who can keep the ball down the middle will find little to worry him, but there is plenty of trouble in store for the wanderers. The bunkers are placed fairly to punish the errant shot and furthermore they are constructed to penalise severely those who cannot get the ball in the air. The course measures 6328 yds, Par 70, SS 71, a reasonable figure on a calm day, but very tight if even a slight wind blowing.
On Scotland's coasts wind can be an incalculable hazard, and the caddies have been heard to say “It will take you three to be up there in two today, Sir” – the second, ninth, and eighteenth fall into this category. The long fourth hole (531 yards) is a very good hole of its type with a deceptive hollow in front of the green calling for a well judged approach. The eighth and twelfth holes also merit a special word of praise for their attractive layout from the tee. The fourth and twelfth greens are situated close to the clubhouse; members are thus able to play a number of permutations without having to walk back from the country.
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