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.
The Lundin Links end of the course was described in 1868 as ‘benty, tussocky and ripe with whin’, with which the errant driver of today might still agree. It would appear that the Club had some difficulty in establishing itself and went out of existence some nine years after its formation.
Lundin Golf Club was resuscitated in 1889 with an annual subscription fixed at 2/6 and an entry fee of like amount. A two-roomed clubhouse was built costing £70 and the Club quickly became established as a healthy constitution. The course was administered by a Joint Links Committee made up of members of the Innerleven, Leven Thistle, and Lundin Clubs.
By 1893 the membership of Lundin had risen to 130 and the original clubhouse had become inadequate. Plans were drawn up for new premises, and in 1896 Sir John Gilmour opened the new clubhouse.
The shared links, saw Leven and Lundin golfers starting from their respective ends but the course inevitably became congested as the popularity of the game increased. By 1907 the membership at Lundin was approaching 400 while the Leven golfers numbered almost 1000. On 11th November of that year a petition was presented to Sir John Gilmour requesting that he consider the establishment of an 18 hole course on his estate. Sir John was evidently in sympathy with the petitioners, for within a few months plans had been drawn up and submitted to the legendary James Braid for his observations. On 27th March, 1908, Braid came to Lundin Links and in October of that year work began on the laying out of the new course.
The course was made up of nine holes on the existing links together with nine on ground formerly occupied by the Lundin Ladies Golf Club to the North of the railway line. Sir John made land available to the Ladies on the Standing Stanes Park and a field adjacent thereto. One suspects that the Ladies may have required some persuasion to relinquish their tenure, but Sir John provided appropriate encouragement by having Braid design their new course as well! The new 18 hole course was completed by the Autumn of 1909 (at a cost of £143.2.6) and on 29th November, 1909, Mr B C Cox, Captain of the day, drove the first ball using a ‘Dreadnought’ club donated by Sir John.
The railway line running through the middle of the course was closed in the 1960’s and the Club purchased that ground from the Railway Company in 1971 together with the old station which had stood sentinel over the 17th green for so many years. Part of the railway embankment was regraded to allow re-alignment of the 18th fairway and extend the practice ground. To retain the design and challenge of the course, the internal out of bounds running along both sides of the old railway line was retained, and is present to this day.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the course remains largely as it was some 100 years ago. The first five holes are in classic links tradition proceeding alongside the beach from the clubhouse to the Mile Dyke. Players then cross the now extinct railway line and play the nine ‘new’ holes on what one might describe as a cross between links and parkland turf. Back across the railway, the last four holes revert to the classic links tradition. Not long by modern standards, Lundin nonetheless presents a thorough test of the golfer’s skills, and the 18th hole provides a real test of nerve with the boundary fence hugging the left side of the green.
* Lundin continues to offer some of the finest examples of links holes in Scotland and unsurpassed views across the Firth of Forth.*