Elie Golf House Club
The course does not have an official name or even an architect. It is known as the Links at Elie and has taken shape over the centuries. There is no date of completion either. It has developed its present layout over the past 120 years – all the work of Mother Nature. Golf has been played in western Scotland for centuries and when the Royal and Ancient Club at St Andrews and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield were established, the people of Earlsferry and Elie decided to establish their own Elie and Earlsferry Golf Club in 1832. The club house was built in 1875 and bears the quaint name Golf House.
Elie offers the quintessential Scottish golf experience on its par 70, 6,273 yards links course. Located 12 miles south of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland, the club maintains certain traditions. Players are expected to dress in smart casuals on the course and in the club house, except in the smoking lounge where they must wear a jacket and tie. Visitors should carry their handicap certificates and the requisite handicap for men is 24 and for women 36.
The course runs along a wide bay across the Firth of Forth from Muirfield, encompassing the original golfing land. As it has evolved from its natural links landscape its holes range from excellent to mediocre. In its unpredictability lies the charm of Elie – something the most cleverly designed course cannot replicate. The changing weather of the coast also adds to the challenge. The course has hosted the British Seniors Championship till the early 1970s and the Scottish Professional Championship has also been played here.
A curious feature is the World War II submarine periscope used by the starter to make sure that the first fairway, which rises over a hill, is clear for players to play their first tee shots. The game at Elie begins with a blind tee shot at the 417-yard 1st followed by a 287-yard 2nd that takes you to a crest with a magnificent view of the village of Elie. There are no par fives, only two par threes, six short par fours and as many blind tee shots. The 4th through 7th holes are unchanged over the centuries and are among the best four-hole strings along the seaside in Fife.