The Delightful Leven Links
Leven Links can be described as very generous. This is not in terms of size – it is only a modest 6427 yards. It is a course that has been involved in a lot of sharing – hence generous with its possessions. Leven Links is a typical par 71 links course of Scotland located off The Promenade in Leven, Fife just ten miles south of St. Andrews.
The course is shared by the Leven Golfing Society and the Leven Thistle Golf Club. The former has been in existence since 1820 and claims to be the eleventh oldest golf club in the world. Their original course of nine holes was extended to 18 holes in 1868. The world’s oldest running amateur stroke play championship instituted in 1870 by Standard Life Assurance Co. is still played here. The links course is supervised by the Leven Golfing Committee.
The original Old Tom Morris designed course was shared with the Lundin Links which was founded in1868. The golfers of the two clubs would begin play at the two opposite ends of the course. This caused a fair amount of confusion and overcrowding. The course was divided at the Mile Dyke between Leven and Lundin Links in 1909, each getting nine holes of the original course. The Levin clubs expanded their course to 18 holes by taking over the football grounds north of the bowling greens.
The original course is still referred to as The Old and members of Leven and Lundin Clubs play on it during an annual competition. The Leven Links course is extremely scenic with the sea is visible from almost every hole. It is characterized by numerous hazards and rolling fairways with unexpected bumps. Play also calls for many blind shots and the course gets more difficult with each successive hole. Leven Links was used for Qualifying during the 2005 Open in Scotland.
The first four holes run parallel to Largen Bay and are a delight to play. The wind is an important factor. The course turns at the 13th hole and the golfer faces the full onslaught of the west wind. The presence of the Scoonie burn snaking through the course adds to the challenge. The 18th hole at Leven Links is one of the best finishing holes in golf.