Elie Golf House Club in Scotland: A Challenging Prospect for Many Golfers

By David Rennie, Contributor

Elie is a classic links course situated in the East Neuk of Fife, Scotland in close proximity to the classics Crail and Leven (British Open qualifier). It is only 12 miles from the Old and the other five courses in St. Andrews, as well as the newly developed Kingsbarns. The course itself grew out of the town links and both James Braid and Tom Morris have been attributed with the design.

It is not a long course at only 6,235 yds, but in the absence of par 5's and two very tricky par 3's, the par of 70 is a testing prospect for the best of golfers. All of the remaining 16 par 4's require two shots to reach the green, with some in the characteristically fierce weather conditions, requiring three. The prevailing wind whips directly off the Firth of Forth and can make shooting in the seventies a challenging prospect for many single handicap golfers. The changeability of the conditions adds a totally different aspects to the already tricky setup of the course.

Six of the par fours require blind tee shots with the aid of a marker pole, a phenomenon virtually unique to many Scottish golf courses. Noteworthy holes are the 1st, 3rd, 9th and 13th.

1st hole, 420 yds, par 4
The blind tee shot requires a tight aim over a thirty foot hill a mere fifty yards from the end of the tee. There is a submarine periscope in the starter's hut to enable the golfer to see if the fairway is clear. This is a daunting prospect at the outset of the round, but very satisfying to see one's ball sailing over the hill.

3rd hole, 215 yds, par 3
A very tricky par 3 with an elevated tee, making the clubbing of the shot very difficult particularly as it can range from a 9-iron to a full driver into the prevailing wind. There are bunkers guarding the green and out of bounds at the back.

9th hole, 440 yds, par 4
Arguably the hardest per 4 on the course, barely reachable in two shots, even in calm conditions. There are bunkers at the 240 yd mark and more only 80 yds from the green. This hole heads directly out into the Firth of Forth, so the prevailing wind is often a major factor. The green does not gather the ball well and requires a well judged approach. A difficult hole with which to finish the outward half.

12th hole, 470 yds, par 4
This tricky par 4 doglegs along the curvature of the beach (integral part of the course!) it sits on. There is a treacherously placed bunker on the right corner of the dogleg and the undulations of the fairway make it a tricky approach shot. Many a score has been devastated by this hole.

13th hole, 380 yds, par 4
Given the title, "The finest Hole in the country" by James Braid, the 13th also follows the contours of the beach and requires a tight drive and a precise approach shot to deal with the plateau green 15 feet above the fairway with slopes away from the golfer. The second of a run-in of seven tricky par 4's on the back nine. The picturesque setup of the course lends itself well to the tricky nature of the links, the contours of the ground giving rise to difficult pitch-and-run shots as well as some awkward stances. The ever present wind on top of these factors makes Elie a more difficult, yet entertaining course than its vital statistics may imply. Directions.

From Edinburgh: Follow the signs to the Forth Road Bridge. From Junction 3 on the M90(Northbound), take the A91 to Kirkcaldy East. At the second roundabout take the A915 towards and then past Leven. At Upper Largo take the A917 to Elie.

From St. Andrews: Follow the A915 to Leven/Kirkcaldy. At Largoward, take the B914 to Kilconquar then on to Elie.

The Golf House Club
Elie, Leven,
Fife, Scotland
KY9 1AS.
Secretary: A. Sneddon: +44 (0)1333330301
Professional: R. Wilson: +44(0)1333330955


Victoria Hotel
High St.
Elie, Leven
Proprietor: Mr. G. Davidson
Tel: +44(0)1333330305 (Fax. +44(0)1333330005)
E-mail: gordon@the-vic.com (Homepage. www.the-vic.com)

A 300 year old coaching Inn. Relaxed, intimate atmosphere with good food, public bar, wide range of Scotch whiskies and golfing packages available.

The Golf Hotel
Bank St.
Elie, Leven
Tel: +44(0)1333330209 (Fax. +44(0)1333330381)
E-mail: golf@standrews.co.uk (Homepage. www.golfhotel.co.uk)

A Scots Baronial style hotel offering variety of accommodation as well as golfing packages.

Alternatively you can visit www.elielet.com and www.elie.co.uk for additional information on Elie.

David Rennie, Contributor

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Golf

    Mogfad wrote on: Jul 22, 2011

    What A charming game of GOLF...The old course has never changed. ha ha ha!
    See you all very soon.
    Mogfad Jasppero


    • RE: Golf

      Jan Mcnairn wrote on: May 22, 2012