Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Lundin Ladies Golf Club - Course no 255

I played this course on 2 March 2010. Lundin Ladies is the world's oldest ladies only golf club, indeed the only such club in Scotland, or the UK for that matter. I particularly liked the sign by the clubhouse door reading "Clubhouse for Lady Players Only." One of the members advised me that the green keeper was occasionally admitted to the clubhouse to attend meetings, but otherwise, there was a men's toilet round the back. Playing at Lundin Ladies certainly caused me to think about the attitudes that are so sadly prevalent elsewhere in Scottish golf, with certain clubs banning lady members or otherwise treating them as second class citizens. I don't know the detailed history that led to the formation of a ladies only club, but it is easy to imagine that there may have been some disagreement about playing rights. Whatever the true story, Lundin Ladies adds to the colour and diversity of golf in Scotland and is a fine little course, modestly concealing itself on the other side of the road from its more famous neighbours, Leven GC and Lundin Links GC. The view above looks back to the first green showing ancient standing stones that understandably, are an integral part of the course.

Lundin Ladies is a 9-hole course of 2365 yards, par 34 and was certainly busy enough on a cold but sunny morning. The full course was in play, but the greens were mostly very small, compensating for the shortness of the course. For example, this is the 3rd green, on a difficult uphill par 4 of only 355 yards that plays far longer and is rightly Stroke Index 1. I took 6, having under-clubbed my second shot and missed the tiny green. One of the best holes was the 6th, a 145 yard downhill par 3 with an awkwardly-placed mound in front of the green that certainly caught my 7 iron, leading to another bogey. However, honour was restored at the 7th, an uphill par 4 of only 234 yards, with a river meandering in front of the tee, ready to catch anything miss-hit. I imagined that some of the retired ladies on the course might not relish that particular tee shot. Remarkably, my tee shot, uphill and into the wind, finished well through the green, but a good pitch and run left only a tap in for the birdie. The 8th was also drivable had I not found a greenside bunker.

This is a view up the last, a tricky, blind par 3 of 186 yards. I played this hole conservatively, taking my 7 wood off the tee and doing my best to avoid the car park immediately to the right of the green. Apart from other considerations about the ladies in front of me changing at their cars, my own (new) car was also well within range. I was happy enough with a bogey, going round in 39 overall. Lundin Ladies was a really enjoyable little course and a credit to its members.

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