Many of the holes have the wonderful playing characteristics of links golf whilst others meander through tranquil woodland and offer alternative challenges to the ground game.
I visited here during a week when I played no less than seven pure links courses and whilst I love links golf playing at Longniddry came as a welcome break.
The quality of the Harry Colt designed course is evident from the fact that it has been used as an Open Championship qualifying course and is still a venue for many leading amateur tournaments. It may therefore surprise you that there are no par fives on this par 68 layout, however, a SSS of 71 quickly puts to bed any suggestion that this course is a pushover.
You will find four holes of over 400 yards in the closing five and these make for a demanding finish. Indeed it is the par fours where Longniddry excels. There is a good mixture of holes that not only require accuracy with the tee-shot but also precisely played iron shots. At many of them, thanks to some sound bunkering, there is a definite benefit from being on the correct side of the fairway to approach the green with the second shot.
The par threes are not overly long but all four greens are well-protected by bunkers. The fourth and sixth are played from elevated tees, the 13th uphill to a sloping putting surface and the 16th to an angled green.
The greens at Longniddry were in good condition for the end of March and whilst they can be tricky to read they are not overly undulating. That is except for the biggest and steepest two-tiered green I have ever seen which comes at the fifth.
There are lots of options when visiting this wonderful golfing part of the country and many top links courses, however, if you have a full week to spend playing then you should consider finding time for a visit to Longniddry. It will complement the many links courses of ‘Scotland’s Golf Coast’ nicely and may even prove to be the toughest challenge.
There is something about Elie that puts you under a spell. It is a truly magical links that, after just one round, has won a place in my heart and mind forever.
There’s very little that hasn’t been written about the golfing mecca that is St. Andrews.