I gave a brief overview of Luffness New’s early days in my previous report on Kilspindie GC, so won’t go into it here.
Luffers (as the locals affectionately call it) is a quintessential British links course. Whilst it does play up and down a corner of Gullane Hill, the topography is generally flat. The bunkering - which is varied and excellent - provides the greatest challenge. But it is the greens that the members are proudest of. All year round they’re fast and true, and even on the mid December day I played they were impeccable.
After the opening loop of holes around the practice ground, you cross the main road and to play the final dozen. The course here adjoins Gullane 2 & 3, sharing the same beautiful view over Aberlady Bay, Arthur’s Seat to the West and the ‘paps’ of Fife to the North. (NB - If you’re not familiar with that particular Scottish colloquialism, make sure to ask a local on your next visit!)
Luffness is a reserved and traditional gentleman’s club. Jacket and Tie is required in their fabulous dining room - and perhaps even more important than the golf, the lunch is famous.
Finally, I must pay my respects to one of golf’s underappreciated heroes. Captain Freddie Tait was one of golf’s great champions. Winner of two Amateur Championships (with plenty of other notable victories to his name) he was the great rival of one of my club’s great amateurs - Harold Hilton. Tait seemingly always prevailed in their meetings, most notably beating him comfortably in the final of 1896 Amateur and Sandwich. Sadly, Tait was to be killed in the Boer War in 1900 aged only 30. The clubhouse hosts a fine display on their famous golfing son.