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Founded: 1875
Designer: Old Tom Morris, James Braid
Championship Length: 6,273 yards
PAR: 70
SSS (Course Rating): 70
Type: Links
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Who this course is best for:

A golfer who wants to play a lesser known, classic links golf course not far from St Andrews.


Less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, only twenty minutes from the home of golf at St Andrews and within sight of Muirfield – Elie provides a unique golfing experience. The golf here is in keeping with the holiday atmosphere where enjoyment is the main priority. Visitors acclaim the course as both challenging and charming in equal measure.

Formed in 1875, only a handful of clubs in Scotland are older than Elie, and the course is a classic example of links golf. From the opening hole, where a blind tee shot requires the starter to use a 30ft periscope from HMS Excalibur to ensure the way is clear, the course’s idiosyncratic charm becomes apparent. James Braid was born and brought up in Earlsferry which adjoins Elie and the golf course and learnt his golf over this links course which has no par 5s and only 2 par 3s. It might be relatively short at 6273 yards but make no mistake, it is a true test of golf and a very enjoyable one at that. James Braid asserted that the 13th at Elie was “the finest in all the country”.

The real character of the golf course is through the 6th to 14th holes, a stretch that takes golfers out to the sea and, with a wind off the Firth of Forth, leaves one in no doubt as to its seaside character. Few tees in the world of golf are as beautiful as Elie’s short par 3, the 11th.

The Golf House Club, Elie combines both charm and tradition, and provides golfers an honest examination of links golf. Visitors are always made to feel welcome, and Elie is one course to which they return year after year.

Overview courtesy of The Golf Club House, Elie

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