Final Open Qualifying venue on six occasions
Leven Links is one of the very oldest links courses in Scotland with golf dating back to the mid-1800s. Leven is thought to be the very first course in the world to feature 18 tees and 18 separate greens. Traditional links with rolling fairways, many of which are lined by ancient sand dunes, fast putting surfaces, burns and pot bunkers. A six-time Open Championship final qualifying venue, Leven has stood the test of time and continues to host leading amateur events and international matches to this day. Whilst golf has been played at Leven since 1820, the game dates back to 1846 on parts of these links with the current configuration coming into being in 1909. The history of Leven Links is, suffice to say, long and complex but what is most important is the nature of the ground upon which it is built. Local conditions of winds and tides during prehistoric times, when sea levels were falling combined to produce a series of parallel dune ridges which give Leven Links a truly unique signature
From the start of the round, the golfer will be conscious of the fairways running along the valleys between these old dunes; it makes for superb definition and a true test of links golf as the slopes and bounces of these natural obstacles come into play throughout the round. They are most noticeable at the first (where the green sits on a ridge plateau), the second, thirteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth. Elsewhere they come into play as obstacles to be played over at holes five, seven and ten and they provide the lie to steeply sloping greens at the fourteenth, fifteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth holes. The strength of the course lies in its fine variety of quality “links” holes with undulating fairways, revetted bunkers, wonderful approaches and large true running greens that provide a stern test for even the most accomplished putter.
At the end of it all lies one of the finest finishing holes in golf where two well-struck shots are required to reach a target of quite epic proportions and slope over the yawning demonic Scoonie Burn which winds its way around the right and front of the green. Leven Links is steeped in history not least because it is the archetypal links course. With its fine bents and fescues, its humps, bumps, hollows and “wispy” rough it could be well used as the very definition of true links.