Good course - needs some TLC
Leven has a long history, golf has been played here since 1846 as a nine hole course and the course was extended to 18 holes in 1868. Leven has been a final Open qualifier course in 1978, 1984, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and young Tom Morris won the inaugural competition here in 1868.
There is a small putting green next to clubhouse, a small short game area between the 1st and the 10th T and a couple of driving nets. Unfortunately when I visited all of these facilities were in need of TLC and were very poor.
The course is comprised of 4 par 3's, 11 par 4's (4 over 400yds) and 3 par 5's and measures 6,309 from the yellow tee's and 6551 from the medal T's. Whilst the hot weather has been welcome in July/August, this has not helped the course, as on many parts of the course the fairways were bare and had little to no grass. The T areas were OK, and the greens as expected were excellent, fast running with lots of undulations.
As you would expect wind is a significant factor on this course and on the day i played there was a 3 to 4 club wind, and it rained the whole day. Interesting holes to note are:
2nd hole which offers a choice of 2 fairways, the fairway to the left offers the best view into the green, but requires you to fly twin spectacle bunkers, if you choose the fairway to the right you are left with a blind shot into the green.
7th par 3 whilst only 162yds from the yellow T's plays tough when playing into the wind, I had to play a 3 wood to get green-side.
13th Par 5 plays significantly longer into the wind than 471yds stated on the card, If you aim to go for the green in two it's likely that you will face a blind shot into the large green, however it is guarded by a large cavernous bunker to the front of the green.
18th is a tough 457yd Par 4 and is the signature hole; this is a classic risk reward hole and requires a good drive of 230-250yds to go for the green in 2. Where’s the danger? With a nod to Carnoustie’s 18th hole it has the ‘Scoonie burn’ which wraps around the front edge and right part of the green. As my drive was short I chose to lay up and settled for a bogey which is still a good score on this hole.
The normal green fee is £48, however I managed to find a deal from a well known website for £24. With the current condition of the course I think £24 was good value, I don’t think £48 would present good value due the current conditions of the course.
Traditional old clubhouse, I did not eat here so can't comment on the food, changing rooms were clean.
Would I go back? Possibly in later years once I’ve played more courses in Scotland. If you are a links fan this course should be on your list, it’s off the beaten track but is only 40 mins from St Andrews.