Elie is about as traditional a golf course as you will find anywhere in Scotland. It epitomises Old Tom Morris’s design principles and is an object lesson in what makes a golf course engaging and enjoyable to play. Curiously, there are no par 5s and just two short holes at Elie. That leaves what must be a record-breaking 16 par 4s. Yet such is the quality of the design that at no stage do you notice this during the round.
The game has been played across this gently rippling linksland since the 15th century. The village of Elie sits in the East Neuk of Fife, some 12 miles south of St Andrews. And just like St Andrews, the golf is seemingly inseparable from the community itself.
As is so often the way with these ancient courses that begin and end in a town, Elie starts in quirky fashion as it wrestles free of civilisation and heads for the coast.
Elie’s greatest strength, though, is not any individual hole, it is the cumulative effect of the way they blend together to form a course whose design principles have since been adapted all around the world.
Truly, if all golf courses were like Elie then we would all have more fun.