Luffenham Heath Golf Club Course Review

Luffenham Heath Golf Club's fine Harry Colt heathland course is the star attraction in England's smallest county of Rutland

Luffenham Heath Golf Club - 18th hole
The 18th green and clubhouse beyond
(Image credit: Steve Carr)

Luffenham Heath Golf Club Course Review

GF Round: £50-£85 Mon, Weds, Fri; £60-£95 Fri-Sun. Day: £85-£95 Mon, Weds, Fri; £95-£105 Fri-Sun
Par 72, 6,418 yards
Slope 140
GM Verdict – A very fine Harry Colt heathland course in England’s smallest county that starts and finishes particularly strongly
Favourite Hole – The 7th is an excellent mid-length par 4 to a raised green, with a very attractive uphill approach and bunkers set into the upslope.

Rutland is England’s smallest county, wedged into an area between Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire that’s just 18 miles long and 17 miles wide at its maximum dimensions. While the best golf courses in Lincolnshire, for example, would include the world-famous heathland Hotchkin course at Woodhall Spa, not surprisingly, Rutland isn’t blessed with many golf courses at all. It is, however, home to a surprisingly fine course, and one of Harry Colt’s best heathland creations, in Luffenham Heath, five miles south-west of Stamford.

Luffenham Heath Golf Club - 5th hole

The 5th is the first par 3 playing across a dip to a well-bunkered green

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The course gets off to a flyer with three excellent opening doglegs that move left to right on the opening duo, then right to left on the 3rd, with the 412-yard 2nd the most challenging of the trio. The 4th, with its fine distant views from the tee, takes a bit of ‘knowing, for the fairway plunges down dramatically to a green that then slopes deceptively away. It can be easy to overclub off the tee and run out of fairway here, especially in the summer when the ground is firm.

Luffenham Heath Golf Club - 7th hole

There's a lovely approach shot to savour on the 7th

(Image credit: Steve Carr)

The 5th is then a pretty par 5 across a broad dip, not long but very well-protected by sand, while the 7th is perhaps the visual star of the whole course, thanks to its gorgeous uphill approach to a long, well-bunkered green. The short par-4 8th could well then tempt anyone with a soft draw in the locker, but as with all good risk-reward holes, trouble awaits if you get it wrong or don’t find the shape you were looking for.

Luffenham Heath Golf Club - 17th hole

The view from the tee on the downhill 17th

(Image credit: Steve Carr)

The long par-4 13th will come as a bit of a shock to the system, covering 481 yards off the tips via a fairly significant right-to-left dogleg, with par allowing you just four strokes! But perhaps the standout holes visually coming home are the two par 3s at 12 and 17, the former playing to a very pretty, enclosed green and the latter stretching to over 200 yards and dropping steeply to a target heavily defended by sand, mounds and hollows. The closing hole is quite a long par 5 playing downhill back to the clubhouse, but even though it’s not a short par 5, there may still be a chance to get reasonably close in two in the right conditions to bring hopes of a closing birdie.

Luffenham Heath Golf Club - 18th hole

The 18th is one of just two par 5s at Luffenham Heath

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In recent years, a comprehensive bunker upgrade programme under the guidance of Mackenzie and Ebert has enhanced both the visuals and strategy of this fine golf course.

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf