Ladybank Golf Club was established in 1879 as a 6-hole course. Ladybank completed its journey to an 18-hole course in 1961, and it has become a popular stop for several PGA stars, including Darren Clarke, Justin Leonard, Bernard Langer, Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and the late Payne Stewart. As well as its two honorary members, Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros, both of whom played in an exhibition match in 1983.
Ladybank is a par-71 course that’s 6,754 yards from the championship tees. It has two loops of nine holes, and guests generally use the blue course. The golf course rewards those who stay on their lines and punishes anyone who slices or pulls.
You’re challenged almost from the beginning, on No. 2, a 587-yard par 5. A tight tee shot is required, because there’s an out-of-bounds down the right side. Holes No. 3 and No. 9 are both dog legs, with extreme care needed for the drive. On three, a 390-yard par 4, you’ll need to drive to the right corner of the dog leg for a good approach.
Even when Ladybank plays short, you don’t get a break. No. 4 is a 164-yard par 3, but you’re usually hitting into the wind, and the green is well-protected. No. 12, another par 3, although this one longer at 211, features a large bunker guarding the green at the front right of the hole.
No. 9 is Ladybank Golf Club’s signature hole. A 401-yard par 4 that’s so demanding, par would be a pleasant accomplishment. There’s a large tree guarding the corner of a right-to-left dog leg. If you avoid the tree, you have an iron shot to a two-tier green awaiting.