While reading Economics at Cambridge Laddie captained the golf team, and as top amateur in the 1935 Open Championships, was considered the finest left-handed player in the world.
He carved out a successful career as a Fleet Street journalist before volunteering for the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of the Second World War. At the age of just twenty-six he led the top-scoring 249 Squadron during the Battle of Malta. Later he commanded a Spitfire wing and led a Mosquito squadron operating in support of the Allied armies advancing through Europe.
Following the end of the war he served as a Conservative MP for nine years and later wrote numerous bestselling books based on his exemplary war service.
There is a commemorative plaque at Prince's Golf Club, Sandwich by the 4th tee on the Himalayas course which marks the spot where Lucas used his local knowledge of the course to make an emergency landing after his Spitfire was crippled over northern France during the war. A golf tournament for boys and girls aged 8–13 years, the "Laddie Lucas Spoon", is held annually at Prince's.