Links golf courses are often considered to be the most traditional type of golf course, originating in Scotland, where the sport was first played.
These courses are typically situated on the coast and are characterized by their natural terrain and lack of trees. Links courses are defined by tall grasses, dunes, and sandy soil.
Playing on a links course is a different experience from playing on a traditional parkland course. Links courses are often exposed to the elements, with strong winds and rain making play more challenging.
The lack of trees means that there are fewer obstacles to navigate, but players must contend with the natural undulations of the terrain, which can create difficult lies and unpredictable bounces.
Why Do they Call it a Links Golf Course?
The term “links” refers to the type of coastal land where links golf courses are usually built. This land is characterized by its sandy soil, tall grasses, and dunes.
The word “links” comes from an Old English word meaning “rising ground” or “ridge”. Golf courses were originally built on these areas of linksland, providing a challenging playing surface with natural hazards such as tall grasses and dunes.
Today, links golf courses remain true to their roots, offering a unique and challenging golfing experience on natural terrain.
What Makes a Links Golf Course So Special?
Links golf courses are special because they are built on unique coastal terrain known as linksland. This land provides a challenging and unpredictable playing surface for golfers.
Unlike traditional parkland courses, links courses often have few trees and other man-made features, relying instead on the natural contours of the land to create hazards and challenges for players.
The weather conditions on links courses can also be more extreme, with strong winds and rain making play more difficult and fascinating.
This would also give golfers a feel of what it takes to play the game as far back as the 1670s when the game was played on these courses in Scotland.
Hence, many golfers consider links golf to be the purest form of the game, requiring players to rely on their own skill and judgement to navigate the course.
What is a True Links Golf Course?
As earlier stated, a true links golf course is one that is built on coastal terrain known as linksland, characterized by sandy soil, tall grasses, and dunes.
It offers a pure and authentic golfing experience that is highly prized by golfers around the world. The natural beauty and challenges of the links course make it a unique and special place to play golf.
Is Pebble Beach a True Links Golf Course?
Pebble Beach is not a true links golf course. It is a coastal golf course located in California, USA. While it does have some links-like qualities, it does not meet all of the characteristics of a true links golf course.
True links courses are built on coastal terrain. However, pebble beach is built on rocky coastline and has many trees and other man-made features, which are not typically found on links courses.
Despite this, Pebble Beach is a highly regarded and challenging golf course that is known for its stunning views and difficult play. It has hosted numerous major golf tournaments and is considered to be one of the best golf courses in the world.
What is the Difference Between a Golf Course and a Links Course?
The main difference between a golf course and a links course is the type of terrain they are built on. A golf course can be built on any type of land, including parkland, desert, or mountainous terrain.
It can also feature a variety of man-made features such as water hazards, bunkers, and trees. On the other hand, a links course is built on coastal terrain characterized by sandy soil, tall grasses, and dunes.
The wind and weather conditions on links courses can be more extreme than on other types of golf courses. Another key difference between golf courses and links courses is the playing style they require.
Links courses often require a more strategic and thoughtful approach to play, as golfers must navigate the natural hazards and terrain of the course. While Golf courses may offer more opportunities for aggressive play and long drives.
How Should Golfers Play a Golf Links Course?
Golfers should approach playing a links course with a different mindset and strategy than they would use on a traditional parkland course. Here are some tips for playing a golf links course:
1. Use the natural terrain: Links courses have fewer man-made features, so golfers should use the natural terrain to their advantage. For example, hitting the ball low and using the contours of the ground to roll the ball towards the hole can be an effective strategy.
2. Factor in the wind: Links courses are often exposed to strong winds, so golfers should pay close attention to the direction and speed of the wind when selecting clubs and aiming shots. Shots into the wind will require more power, while shots with the wind will require less.
3. Mind the bunkers: Links courses often have deep bunkers that can be difficult to get out of. Golfers should be strategic when deciding whether to try to hit over a bunker or play it safe and hit around it.
4. Keep the ball in play: Links courses can be unforgiving if a golfer hits a ball out of bounds or into thick rough. Golfers should focus on accuracy and keeping the ball in play rather than trying to hit long shots.
5. Practice putting on fast greens: Links courses often have fast and undulating greens, which can make putting more challenging. Golfers should practice putting on similar greens before playing a links course to get a feel for the speed and break.
What are Some of the Most Famous Golf Link Courses?
Golf is a sport that has been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries. Golf courses can be found in many different locations, but some of the most famous golf links courses are:
1. St Andrews Old Course, Scotland – This course is considered the home of golf and is one of the oldest courses in the world.
2. Pebble Beach Golf Links, California – This course is known for its stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and has hosted many major golf tournaments.
3. Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia – This course is home to the Masters Tournament, one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world.
4. Royal County Down Golf Club, Northern Ireland – This course is known for its challenging terrain and is considered one of the most beautiful courses in the world.
5. Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia – This course is known for its fast greens and has hosted many international golf tournaments.
6. Royal Birkdale Golf Club, England – This course is known for its challenging layout and has hosted many Open Championships.
End Note: What is a Links Golf Course?
In conclusion, a links golf course is a unique type of golf course that is defined by its coastal location, natural terrain, and challenging playing conditions.
Links courses are known for their firm and fast fairways, deep bunkers, and undulating greens, which make them a favorite among skilled golfers who appreciate the strategic challenges and natural beauty of the game.
Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a casual enthusiast, playing a round of golf on a links course is an unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of the game with the beauty of the natural landscape.
So, if you have the opportunity to play on a links course, seize it and enjoy the unique challenges and rewards that this type of golf course has to offer.