What Is A Links Golf Course?

Key Takeaway:

  • A links golf course is a type of golf course typically found in coastal areas that is characterized by sandy soil, dunes, and natural vegetation. It provides a unique playing experience due to its natural landscape and challenging conditions.
  • True links golf courses are defined by certain criteria, including being located on a coastal strip, having sandy soil, and being open to the elements. These factors contribute to the distinct features and challenges of playing on a links course.
  • The history of links golf courses dates back centuries, with the game originating in Scotland. Links courses evolved from the natural terrain, and many famous courses, such as St. Andrews, have a rich history and are steeped in tradition.
  • Playing on a links golf course requires adapting to the specific characteristics and challenges it presents. Factors such as unpredictable winds, fast-running fairways, and deep bunkers require golfers to adjust their game strategy and shot selection.
  • When playing on a links course, it is important to embrace the wind and use it to your advantage. Understanding the direction and strength of the wind can help golfers make informed decisions and adjust their shots accordingly.
  • To navigate the unique challenges of a links course, golfers should utilize techniques such as distance putting and “bump and run” shots. These techniques allow for better control over the ball on the firm, fast-running fairways and can help golfers adapt to different lies and conditions.
  • Hybrid clubs can be particularly useful on links courses due to their versatility and ability to handle various situations. These clubs offer better control and accuracy, allowing golfers to navigate the challenges of a links course more effectively.
  • Playing on a links course often means encountering different weather conditions, including rain, wind, and changing temperatures. Golfers should be prepared for these conditions and adapt their game accordingly, taking into account factors such as ball flight and club selection.


A links golf course, also known as a seaside golf course, is a type of golf course that is built on sandy soil near coastal areas. It is characterized by its natural layout and features such as dunes, tall grass, and challenging weather conditions. These courses are known for their strategic design and require players to have good shot-making skills. Not only do links courses provide a unique and picturesque setting for golf, but they also offer a challenging and enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.

What is a Links Golf Course?

When it comes to golf courses, few carry the mystique and allure of a true links course. The journey to understanding what exactly constitutes a links golf course is an intriguing one.

In this section, let’s dive into the essence and soul of links golf courses. We’ll start by exploring the definition of a true links golf course, unraveling the historical significance and origin of these magnificent landscapes. From there, we’ll delve into the unique characteristics that set links courses apart from their inland counterparts. Lastly, we’ll uncover the challenges and demands that players face when tackling a links golf course.

Definition of a True Links Golf Course

A true links golf course, in its essence, embodies the authentic charm of the sport. It showcases a natural landscape that seamlessly merges with the game, offering players a distinctive experience. With subtle undulations, expansive vistas, and firm sandy turf, a genuine links golf course creates a challenging yet exhilarating environment for golf enthusiasts. Immersed in tradition and history, these courses are a testament to the origins and evolution of the sport.

Within the realm of true links courses, certain defining characteristics can be observed. Rolling dunes covered in fescue grasses stand as guardians of the fairways, often bracing themselves against gusting coastal winds. The strategic positioning of pot bunkers tests players’ accuracy and decision-making abilities while navigating their shots across an unforgiving terrain. Additionally, these courses often boast fast-paced greens that demand precision and finesse when putting.

While the allure of a true links golf course is undeniable, it also presents unique challenges and demands for players. The ever-changing wind direction requires adaptability in shot selection to harness its power as an ally rather than an adversary. Adjustments to one’s swing technique and stance become imperative when addressing the ball on uneven lies or battling against strong crosswinds. To navigate tricky slopes near the green, distance putting techniques and ‘bump and run’ shots prove valuable skills to master.

Hybrid clubs can be advantageous on links courses due to their versatility and ability to provide better control over trajectory and distance. These clubs offer forgiveness on mishits while allowing players to customize their approach to various shots.

As weather conditions play a significant role in shaping the playing experience on a links golf course, adaptability becomes key. From tranquil sunny days to ferocious storms rolling off the coastline, being prepared for various weather scenarios ensures maintaining composure throughout each round.

Embracing the storied heritage of true links golf courses provides an unforgettable journey for both amateur enthusiasts and seasoned professionals. The charm and challenge they offer should serve as a reminder to golfers to venture beyond the familiar and indulge in the unique beauty of these remarkable courses. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and timeless allure that define a true links golf course.

History of Links Golf Courses

The evolution of links golf courses has a rich and fascinating history. These unique courses have been around for centuries, providing golfers with a different kind of challenge. The origins of links golf can be traced back to the coastal regions of Scotland, where the natural landscape provided ideal conditions for the sport. Over time, these courses gained popularity and spread to other parts of the world.

Links golf courses have a distinct character that sets them apart from other types of golf courses. They are typically located along the coastline and feature sandy soil, undulating fairways, and natural hazards such as dunes and tall grasses. This rugged terrain adds an element of unpredictability to the game, requiring players to adapt their strategies and shot selections.

One interesting aspect of the history of links golf courses is how they have evolved over time. In the early days, these courses were simply pieces of land where people could play golf. There were no formal designs or layouts; players would navigate through the natural landscape based on their own judgment.

However, as the popularity of golf grew, so did the demand for more structured and challenging courses. Architects began to design links courses with specific features and layouts that would test players’ skills. The first recorded evidence of a formalized links design dates back to 1744 when Leith Links Golf Course in Scotland was laid out in a specific manner.

Today, links golf courses continue to be revered for their unique and challenging nature. Golfers from around the world seek out these courses to experience the history and tradition associated with playing on a true links course.

When playing on a links course, it is important to embrace the history and heritage of these iconic venues. Take time to appreciate the natural beauty of your surroundings and understand that each hole has its own story to tell. Additionally, pay attention to wind direction and adjust your shots accordingly as this factor plays a significant role in how your ball will travel.

Furthermore, utilizing distance putting and ‘bump and run’ techniques can be effective on links courses. The uneven terrain and firm fairways make it difficult to control the ball in the air, so learning these techniques can help you navigate the course more successfully.

In addition, consider using hybrid clubs for better control. The versatility of hybrid clubs allows you to adjust your shots based on the conditions and challenges presented by a links course. These clubs offer a combination of forgiveness and distance, making them valuable tools in your golf bag.

Overall, playing on a links golf course is a unique experience that requires adaptability and strategy. Embracing the history and challenges of these courses will enhance your enjoyment of the game and allow you to fully appreciate the beauty and tradition of links golf.

Characteristics of Links Golf Courses

Links golf courses possess distinct attributes that set them apart from other types of golf courses. These characteristics contribute to the challenges and demands faced by players on these courses. Here are some key points to understand about the nature of links golf courses:

  • Natural Landscape: Links golf courses are typically situated along coastal areas, showcasing a natural landscape of sand dunes, undulating terrain, and sparse vegetation. This creates a visually captivating setting for players.
  • Breezy Conditions: One prominent characteristic of links golf is the exposure to strong winds which significantly affect gameplay. Players must learn to adapt their shots and account for wind direction and intensity in order to achieve accurate ball placement.
  • Firm Fairways: Unlike traditional golf courses with lush grass fairways, links courses offer firm, fast-running surfaces. This demands precise ball control and strategy in shot selection, as well as requiring players to master the art of bump-and-run shots.
  • Deep Bunkers: Links courses feature deep, pot-style bunkers strategically placed around greens and fairways. These obstacles pose a challenge for players, demanding skillful shotmaking and careful consideration of club selection.

In addition to these characteristics, links golf courses also provide a unique experience due to their historical significance and revered traditions. The combination of challenging conditions, stunning natural landscapes, and centuries-old history make playing on links courses an unforgettable endeavor.

To navigate the challenges posed by links golf courses effectively, players should consider employing certain strategies:

  1. Utilizing distance putting techniques can be beneficial due to the fast-running fairways prevalent in links golf.
  2. Adapting shot selection by employing hybrid clubs can offer better control over shots under windy conditions.
  3. Being adaptable and adjusting one’s game according to varying weather conditions is crucial when playing on links courses.

Challenges and Demands of Playing on a Links Golf Course

Playing on a Links Golf Course poses certain challenges and demands that golfers need to be prepared for. These unique characteristics of Links courses contribute to the excitement and difficulty of the game.

  • Variable Wind Conditions: The ever-changing wind patterns on Links courses make it challenging for golfers to gauge the distance and direction of their shots, adding an extra element of unpredictability to the game.
  • Natural Hazards: Links courses are often characterized by rugged terrains, dunes, and tall grasses, which can pose challenges in navigating through these natural hazards. Golfers need to have the skills to make precise shots and avoid these obstacles.
  • Firm Ground Conditions: Unlike traditional golf courses, Links courses have firm ground conditions, making it challenging for golfers to control their shots. The ball tends to roll more on this type of terrain, requiring players to adjust their techniques accordingly.
  • Unpredictable Weather: Links courses are often exposed to harsh weather conditions, including strong winds, rain, and fog. This unpredictable weather can significantly impact a player’s performance and strategy, further increasing the demands of playing on a Links Golf Course.

In addition to these challenges, playing on a Links Golf Course requires adaptability and patience. It is essential for golfers to understand the unique characteristics of such courses and tailor their strategies accordingly.

A true fact about playing on a Links Golf Course is that it originated in Scotland during the 15th century as a way for shepherds to pass time by hitting stones into rabbit holes using sticks. [Source: “History of Golf” by Britannica]

Playing a links golf course is like navigating a tempestuous relationship: you have to adapt, adjust, and always keep your cool.

Playing a Links Golf Course: Tips and Strategies

When it comes to playing a links golf course, there are some key tips and strategies that can greatly improve your game.

  1. One important aspect is learning to make the wind your friend, using it to your advantage rather than letting it hinder your shots.
  2. Additionally, adjusting your shot and how you address the ball can greatly impact your success on these courses.
  3. Another skill to master is utilizing distance putting and the ‘bump and run’ techniques, which are especially effective on the fast, firm greens characteristic of links courses.
  4. Hybrid clubs can provide better control in the challenging elements this type of course presents.
  5. Lastly, being prepared to play in different weather conditions is vital for navigating the unique challenges of links golf.

So, let’s dive into these strategies and elevate your game on the links.

Making the Wind Your Friend

The wind can become your ally on a links golf course. Use it to your advantage by adjusting your shot and addressing the ball accordingly. By understanding the direction and intensity of the wind, you can make strategic decisions that optimize your play. Additionally, utilizing hybrid clubs can provide better control in windy conditions, allowing you to make precise shots. Remember to stay flexible and adapt your game to different weather conditions for optimal performance on a links golf course.

Adjusting Your Shot and Addressing the Ball

When it comes to adjusting your shot and addressing the ball on a links golf course, there are certain techniques that can help improve your game. Here is a 4-step guide to effectively adjust your shot and address the ball.

  1. Assess the wind: Take into consideration the wind direction and speed before taking your shot. Adjust your aim and club selection accordingly to compensate for the wind’s effect on the ball’s flight.
  2. Positioning: Place the ball slightly farther back in your stance than usual. This will help you make cleaner contact with the ball, especially when dealing with windy conditions or tight lies on firm ground.
  3. Alignment: Ensure that your body alignment is parallel to your target line. This will allow for a more accurate shot by minimizing any unintentional side spin caused by misalignment.
  4. Balance and weight distribution: Maintain a balanced posture and distribute your weight evenly between both feet. This will help stabilize your body during the swing and provide better control over the shot.

In adjusting your shot and addressing the ball on a links golf course, it is important to remember these key techniques for improved performance.

Utilizing Distance Putting and ‘Bump and Run’ Techniques

When it comes to employing different techniques on a links golf course, one strategy that can greatly improve one’s performance is the utilization of distance putting and ‘bump and run’ methods. These approaches involve specific actions and adjustments that enable players to make more accurate shots and achieve better control over the ball.

Here is a four-step guide on how to effectively employ distance putting and ‘bump and run’ techniques:

  1. Assess the terrain: Before executing a distance putt or ‘bump and run’ shot, carefully examine the surrounding area. Take note of any slopes, uneven surfaces, or potential obstacles that may impact the trajectory of the ball.
  2. Choose the appropriate club: Selecting the right club is crucial in utilizing these techniques. Often, a putter with more loft will be beneficial for distance putting, while a hybrid or low-lofted iron works well for ‘bump and run’ shots.
  3. Modify your stance and grip: When implementing distance putting or ‘bump and run’ techniques, it is essential to adjust your stance accordingly. Place your feet slightly wider apart than usual for stability. Additionally, modify your grip by placing your hands lower on the putter or club shaft for better control.
  4. Execute with finesse: When performing a distance putt, focus on maintaining a smooth rhythm throughout your stroke while controlling the power behind it. For ‘bump and run’ shots, aim to strike the ball cleanly with minimal loft to maximize rollout upon landing.

Using Hybrid Clubs for Better Control

Hybrid clubs offer enhanced control on the golf course. They provide the player with improved precision and accuracy, resulting in better overall performance. By utilizing hybrid clubs, golfers can effectively navigate various terrains and adapt to different playing conditions. The unique design of hybrid clubs allows for a combination of long iron distance and fairway wood forgiveness, making them an ideal choice for achieving better control in every shot.

  • Hybrid clubs provide a comfortable grip, allowing players to easily maneuver the club during their swing.
  • These clubs have a lower center of gravity, enabling more accurate shots by minimizing the effect of mishits.
  • The versatility of hybrid clubs allows players to use them from various lies and distances on the course.
  • With the help of hybrid clubs, golfers can achieve consistent ball flight and trajectory, resulting in better control over both distance and direction.

In addition to these benefits, using hybrid clubs also enhances shot-making options, allowing players to adapt their approach based on specific course conditions or obstacles. Whether it’s tackling deep roughs or hitting out of fairway bunkers, incorporating hybrid clubs into one’s arsenal provides versatility and precision.

For those seeking improved performance and greater control on the golf course, utilizing hybrid clubs is a strategy worth considering. These clubs offer unique advantages that can positively impact a player’s game by providing accuracy and consistency. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to elevate your play by incorporating hybrid clubs into your golf bag.

Playing in Different Weather Conditions

In the unique conditions of diverse weather, navigating a Links Golf Course requires adaptability. The strategies for playing in different weather conditions can significantly impact your performance on the course. Here are some tips to enhance your game:

  • Adjusting club selection and shot trajectory based on wind strength and direction.
  • Modifying ball position and stance to account for rain, wind, or other weather elements.
  • Employing distance putting techniques to compensate for windy conditions.
  • Utilizing the ‘Bump and Run’ technique to manage challenging weather conditions.
  • Selecting hybrid clubs for better control in adverse weather situations.

To maximize success on a Links Golf Course, it is important to continuously adapt to the varying weather conditions present. By implementing these strategies, you will enhance your gameplay and navigate the course with skill.

Throughout history, golfers have faced a range of weather conditions while playing on Links Golf Courses. From torrential rainstorms to heavy winds, players have always had to contend with fluctuating elements. Despite the challenges presented by these changing weather patterns, golfers have demonstrated resilience and adapted their strategies accordingly. By understanding the history of playing in different weather conditions on Links Golf Courses, we can gain insights into how players have consistently pushed themselves to overcome these obstacles throughout generations.


In light of the foregoing, it is evident that an understanding of the concept of a links golf course has been successfully conveyed. The unique details regarding the intricacies and characteristics of this type of golf course have been explored, providing insight into its distinctive attributes. Notably, it is noteworthy that links courses are often situated in coastal regions, with natural elements such as dunes and undulating terrain playing a significant role in the challenge they pose to golfers.

Five Facts About What Is A Links Golf Course?

  • ✅ A true links golf course is located alongside the sea and consists of sandy soil with minimal vegetation other than tall sea grasses and gorse. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Links golf courses originated on the eastern coast of Scotland and were played on the natural hilly and sandy land. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Links courses are considered the oldest style of golf course and are known for their challenging nature and unpredictable conditions. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ A links golf course typically features pot bunkers, thick rough grass, and a layout that goes out away from the clubhouse for the first 9 holes and returns back for the second 9 holes. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The hard ground and sandy soil of a links golf course allow for unique playing techniques such as “bump and run” shots and the use of hybrid clubs for lighter weight and more control. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about What Is A Links Golf Course?

What is a true links golf course?

A true links golf course is located alongside the sea and consists of sandy soil with little vegetation other than tall sea grasses and gorse. The natural terrain is used to develop the golf holes.

Why did golf originate on this type of land?

Golf originated on links courses because the limited resources for shaping the course meant that course designers had to work with the natural elements of the land. The bunkers were once natural, windswept dunes, and the layout of the holes followed the “out” and “in” routing, going to the farthest point from the clubhouse and then bringing players back.

Where did the term “links” come from?

The term “links” evolved from the Old English word “hlinc,” which means ridge or rising ground. This term was used to describe the hilly land found in the coastal regions of the UK where golf originated.

What makes a links golf course special?

Links courses are considered the true test of a golfer’s ability due to their demanding nature and the external elements they present. The harsh weather conditions and the layout of the course make playing golf more challenging than on a desert or parkland course. Golfers are forced to work with the natural elements of the course, relying on creativity, risk-taking, and even luck.

What defines a true links course?

A true links golf course is a golf course with a natural and open layout, lying on sandy soil heavily affected by the wind. It has few to no trees but features thick rough grasses. The course includes several bunkers, often deep and pot-shaped to prevent sand from blowing away. It also follows the traditional “out” and “in” routing with 9 holes going away from the clubhouse and 9 holes returning.

How should I play on a links golf course?

Playing on a links golf course requires careful consideration of the wind and course conditions. Some tips include making the wind work for you, teeing the ball low and addressing it in the middle of your stance, playing low shots to avoid the wind, using distance putting when necessary, utilizing the “bump and run” technique on the hard ground, and using hybrid clubs for better control.