Links Golf Course Definition
A links golf course is a type of golf course that is built on or near a coastline and contains very limited plant life and trees. Links courses are most commonly found in Scotland and Ireland, where golf originated.
Since links courses typically do not have trees, wind becomes a greater factor when selecting what kind of shot to play. Links courses are often found near large bodies of water or areas where inclement weather can affect the outcome of a player's score. Many golfers who have experience playing links courses will elect to hit a shot with a lower trajectory, so the ball stays out of the wind, therefore not affecting its flight, distance, or direction.
Green and Fairway Undulations
While holes on a links course may seem much more wide open considering the lack of wooded areas, even the best tee and approach shots can provide unwanted lies in the fairway or green. This is due to the hilly nature of links courses, which feature major undulations in even the shortest of grass, presenting golfers with yet another challenge.
On a links course, another major factor in the difficulty of the course relies on the thickness of the first and second cuts of rough. Typically, links courses will have thicker grass in the first and second cuts when compared to other courses, and may even feature grass as tall as five feet. This presents golfers with the additional challenge of finding their ball when hitting their golf ball into thick rough.
Links courses often contain deeper bunkers compared to traditional American courses. These bunkers are also called pot bunkers, and they add a different and difficult element to the golf course. Pot bunkers are more difficult to hit out of due to their increased height. The putting surfaces and fairways of links course are also made from a finer, thinner type of grass, giving the course a different feel.