Golf is a tricky game. In contrast to other sports players, golfers do not have a particular environment to adapt to and play in. In basketball or football, almost all courses are the same except for space. Exceptional cases can happen, such as in the case of rain. However, in golf, there is a variety of courses that challenge the golfers all the time. What’s even more interesting is the vast open space and the changing weather along the game. Thus, you need to exactly what is a links golf course.

The Different Types of Golf Courses

What Is A Links Golf Course

Golf courses are classified into five types: links, desert, parkland, sandbelt, and heathland. Each type, of course, has distinct qualities and may be found in various settings. And though these course names are used quite often in the golfing industry, some golfers might be unaware of the distinctions. However, Links, parkland, and desert golf courses are the three main types:

The Golf Course of Links

links course

Links courses of golf first appeared in Scotland. The nation is the heart of golf, and the initial courses were all links-style. Links courses may be found across Scotland, but many others exist worldwide.

In the US, Pebble Beach classifies as a links course. It is perhaps the most well-known links course in the United States and starts PGA Tour tournaments every year. So, now you know what is a links golf course.

Parkland Golf Course

Parkland Golf Course
Parkland Golf Course

Golf courses dramatically changed as players travelled inland from the shore. Moving inland made courses lush, and trees started to appear on the new courses. The golf courses were called parkland courses because they resembled parks.

Augusta National is arguably the most well-known parkland field in the entire world. Golf enthusiasts may observe the parkland course style at each and every Masters competition since Augusta is a prime example of the parkland design. A course architect builds a parkland field that is meticulously maintained and extensively wide. And this is opposed to a links course, which is mostly natural.

Fairways on a parkland field will be level as opposed to the undulating ones of a links field. Fairways that are level and well-kept provide soft bounces. Additionally, the fairways can be pretty forgiving.

Even though Pebble Beach is a links course and hosts a PGA Tour event, parkland layouts frequently hold competitions. One more links-style course is found at Myrtle Beach. The course has, however, increased the number of parkland elements over time.

Desert Golf Club

Desert Golf Club
Desert Golf Club

Even though links and parkland golf courses are the most popular types worldwide, desert courses are becoming more widespread in dry climates. A desert golf course is designed in a desert environment. It is built among dunes and other natural desert elements. This style of golf course only has grass on the tee boxes, fairways, and putting greens.

And most of these programs are offered in the Middle East and the Southwest of the United States. These golf courses are designed to mix the surrounding landscape with the lush vegetation seen on golf courses worldwide.

Heathland Golf Club

Heathland Golf Club

Heath is an open expanse of land covered in coarse grasses, gorse, and other low-growing plants. The sandy, solid soil and the gently undulating topography are perfect for golf. Heathland courses, predominantly located in Britain, require less upkeep since they are not as well-groomed as other courses.

Heathland courses make up several of the best in Britain. Sunningdale Golf Club, Woodland Spa, Alwoodley Golf Club, and Walton Heath are a few of the most prominent.

Sandbelt Golf Club

Sandbelt Golf Club
Sandbelt Golf Club

There is only one thing that the term “Sandbelt Golf” refers to the collection of eight golf courses in Melbourne, Australia’s sandbelt. These notable golf courses were constructed on terrain with loamy soil and some undulations. They have sharp-edged bunkers and lightning-fast greens, thanks to the meticulous design. So, you can play here all year round due to the area’s warm environment.

Many championship tournaments have been held on the sandbelt courses, and one of them, the Royal Melbourne, is frequently regarded among the best ten golf courses in the world.

More About Linked Golf Courses

Knowing what is a links golf course isn’t enough you should also know more about it. Now, the term “links” indicates a particular kind of golf course and, usually, the game played on (“links golf”). The firm, closely cropped grass that covers “Links” golf courses is famous, as is the naturally uneven and rumpled land on which they are constructed. Links courses also don’t often contain trees or water hazards; instead, they have “pot bunkers,” which are large sand traps. And links courses are frequently found along coastal shores where strong, shifting breezes are common.

The earliest golf courses ever constructed were “Links” courses, and they were erected in Scotland. Links golf courses are also popular in Ireland and England. The Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie, and Turn berry in Scotland are all well-known links courses. These courses are always used to host the Open Tournament, also known as the British Open.

So, to take advantage of the ground, players must often play their balls with a lower trajectory in links golf. And golfers must often hit longer, higher strokes when playing parkland courses in the United States.

Links Golf Course Vs Other Golf Courses

Since you now know what is links golf course, you should have a clear idea between links courses and other courses. Links golf is the most traditional of these variations and dates back to the sport’s inception. Links courses are notoriously more challenging for golfers to play. This can result from the harsh weather conditions they might encounter or the course’s design. Many have said that links courses are the actual gauge of a golfer’s skill. Proper links golf courses are more challenging to play than desert or parkland courses because they are hard, harsh, and feature external factors.

Now, a links course features sandy ground that receives a lot of breezes from the sea. Humans did not construct the ridges and slopes on the links course, or only a portion of them was. Most of the golf course’s characteristics are natural and not altered by people. Golfers may encounter significantly more difficult strokes due to the lack of human alteration of a links golf course. And blind shots may occur at times. Players can also smash shots uphill or downward toward the green.

Now, the degree to which the course is open is another significant distinction between links and parks. Links are unobstructed by trees that line fairways. A lack of water risks is another factor. Links courses are far more challenging for golfers to play owing to the design of the course. The wind may cause the ball to be blown during a golf event and raise scores. So, a golfer might anticipate a fairly quick-playing green after they get their ball close to the cup.

Links courses, according to many, are the real litmus test for golfers. They are more challenging to play in than others parks since they are merciless and have other characteristics.

How to Play Links Course Golf

golf course

After knowing what is links golf course, you might be curious to know how to play there. So, it is time to give some unique information. Whether a beginner or an expert, let’s begin.

When playing links golf, you must give your stroke careful consideration. The beauty of it is that occasionally your ball might strike the proper bounce, the wind might be on your side, or the bunkers might be forgiving (but don’t bank on it).

So, here are some fundamental tips to take into consideration if you ever find yourself on a windy tee box along the water:

1. Make the wind your ally; it’s more complicated than it seems.

2. Hit the ball low, or you could notice it returning for you.

3. Long putts, sometimes from outside the green.

4. “Bump and run” the ball; the firm ground will support this technique.

5. Use hybrid clubs for more control and lighter weight.

6. Be cautious when your ball is in the bunker because you are not Tiger Woods.

7. Check your golf ball because certain balls work better in the wind.

As these are so general, the next part will be more details about how to master your shots while playing in the links course.

Are There Any Specific Shots to Play Links Golf?

Knowing what is links in golf was maybe boring for you. So, here comes the exciting and beneficial part for golfers who would like to master playing links golf. You must regularly perform several strokes well to master links golf. These include driving the ball under the wind, approaching from slopy positions, and chipping from tight lying positions. So, here are the top three shots you’ll encounter on a links golf course:

Opening the face to clear the steepest of lips is a strategy for escaping pot bunkers:

escaping pot bunkers
Escaping Pot Bunkers

Every links course in the world has pot bunkers that require difficult shots. The safest action is to take your medication and ingest it backwards or sideways. But getting out is much simpler than it seems if you need to score and the ball is laying quite far back. You can get the height you should pop out and onto the putting green by making a few easy adjustments to your set-up.

It would be best if you had both loft and speed to get the ball upward quickly. Hence, use the loftiest club of your club set and open the face, so the grooves are pointing upwards to gain height. Swing wide to encourage a shallow angle of attack, and place the ball just inside your left heel with the shaft slightly inclined forward. The club will go into the sand with little resistance by presenting the sole’s trailing edge at contact, which is essential for maintaining loft on the face.

  1. Don’t stop the club head

Never thud the sand and quit when you have a long bunker shot. You must take less sand and commit a full release to create the clubhead speed necessary to blast the ball up and out. So, aim to pinch the ball off the sand before accelerating through for a shoulder-high finish.

 2. Your position should be low

Don’t feel obligated to aim left and swing left while your clubhead faces the address. Simply dropping hands flattens the shaft and causes the face to point straight up rather than to the right of the target.

Off the tee, keep it low: “Drive the ball beneath the wind.”

A links course’s wind may be just as dangerous as pot bunkers, blind shots, and undulating greens. Occasionally, it could necessitate using a low stinger to benefit on the fast and challenging running fairways.

Tiger Woods is an expert at keeping the ball in play despite the wind. Sadly, most amateur golfers struggle with accuracy and distance. Why? Because they believe that to hit the ball low, you must tee it down. In reality, the ball will inflate and stall in the air if the strike is lower on the ball’s face, generating greater backspins. Hence, it would be best to strike it higher on the face with the impression that you’re pressing down on the ball for a more penetrating flight.

Another thing to do can be to swing within yourself. The reason is that you produce more spin when you hit the ball harder. So, aim to finish low to shoot low, as this will reduce spin-off with a shorter, more rhythmic swing. Try to imitate Tommy Fleetwood’s posture by seeing how he shortens his follow-through.

Maintain Balance on Slopes to Avoid Rough Terrain

Last year, the average European Tour player hit the green 60% of the time, which indicates that they attempted to shoot their approach shot from the rough over 50% of the time. This may be even more difficult on a links course like Carnoustie because of the vibrations and mounds that await any misplaced tee shots.

The most common error golfers make while hacking out of dense rough is forgetting to put their bodies vertically (make a right angle with it) to the slope from which they are hitting. This is especially challenging to perform while striking from an upslope. This is because your body naturally wants to lean into the slope to prevent falling back. And this will, in turn, lead the club to dig in. So, to deliver the club on a plane at address and impact, you must maintain your spine angle, just like with any uncomfortable lie.


Hopefully, you learned something new and vital today. There are many courses to choose from and many skills to learn in golf. So, select the ones suitable for you and aim to get that birdie! So, do you know what is a links golf course? Of course, you do!


What is the distinction between a golf course and a links golf course?

The distinction between a links golf course and a regular course is that the golfer is forced to work with the course’s natural elements. The links course is not artificial and follows the natural contours of the land. This is how it was in the game’s beginning stages.

Why are they referred to as links golf courses?

A links golf course is the oldest type of golf course, having originated in Scotland. The term derives from the Scots language and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes, as well as open parkland. This more general meaning is also retained in the Scottish English dialect.

Are the courses for links shorter?

Links golf courses adhere to the links style, which includes a sandy base, shorter grass, and an obstacle-style course arrangement with slopes. The term ‘links’ is derived from the Scottish term ‘hlincs,’ which was used to describe courses with similar characteristics.

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