Definition of a links golf course
A links course is the oldest style of golf course, which was first developed in Scotland. The word “links” refers to an area of coastal sand dunes and sometimes it can also refer to parkland.
Many links courses (although not all of them) are located in coastal areas on sandy soil, often amid dunes, with few water hazards and few, if any, trees around.
This reflects the nature of the scenery, where the sport happened to originate, and the fact that only limited resources were available to golf course architects at the time. Any earth moving had to be done by hand, so it was kept to a minimum.
The style of play on a links golf is very different from American golf courses. They are characterised by uneven fairways, thick rough and small deep bunkers known as “pot bunkers”.
Also, due to their coastal location, many links courses are frequently windy. This affects the style of play required, favouring players who are able to play low accurate shots.
Many links courses, such as the main golf courses in Southport, consist of an “outward” nine in one direction along the coast, and an “inward” nine, which returns in the opposite direction. Players often have to cope with opposite wind patterns in each half of their round.
These courses are most common in Ireland and Great Britain, especially in Scotland.
The Open Championship is always played on links courses, which is one of the things that differentiate it from the three major championships held in the US. Find out more about the golf packages on offer at the Ramada Plaza Southport Hotel for the legendary golf courses near the hotel.