Links Course - treeless, built on Sandy Soil and windy

Especially in the U.S the term “links” is frequently misapplied.  “Links” refers to very specific type of course.  But nowadays it is common for any golf course that is relatively treeless to call itself a links course, and that’s not accurate.

In America, they get away with it.  Most American golfers, have never seen a links course.

The British Golf Museum says that “links” are coastal strips of land between the beaches and the inland agricultural area where crops are grown.  This term, in its purest sense, applies specifically to seaside areas in Scotland.


So “links land” is land where seaside transitions into farmland.  Links land has sandy soil, so crops cant be grown. The land, in fact, was thought to be worthless.

A links Course Defined:

In modern terms a “links course” is more broadly defined to include golf courses build on sandy soil and that are buffeted by the winds.  A links course must play firm and fast, with sometimes crusty fairways and greens that feature many knolls and knobs to create odd bounces and angles.  And of course a links course needs to be relatively treeless with a native rough that is tall and thick.