How can you not love links?
Around the time of The Open, I was asked to write a blog about links courses and how to play them for the best Danish lady player Malene Jørgensen's website – and why not, I adore links golf.
It would probably have be easier to write a book on the topic than trying to sum up links in a few words but never mind, it made me revisit my old love and passion for the links – fantastic.
Even so, the best way to get to understand what links golf is all about is to try it – reading about it is a meagre substitute but if nothing else perhaps reading about it is the inspiration needed for someone to make the effort to try out a true links course themselves. So here goes!
BLOG: Most golfers never experience playing golf on a true links course and might not even care much, but for those who appreciate the origin of the game of golf and its true challenges, links courses are the real deal and any other style of golf course is a copy of the original - the links.
With only about 150 pure links courses around it is easy to forget that the game of golf was born on links land. However, thanks to The British Open we annually get a wonderful reminder when this major is played on one of the links courses of Britain. This year the men played Royal St. George’s and soon the women will return to Carnoustie, one of the toughest of The Open courses.
After The Open at Royal St. George’s, a somewhat disappointed Rory McIlroy proclaimed that he would not change his game to suit one tournament a year. For a professional golfer who plays almost all his golf on parkland courses this might make a lot of sense from a business perspective but every fan of the links must have felt their heart sink when Rory made that comment - how could such a talented golfer dismiss links golf like that!
But yes, links courses are different from parkland courses and so is the technique required of the golfer - perhaps even Rory will one day come to appreciate this.
Golf wasn’t born by accident on the links; it was and still is where the conditions for golf are best suited. A true links course is defined by location, soil conditions and design. Books have been written about this but compressed into just a few words, the true links courses are situated on sandy links land close to the sea and have a layout and design which has been dictated by the existing landscape. Very few courses can truly comply with the above template and due to the protection of dune land worldwide the number of links course are unlikely to increase. Playing links golf is therefore set to remain a rare, or never experienced happening for most golfers.
In terms of play and technique there are differences between links and parkland golf. The links have firm ground, generally undulating fairways and yes, the wind plays a part too. These conditions create a need for the player to play a much “lower” game, squeezing and punching the ball around the course through/under the wind across the firm and bumpy fairways. A high ball into the green is rarely a good idea; instead a “bump and run” or the odd putt from the fairway or fringe of the green is often the better choice. But more importantly, it’s a fun game if you like a challenge - the variety of shots needed is much greater than that required to get round a modern parkland course. OK, it can rain and rain hard but a true links course (sandy) drains which despite the weather will provide some fair turf conditions. The wind can be truly brutal on the links too, but if you can get over the frustration of the howling wind and avoid the temptation to fight it, swing faster and hit the ball harder, you might just discover that playing in the wind, with the wind, can be not just an interesting technical challenge but fun too. The score might not be as low as you are used to but remember only 4 players were under par at Royal St. George’s this year – everyone “was in the same boat”.
The Ladies will this week be playing at Carnoustie, a feared links amongst The Open courses. It’s a course that demands the respect of the player, if not, it will “eat you up”. Besides bringing your best links game, one piece of advice is to STAY OUT OF THE BUNKERS. They are not shallow parkland bunkers ready for a 3-wood recovery shot - no, the bunkers at Carnoustie are as bunkers were intended – deep enough to retain the sand in the wind and true traps.
Wind, rain, demanding technique and the smell of the sea - how can you not love the links?
Comment this blog
torsdag, 02-05-13 08:27
. It does not happen all at once, but builds upon and is shaped by what we already know. To that end, learning may be viewed as a process, rather than a collection of factual and procedural knowledge. Thank you.
Deann Hendricks from canada
mandag, 28-01-13 04:03
Thank you, it's very inspiring information about this topic it might be very hospitable for students. Recently i needed resume writing service. To my awesome surprise, resume was deserving the price I paid for it.
Sondra Zimmerman from canada
mandag, 28-01-13 04:00
That’s high time to tell that you surprised us with your master’s article related to this good post. Hence, we should try to finish the thesis topic on the base of your stuff. Or plausibly, this is manageable to detect some thesis writing service exclusivethesis.com.
Shana Moss from canada
fredag, 25-01-13 07:17
Look here (bestwritingservice.co.uk) if you have a need to receive best term paper services uk. Academic success is secured!
Stacie Cohen from canada
fredag, 25-01-13 06:45
This company is ready to help those customers who want to make use of writing service (essayswriters.com) of the good quality.