Links golf is not just a sport, it is a way of life for many golf enthusiasts. The rarity of links courses, combined with their natural beauty and unique challenges, make them a coveted and exclusive experience. Links golf represents a deep respect for tradition, while also embracing innovation and sustainability. The popularity of links golf speaks to a growing appreciation for the game's history and cultural significance, as well as the desire to experience golf in its purest form. Whether playing a round or simply being a part of the community, links golf provides a sense of connection to the game's rich history and a brighter future.
Links golf is considered by some to be the purest and most beautiful form of the game, as it takes the game back to its original idea. In links golf, the course is played as naturally as possible, with obstacles that are instinctive and require creativity, risk, and luck to navigate. The wind is a significant factor in the game, changing the course layout and requiring players to adjust their shots accordingly. The natural terrain and slopes, along with the absence of trees, add to the challenge and excitement of the game. Playing links golf requires a different approach and strategy than other types of golf courses, making it a unique and rewarding experience for golfers.
Links golf is also considered to be one of the most challenging forms of the game and requires golfers to showcase their sharpest skills and mental toughness. The natural terrain, wind, and other elements of the links courses make them demanding and unpredictable, testing the golfer's persistence, patience, creativity, and self-forgiveness. As a result, links golf can be both exhilarating and challenging, rewarding those who bring their best game. The Open Championship, the world's oldest and most important golf championship, is only played on links courses, further emphasizing the importance and prestige of links golf.
Despite the challenges posed by links golf, it is a beloved form of the game by those who understand it. The combination of nature and the test of the golfer's abilities make it an unforgettable experience. Even after a difficult round where everything goes wrong, players leave the course with a smile on their face and a twinkle in their eye, eager to return and learn more. Links golf teaches players not only about the game but also about themselves, their strengths, and weaknesses. It is a humbling and rewarding experience that continues to captivate golfers.
One of the great joys of links golf is the opportunity to share experiences and stories with fellow golfers who share the same passion. Being able to connect with others who understand the challenges and rewards of the game creates a sense of community and camaraderie that adds to the overall experience of playing links golf. Whether discussing a particularly difficult shot or reliving a memorable round, sharing experiences with others makes the game all the more enjoyable.
The game of golf has a long and storied history, with origins that are believed to date back over a thousand years. While some say that golf has its roots in ancient Roman games, the modern game as we know it today was born in Scotland. The oldest golf course still in existence is Musselburgh Links, where a game was documented to have been played as early as 1672. The Old Course in St. Andrews, established in 1754, is considered to be the world's oldest remaining golf course. King James IV of Scotland is said to have been one of the earliest golfers, playing in Perth in 1502.
The first recorded regulations for the game of golf were established in Edinburgh by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith and recorded in 1744. The 18-hole round format, which is still used today, was developed on The Old Course in 1764. The links-style golf courses that were created in the 18th century have since spread across the world and there is now a total of 249 such courses.
Links is the narrow piece of land that you find between beach and grass, the link between beach and vegetation. Between naturally formed sand hills, among turf, thorn, and heather, past treacherous bunkers that guard greens and make shots difficult, the player has to navigate the ball toward the hole. The natural terrain is used to design the holes.
The word links has developed from 'hlinc' which means crest or elevation. This is what the coastal lands of Great Britain looked like, a wind-exposed area poor in trees but rich in thick grass which later became the characteristic rough that we links golfers love to hate.
A true links has all the elements to play a pure game of golf; deep bunkers that both guard along the fairways and surround the rolling greens on a course that is laid out on the sandy beach meadows. Wind-exposed tees, often only meters from the sea. Bushes twisted by an eternal wind, which is a key component on a links course as it constantly creates new conditions and challenges for how the player should tackle the course.