An Overview of the Different Types of Golf Clubs
26 January 2023
Welcome to A Beginner’s Guide to Golf Course Design,
where we’ll discuss the meanings, history, and design of golf course architecture terms that you may have heard before but may not fully comprehend. All of the aforementioned will be explained, and even better, we will show you how to recognize these features and plan your attack for the next time you see one, saving you strokes. We’ll talk about the different kinds of golf courses in this installment.
There is a lot of jargon used in golf courses, but it can be confusing if you don’t know what it means. This week, we’re going to talk about some of the terms used to describe various kinds of golf courses.
The most well-known type of golf course
The links course, comes first. The term refers to a sandy area along the coast and comes from the Old English word hlinc, which means “rising ground” or “ridge.” Although numerous courses claim to be links, refer to themselves as links-style, or include the word “links” in their names, the category encompasses a wider range of topics. The majority of true links courses can be found in England, Ireland, and Scotland. The course must run alongside the coast on sandy ground. The game of links golf was first played on this sandy soil, which was ideal for golf but not much else. Since the land couldn’t be used for farming, people started looking for other uses for it. The sandy soil drains exceptionally well and maintains firmness, making it ideal for a golf course. You can check out the website of the links association, which keeps track of all of the courses around the world that meet their standards for genuine links. The Old Course at St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Lahinch, and a few of the courses at Bandon Dunes golf resort are among these courses.
However, this is only part of the story. The majority of people envision links-style golf as playing along a course with a lot of undulation, lots of dunes, and few to no trees. Pot bunkers are also common on these courses, as opposed to the sprawling American-style bunkers. Wind is a major factor on most links courses due to the lack of trees and location near the water.
Architects have now begun attempting to replicate some of these features on land that are technically incompatible with links courses. They will design courses with lots of open space and try to make the ground look like it’s naturally undulating and swept by the wind. Even though they don’t technically count as links courses, these courses can still be a lot of fun.
Course in Parkland Parkland courses are constructed inland, far from the ocean. There are frequently a lot of trees and green grass on these courses. Parkland courses are probably a common sight on the PGA Tour. Because they resemble playing golf in a park, they are referred to as parkland courses. Parkland courses typically have a lot of man-made features, like dug bunkers, ponds, and built-up rough, and are usually well-kept. Parkland courses are frequently constructed in locations with poor golfing conditions. As a result, maintaining the grass and soil is more difficult and costly. Parkland courses require significantly more work from the course architect to add intrigue and excitement because there is less natural land movement and undulation. Augusta National is without a doubt the most well-known parkland course in the world.
Reading the definition of heath is the fastest way to comprehend heathland courses: ” an area of open, uncultivated land, especially in Britain, with heather, gorse, and coarse grasses as typical vegetation. British heathland courses make up the majority. Because their design is based on links courses, these inland courses typically have a more open feel than parkland courses. The courses don’t always look as well-maintained as traditional parkland courses because they frequently feature a lot of heather and gorse. Although most of them only have a few trees—mostly pines—many of them have seen new growth over time. When people were looking for places other than links land to play golf, these courses were created. Similar to links, the sandy soil and the undulating terrain are also present. Woking Golf Club, Sunningdale Golf Club, and Alwoodley Golf Club are among the best heathland courses in Britain.
Course in the sandbelt Australia’s sandbelt is home to some of the world’s most renowned courses, but because of their location, they can get lost in the crowd. Several of the world’s best courses are located in the sandbelt region, which is just outside of Melbourne in Australia. In comparison to the surrounding areas, this region’s soil is surprisingly sandy, making it ideal for golf.
According to thesandbelt.com, “The Melbourne Sandbelt region is a geographical anomaly resulting from a prehistoric flood that deposited heavy sandstone into low lying areas.
This soil is ideal for terrain with firm running ground and undulating greens. However, the soil is also ideal for creating green-side bunkers with sharp edges. In 1926, the well-known course architect Alister MacKenzie went to the sandbelt area. He designed the West course at Royal Melbourne and provided advice on a number of other courses. Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Kingston Heath Golf Club, and Metropolitan Golf Club are among the region’s best courses.