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Jeremie Boop

What is more difficult links golf or parkland golf?

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  1. 1. What's harder to score well on?

    • Links
      6
    • Parkland
      7
    • Neither
      13

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With "The Open" being this week I started thinking which type of course is harder to play on. Normally I would have said parkland style because trees are the bane of my existence when I'm really struggling. However, after I gave it a bit more thought I realized that at least I have a good chance to punch out from the trees whereas hitting into the native grass areas of a links course would probably lead to a lost ball more often. Being that I've never yet and likely never will play on a true links style course I can't really decide.

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I've played both and it really depends on the set-up of the individual course. I voted Neither because I've played easy and difficult of each. Don't think one can use only that distinction to make a determination. I LIKE links better only because it's not something I get to do often, living in Dallas, so playing it is a special event for me.
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For me, links courses have always played easier due to their lack of obstructions and the extra roll provided by the burnt out conditions.

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I voted links because I typically do not do too well with blind shots. I also find them to be much less forgiving on mishits. A slightly thinned shot with no spin or height on it will roll for days on me and I usually find myself playing in a horrible situation on the wrong side of the green far too often. It's a blast playing a true links course, but it can definitely be more of a nightmare than parkland courses can IMO.

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I don't think one is more difficult than the other. They're just different. I prefer parkland myself.

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I voted "neither". Regardless of the track, it's still a game of fairways and greens. If you play shots from off the fairway, and miss GIRs, you will score accordingly. Now that said, courses which use bermudagrass can give me fits. :cry:

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I did not vote because I have yet to play a real links course.

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I have not played a true links course either.

I would like to though.

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I have not played a true links course either.

I would like to though.

I probably contradicted myself a bit. Most people would agree that in order to play a true links course, you have to leave the United States. I've only played Straits, Dunes and Arcadia Bluffs. They're "linksy" but a lot of people would argue they're not true links courses, or that there are no true links courses in the US. Just wanted to put up that disclaimer.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

I probably contradicted myself a bit. Most people would agree that in order to play a true links course, you have to leave the United States. I've only played Straits, Dunes and Arcadia Bluffs. They're "linksy" but a lot of people would argue they're not true links courses, or that there are no true links courses in the US. Just wanted to put up that disclaimer.

Quote:
Linksland is typically characterised by dunes, an undulating surface, and a sandy soil unsuitable for arable farming but which readily supports various indigenous browntop bents and red fescue grasses, that give the firm turf associated with links courses and the 'running' game.

I would say any coastal that has high sand content for soil could create a links style golf. Heck, Pinehurst #2 is close to links golf golf now. Saying you can't get links golf in the US is just European Golfers trying to claim something as theirs alone.

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I would say any coastal that has high sand content for soil could create a links style golf. Heck, Pinehurst #2 is close to links golf golf now. Saying you can't get links golf in the US is just European Golfers trying to claim something as theirs alone.

Ohhh, now you've gone and done it. You went there !

I agree with you, but I do think that most people would disagree with us. Others who would disagree are those who have had the opportunity to travel to Scotland or European's who have traveled to the US with experience on both. As well as Europeans who simply have no desire to see our courses and laugh at the notion that we have setups that are "similar".

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Ohhh, now you've gone and done it. You went there !  I agree with you, but I do think that most people would disagree with us. Others who would disagree are those who have had the opportunity to travel to Scotland or European's who have traveled to the US with experience on both. As well as Europeans who simply have no desire to see our courses and laugh at the notion that we have setups that are "similar".

I've played 5 or 6 true links courses in Scotland. Closest I came in the US is Kiawah Island and a seaside course in Rhode Island. The US courses felt much different but I'm not sure that disqualifies them as being true links.

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Ohhh, now you've gone and done it. You went there!

I agree with you, but I do think that most people would disagree with us. Others who would disagree are those who have had the opportunity to travel to Scotland or European's who have traveled to the US with experience on both. As well as Europeans who simply have no desire to see our courses and laugh at the notion that we have setups that are "similar".

Oh yea I went there!!!

To me Links is more of " Linksland is typically characterised by dunes, an undulating surface" for a golf course. Usually wide open, with or with out tall grass (fescue). If their are trees, they are probably sparce or not between golf holes. Open to the elements more than a typical country club style course. I would say they are more sandy conditions with the primary defense of the course being the weather, the bunkers, and the undulating terrain.

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Oh yea I went there!!!

To me Links is more of "Linksland is typically characterised by dunes, an undulating surface" for a golf course. Usually wide open, with or with out tall grass (fescue). If their are trees, they are probably sparce or not between golf holes. Open to the elements more than a typical country club style course. I would say they are more sandy conditions with the primary defense of the course being the weather, the bunkers, and the undulating terrain.

Spot on in my opinion. Believe it or not, my favorite was Arcadia Bluffs in Michigan (near Sleeping Bear Dunes). The terrain is so sandy, because well... that's really all Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan is comprised of. We had torrential downpours, on and off, for 12 hours before we hit the course and I could not find standing water anywhere because of the drainage. The bunkers were just obscene and a mishit left you feeling like you were in a desert aiming at a mirage of a green. The fescue there was also on steroids and had no problem wrapping itself around my club, forcing me to hit the call service on the cart to get a few more beers.

The first 9 that I played there, the front, was a breeze. I shot a 39 and was high as a kite afterwords. The back, not so pretty, as I shot a 48 and could not hold a single green. The wind was so insane for a period of 15-20 minutes that I had to play a 7 iron on an approach shot from inside of 140 yards. I recall 2 or 3 drives just being whacked to the ground as if the wind just Mutumbo'd my ball. It was a hell of an awakening and shocking experience compared to what I am used to in NE Ohio (Typically boring, straight-forward holes with trees lining the fairways and a few bunkers around the green. Throw in the occasional meandering stream and manufactured pond from time to time and you have NE Ohio golf at its finest).

Purists will still laugh and claim nothing outside of Scotland/British Isles/Ireland qualifies. I would argue Pebble Beach, Arcadia Bluffs, Bandon Dunes, Whistling Straits and Shinnecock Hills are pretty damn close to the real thing . Not to mention there's probably another 5-6 that I can't come up with off of the top of my head at the moment which belong in this list, or ahead of those I listed.

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I haven't played a true links course either. In fact, all of the courses I've played that call themselves "links courses" have been very easy. They're basically parkland courses minus the one thing that makes parkland courses tough: the thick trees.
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After my visits to Ireland and Scotland, any course claiming to be a links course needs firm fairways, very tight lies, lots of steep-faced fairway and greenside bunkers, no trees, playable heather and wind.  Where courses in the USA often come up short is firm fairways, playable heather and bunkers.  We often get too much rain or the course is watered too much.  This results in the fairways having more cushion and the vegetation that comprises the "heather" becomes an impenetrable jungle.  To be sure, in Scotland and Ireland one can hit into a lush portion of the heather and lose a ball or find an unplayable lie.  Often, however, a ball in the heather can be played, although typically with some difficulty.  Finally, the sod-faced bunkers common in the UK/Ireland are rarely found here.  Until you have to play out of one of those bunkers sideways, backwards or while kneeling, it is hard to appreciate how penal they can be.

All that being said, while play on a links course has its difficulties, the same is true of any well designed parkland layout.  They are different but equally challenging.

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I live on the coast so play links courses quite often, as well as parkland and moorland, But to try and answer the question, it's difficult, as they are 2 different types of courses, links courses are usually quite flat and appear quite easy to the eye at first, but the ground is uneven and a straight drive can easily kick to any side! the rough is punishing in summer! Really hard to make any kind of shot from, and there's usually an abundance of bunkers too, so they may lack trees & water hazards, but believe me! the rough, bunkers and uneven fairways more than makes up for that! You can get real unlucky on a links!!!! Yes you get plenty of bounce and roll out... But it's where it rolls out to that's the problem! I find links courses don't always favour long hitters, best pick a safe spot and land it there! What I would say is... I think it's easier for links golf to transfer to parkland, than parkland golfer to transfer to links!
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