THE LINKS THEME
This is the fifth in a series of a mini-articles about the Themes in The Golf Club following on from The Rural Theme, The Alpine Theme, The Desert Theme and The Autumn Theme posts. Themes are the various environments that the Greg Norman Course Designer uses when creating a course and describe the terrain, the flora, the fauna, the water, the tees, the fairways, the rough, the greens and the surrounding land.
The Links Theme provides a typical Links environment for courses. The area provided for course generation or creation is naturally undulating and lies between the ocean and the land. It is invariably very windy and, despite its close proximity to the ocean, is quite dry due to the nature of the soil. A great deal of variety is provided by the possibility of terrain varying anywhere between towering cliffs and gentle sandy beaches.
Vegetation is limited to seaside grasses and shrubs with very few trees. The soil is sandy and lacks moisture leading to rough that can be difficult to play from even with a good lie. Wildlife is abundant and varies from the noisy seagulls to farm animals grazing the grassland. The ocean provides a picturesque backdrop but also brings strong winds that make any links course a tricky challenge.
With the naturally undulating land providing many dips and humps a view of the pin can easily be lost. The fairways are fairly soft and, thus, there isn’t much roll for tee shots. The bunkers tend to be deep and unforgiving. Positioning is crucial to scoring well on Links courses.
The greens on Links courses are medium-fast in speed and can be brutal to navigate if the approach lands any distance from the pin. Don’t be surprised to see your ball disappearing back from where it came if a slope isn’t successfully judged.