Junior Golf: Links Golf

imageIn this Wednesday Waggle we are going to investigate a name which may be new to you and your daughter, links golf. Basically there are 2 types of golf courses, links and traditional, for lack of a better word.

At some point in your daughter’s junior golf career she will be introduced to a links golf course. Now the word links can be confusing because sometimes the word is used as catch-all for golf courses in general. The USGA even had the Public Links Championship which technically had nothing to do with links style golf courses, but was for golfers who played mostly on public courses rather than private courses. This event has been discontinued. (photo golfdigest.com)

So what does links golf mean to your daughter? Links golf courses are the original golf courses, formed along coastlines in Scotland where there is rolling sandy terrain and lots of wind. Links courses require creativity because when they are in proper condition, meaning dry and extremely fast fairways and greens, your daughter must use different shots and strategies to have a decent score. On most holes, the greens are so hard and fast she cannot land her ball on the green, but must roll it to the pin. This means a lot of fun, seeing the contour of the ground along the desired path and then rolling a low shot snakeing towards the hole. It is very exciting and fulfilling to watch the shot she visualized actually end up where she had hoped. So your daughter will get great experience on how to handle windy conditions.

Links courses have few trees, but are known for very difficult rough and the dreaded round “pot” bunkers, which are pretty much a 1-shot penalty when you are in 1 because it is very hard to advance the ball. It’s usually all a golfer can do to just get out of a “pot” bunker. In 1 of Tiger’s British Open wins, and they are all played on links courses, he did not hit his driver at all during the tournament. He played strategic smart golf because hitting less than driver kept his ball short of most of the bunkers and I don’t think he was in a fairway bunker at all. (photo golfdashblog.com)image

Links golf courses: rolling, undulating, fast fairways and greens. Few, if any trees. Very difficult rough. Pot bunkers. Cannot land ball on green, or at least anywhere near the pin. Lots of wind. Great fun and an opportunity to really engage and enhance your junior golfer’s creativity. Find a links course near you and take your daughter to go play it. Make sure the course is dryed out and fast. Don’t go right after a big rain. The course will not reveal its true self when wet.

Golf is more of an art than a science. Every shot is different and creativity is a big part of playing good golf. Get creative with your daughter. Book a round on a links course today.

See you on #1 tee, looking very Scottish… Sam

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