Links Golf

Links golf developed in Britain and is mainly represented in the golf course design there. But links golf has made it’s way over to the America’s in the early 1900s and is re appearing as of recent. Links golf courses are often built on natural sand dunes on the coastal areas of United States. The most famous set of links golf includes the four courses at the Bandon Dunes Resort in Bandon Oregon. Other course include Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington and home of the 2015 U.S. Open. The first golf course at Bandon Dunes Resort was Bandon Dunes opening in 1998, designed by a Scotsman David McLay Kidd. The second course being Pacific Dunes opining in 2001 designed by Tom Doak. Hence the name, it’s built overlooking the cliffs next to the Pacific Ocean. But they don’t like to think it was build, but more so discovered as the course is so rustic looking weaving in and out out the sand dunes. The third course Bandon Trails opened in 2005, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The first few holes sit atop on a giant dune then dives into the meadow landscape. Finally Old Macdonald was built in 2010, designed by course architects Tom Doak and Jim Urbina. They named it after the famous golf course architect Charles Blair Macdonald with themes of his work represented throughout the course.

As mentioned above Coore and Crenshaw are well known for this type of design. But Tom Doak is also a known designer for this type of golf course design. He designed Ballyneal in Holyok, Colorado. He took 700 acres of sand dunes and turned it into a 7100 yard course. This course has a lot of undulating fairways that feed in every which way. Banks surround the greens, allowing players to play bank shots and feed the ball close to the hole. Doak was known for keeping the grass short at Ballyneal. He says it doesn’t put fear in the less experienced player but more so in the better player. It makes the better player think of what kind of shot rather then having to chop out of thick rough. Finally one of the best features this course has is there isn’t any tee markers. This allows the members and guests to play any length course they prefer. I believe this keeps the game fun, the way it’s meant to be played!