Parklands Vs Links Golf Courses – How They Differ & What’s Better
As a golf expert, I often get asked about the difference between Parklands Vs Links Golf Courses. The two types of courses are quite different in their layout, terrain, and style of play, and each has its own set of pros and cons. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the key differences between parklands and links courses and which one might be better suited to your golfing preferences.
What Is A Parklands Course?
A parklands golf course is typically set in a landscaped park or woodland area, with manicured fairways and greens. The terrain is relatively flat, and water hazards, trees, and bunkers are strategically placed to challenge golfers. Trees are often a defining feature of parklands courses, and golfers will need to navigate their way around them to reach the green.
What Is A Links Golf Course?
Links courses are typically situated on coastal land and are characterized by their natural, undulating terrain. The course is often shaped by the wind, with sand dunes, bunkers, and tall grasses creating a unique challenge for golfers. Links courses are known for their firm, fast-running fairways and greens, which require a different style of play compared to parklands courses.
Parklands Vs Links Comparison Table
To give you a quick overview of the main differences between parklands and links courses, here’s a comparison table:
|Feature||Parklands Course||Links Course|
|Terrain||Manicured, flat||Natural, undulating|
|Hazards||Water, trees, bunkers||Sand dunes, tall grasses, bunkers|
|Style of Play||Target golf, accuracy||Shot-making, creativity|
|Weather||Sheltered from wind||Exposed to wind|
|Fairways/Greens||Soft, lush||Firm, fast-running|
In What Ways Are They Similar?
Despite their differences, parklands and links courses share some similarities. Both require accuracy off the tee and a good short game to score well. They both have bunkers, water hazards, and trees or tall grasses to negotiate, and both require a strategic approach to navigate around the course.
Parklands Vs Links Golf Courses: In What Ways Do They Differ?
The key differences between parklands and links courses are the terrain, weather conditions, and style of play. Parklands courses tend to have manicured fairways and greens, whereas links courses have natural, undulating terrain. Parklands courses are typically sheltered from the wind, while links courses are often exposed to it. The style of play on parklands courses is more about accuracy and target golf, whereas links courses require shot-making and creativity.
Pros Of Parklands Over Links
Parklands courses offer a more forgiving terrain, making them a great choice for high handicappers or beginners. They are often sheltered from the wind, making them more predictable to play. Parklands courses also tend to have softer, more lush fairways and greens, which can make for a more enjoyable and comfortable round of golf.
Pros Of Links Over Parklands
Links courses offer a more challenging and unique style of play, requiring golfers to be creative and adaptable. The natural terrain and weather conditions make for a more authentic golfing experience, with some of the most famous links courses in the world offering stunning coastal views. Links courses also tend to have firm, fast-running fairways and greens, which can reward good shots with more roll and distance.
Cons Of Parklands
The more forgiving terrain of parklands courses can make them less challenging for more experienced golfers, who may find them too predictable and straightforward. They can also be more susceptible to damage from heavy rain or foot traffic.
Cons Of Links
Links courses can be more difficult for high handicappers or beginners due to the challenging terrain and weather conditions. The firm, fast-running fairways and greens can also be less forgiving, with wayward shots often punished severely. Links courses can also be exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as wind and rain, making for a less comfortable round of golf.
Which Types Of Golfers Will Prefer Links?
Links courses are ideal for golfers who enjoy a challenge and appreciate the natural beauty of a course. Golfers who enjoy creative shot-making and adapting to changing weather conditions will also enjoy links courses. Lower handicappers and experienced golfers may find links courses more rewarding due to the challenging terrain and conditions.
Which Types Of Golfers Will Prefer Parklands?
Parklands courses are ideal for high handicappers or beginners who are looking for a more forgiving and enjoyable round of golf. Golfers who prefer a more predictable and straightforward style of play will also enjoy parklands courses. Mid handicappers and those who enjoy accuracy and target golf may also prefer parklands courses.
Parklands Vs Links Golf Courses: What Handicap is Better?
High handicappers and beginners may find parklands courses more suitable due to the forgiving terrain and less challenging style of play. Mid handicappers may prefer either parklands or links courses depending on their preferences, while low handicappers and pros are more likely to prefer links courses due to the challenging terrain and conditions.
Top Three Parklands Courses
- Augusta National Golf Club – Known for hosting the prestigious Masters tournament, Augusta National is a prime example of a parklands course. With tree-lined fairways and undulating greens, the course offers a challenging yet enjoyable round of golf.
- Pinehurst Resort – Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina is home to several parklands courses, including Pinehurst No. 2, which has hosted multiple US Open championships. The course offers a classic parklands layout with challenging green complexes and strategic bunkering.
- Valderrama Golf Club – Located in Southern Spain, Valderrama Golf Club is a beautifully landscaped parklands course. The course offers a challenging layout with water hazards and strategic bunkering, making it a favorite among professional golfers.
Top Three Links Courses
- St. Andrews Links – As the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews Links is one of the most famous links courses in the world. With undulating terrain and unpredictable weather conditions, the course offers a truly authentic golfing experience.
- Royal County Down Golf Club – Located in Northern Ireland, Royal County Down is consistently ranked as one of the best links courses in the world. The course offers stunning coastal views and a challenging layout with natural terrain and deep bunkers.
- Ballybunion Golf Club – Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland offers a challenging and beautiful links course. With towering dunes, deep bunkers, and fast-running fairways and greens, the course requires precision and creativity to navigate successfully.
What Are The Other Types Of Courses?
Heathland Course – Heathland courses are similar to parklands courses in terms of terrain but are characterized by heather, gorse, and other native vegetation. Some famous examples include Sunningdale Golf Club in the UK and The Belfry in England.
Sandbelt Course – Sandbelt courses are located in coastal areas with sandy soil and often feature natural bunkers and undulating terrain. Some famous examples include Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia and Bethpage Black in the US.
Stadium/Championship Course – Stadium or championship courses are designed to host professional tournaments and offer a challenging layout with large, deep bunkers and fast-running greens. Some famous examples include TPC Sawgrass in the US and The Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor in Wales.
Par-3 Course – Par-3 courses are designed to be shorter and more approachable than traditional courses, with holes that are typically around 100 yards in length. They are often used for practice and as a stepping stone for beginners. Some famous examples include Pebble Beach Par-3 in the US and The Himalayas Course in Wales.
Parklands Vs Links Golf Courses: Conclusion
In conclusion, parklands and links courses offer two very different golfing experiences, each with their own set of pros and cons. Parklands courses are more forgiving and predictable, making them a great choice for high handicappers and beginners, while links courses offer a more challenging and authentic golfing experience. When choosing between the two, it’s important to consider your skill level, playing style, and personal preferences.
Whether you prefer parklands or links courses, there are plenty of options to choose from, with some of the world’s most famous courses falling into one or the other category. From Augusta National to St. Andrews Links, each course offers a unique and memorable golfing experience.
Parklands Vs Links Golf Courses: FAQ’s
A parklands golf course is typically set in a landscaped park or woodland area, with manicured fairways and greens, while a links golf course is situated on coastal land and is characterized by natural, undulating terrain.
Parklands courses require accuracy off the tee and a good short game to score well. The style of play is more about accuracy and target golf.
Links courses require creative shot-making and adapting to changing weather conditions. The style of play is more about shot-making and creativity.
Parklands courses are more forgiving due to the relatively flat terrain and lush fairways and greens, making them a great choice for high handicappers or beginners.
Links courses are more challenging due to the natural terrain, unpredictable weather conditions, and firm, fast-running fairways and greens.
High handicappers or beginners who prefer a more predictable and straightforward style of play will enjoy parklands courses.
Golfers who enjoy a challenge and appreciate the natural beauty of a course, as well as lower handicappers and experienced golfers who are up for a challenge, will enjoy links courses.
Famous examples of parklands courses include Augusta National Golf Club, Pinehurst Resort, and Valderrama Golf Club, while famous links courses include St. Andrews Links, Royal County Down Golf Club, and Ballybunion Golf Club.
If you’re still looking to improve your game why not check out our other articles on the Best Golf Balls, or the best golf gloves. Alternatively check out or equipment reviews with the best golf irons and the best drivers.