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I really like George's courses that I have played. Kinloch is one of the best, least known courses in the world. He has also been chosen to renovate several Tillinghast courses. I've never been a huge fan of Roanoke but have heard George's work has been well received. My brother in law lived in Harrisonburg for many years so, I've played Longview quite a bit. Not my favorite but the George 9 is by far the best 9 on property.

Good to see another LG fan here on the board. I haven't managed to get myself onto Kinloch yet (I've played Hermitage a bunch of times... it's right across the street ;-). The George 9 at Salisbury CC is the best of the three. Providence is one of my favorite places to play, and of course he designed the course at First Tee Chesterfield (Kinloch for Kids).

 

I need to find a way to get on to Ballyhack.

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I'm not too terribly difficult to please although, you wouldn't know it from some recent posts here.  The most fun I've ever had on the golf course was with my then 8 year old daughter on a 9-hole mun

I've been wanting to post something here all afternoon. This is a good topic Rev. I don't consider myself any sort of student of golf course design/architecture but I know a good one when I play one.

Now I've missed lots of the discussion. I hate to be controversial but I don't think Pebble is a great design - it's the most amazing property and has some great holes on it but in general the holes

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Good to see another LG fan here on the board. I haven't managed to get myself onto Kinloch yet (I've played Hermitage a bunch of times... it's right across the street ;-). The George 9 at Salisbury CC is the best of the three. Providence is one of my favorite places to play, and of course he designed the course at First Tee Chesterfield (Kinloch for Kids).

 

I need to find a way to get on to Ballyhack.

I used to live across the street from where Ballyhack now sits.  We left the Roanoke area as it was just getting under construction.  I've never played it but some of my regular playing partners say it's underrated.  They were having some serious financial issues until the property sold about 2 years ago.  The original ownership group limited membership to only those owning property at the club.  A lot of folks were willing to join, even given the $10,000 membership rates.  But forcing them to buy property in order to become a member was more than a lot of people were willing to do.  The new ownership group has changed the parameters of membership and they seem to be doing much better.  

 

A young man from my home club caddied at Kinloch for several years while in college.  He has pictures of himself on Facebook while caddying at Kinloch for Payton Manning, Jodie Meeks and Lawrence Taylor.  I've never gotten to play it but have walked around the place with him a couple of times.  It looks absolutely phenomenal.

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This week is at Trinity Forest in Dallas. A true links course. It's an excellent design. My only fear is that the tour is watering the hell out of it to slow things down which is going to affect how it plays. It's a much better test if its firm and fast.

I almost got to play it last year on a bachelor trip but I couldn't talk the group into a $300-$400 round. It's too bad because me and one other guy on the trip are still regretting not playing it to this day. 

 

Link to the course's website:  https://trinityforestgc.com/

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This week is at Trinity Forest in Dallas. A true links course. It's an excellent design. My only fear is that the tour is watering the hell out of it to slow things down which is going to affect how it plays. It's a much better test if its firm and fast.

 

I almost got to play it last year on a bachelor trip but I couldn't talk the group into a $300-$400 round. It's too bad because me and one other guy on the trip are still regretting not playing it to this day.

 

Link to the course's website: https://trinityforestgc.com/

I'm super jelly, pards! Be sure to take some pics.

 

Earlier this week I watched the Geoff Ogilvy videos highlighting some of the interesting Coore/Crenshaw design features. The 35K sq/ft double green on #3/#11 is mind boggling.

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I'm super jelly, pards! Be sure to take some pics.

 

Earlier this week I watched the Geoff Ogilvy videos highlighting some of the interesting Coore/Crenshaw design features. The 35K sq/ft double green on #3/#11 is mind boggling.

Man I'm not there but sure wish I was. I meant that the tour is there this week. 

 

I saw that video too! Ogilvy knows his stuff. His interview on the fried egg podcast was really good too. 

Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ Diamana Ahina 80X 44"
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This week is at Trinity Forest in Dallas. A true links course. It's an excellent design. My only fear is that the tour is watering the hell out of it to slow things down which is going to affect how it plays. It's a much better test if its firm and fast.

 

I almost got to play it last year on a bachelor trip but I couldn't talk the group into a $300-$400 round. It's too bad because me and one other guy on the trip are still regretting not playing it to this day.

 

Link to the course's website: https://trinityforestgc.com/

With all due respect doesn't a links course have to be by a large body of water?

 

Wouldn't this be a faux links course?

 

How about Shinnecock next month? Can we all agree that it's a brilliant golf course?

 

 

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From Wiki:

Links courses tend to be on, or at least very near to, a coast, and the term is typically associated with coastal courses, often amid dunes, with few water hazards and few, if any, trees. This reflects both the nature of the scenery where the sport happened to originate and the fact that only limited resources were available to golf course architects at the time and any moving of soil had to be done by hand, so it was kept to a minimum. Even today, some links courses do not employ a greens staff, use only basic machinery such as hole cutters without boards resulting in a hole that is cut unevenly, and use grazing animals to keep the grass cropped

 

 

The 18th hole at the Old Head Golf Links on the Old Head of Kinsale

Although the term links is often considered synonymous with any golf course, few golf courses have all of the design elements of true links courses, including being built on linksland.[citation needed] The presence of a seaside location does not guarantee a links golf course.[citation needed] Many famous courses that claim to be links do not have all of the necessary characteristics (e.g., Pebble Beach Golf Links, Old Head Golf Links at Kinsale, The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island).[citation needed] On the other hand, some courses located hundreds of miles from a coast can have all of the characteristics of a seaside links except for proximity to water.

 

 

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With all due respect doesn't a links course have to be by a large body of water?

 

Wouldn't this be a faux links course?

 

How about Shinnecock next month? Can we all agree that it's a brilliant golf course?

 

 

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This is correct. Or at least mostly. "Mostly coastal sand dunes and sometimes parkland."  Dunes, undulating surfaces, and a sandy soil that allows you to run the ball along the ground are its main defining features. The coastline just makes that readily available.

 

I guess that I meant that it will PLAY as a links course. If the Tour doesn't mess it up too much anyway. Which I have a feeling they will.

 

Hell yes btw! Shinnecock is a great golf course! 

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By definition - Yup!

 

While I suppose you can have a links-style course inland, without the coastal influences (including wind and weather) it's just not a "true links" course.

I'd argue that some non coastal courses are more of a "links style" course than some of the coastal courses that claim to be links. Trinity Forest for example is much more of a links style golf course then say Pebble Beach, Kiawah Island or Whistling Straights. And they are all either on a Coastline or sitting on Lake Michigan. 

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An inland links course is called a heathland course.

 

While a true Links course must have some of the components mentioned above, it must also be set alongside a body of water.

 

Links style is one of those phrases probably used too much, usually any time the course isn't a parkland or have a ton of trees on it but it's also a phrase open to a lot of interpretation IMO.

 

As for Trinity Forest, I'm very interested to see it on television and how it's played and received by the players. It's going to play a bit different than the other courses, requiring more strategy and decision making.

 

As for Shinnecock, I can't wait. I was debating going up there to watch but would only consider going for the practice rounds.

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It has always been my understanding that the term originated from the notion that the first golf courses were built on the land that "linked" arable soil to the sea. It was virtually useless for vegetative agriculture, save for offering a nice place (away from crops) for shepherds (the first golfers) to graze their sheep. Thus, the overwhelming majority of early courses for this silly game were built on grazing links.

 

To expand on the idea of "links" being otherwise useless land (or in the case of the recently referenced Trinity Forest - a $12MM municipal landfill remediation liability), I'm personally okay with modernizing the term if it helps appease current ecological narratives concerned about the disproportionate natural resource draw of golf facilities. And it seems clear to me the USGA is adamant about advancing the "eco-friendly + championship worthy" formula with their support and collaboration on facilities like Chambers Bay and Trinity Forest. Whether the facility is "true links" or merely "links style", it's a brand of golf I immensely enjoy playing _and_ observing. So if the modern links formula also helps preserve the future of the game, I'm all for it. Firm, fast and windy baby!

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An inland links course is called a heathland course.

 

While a true Links course must have some of the components mentioned above, it must also be set alongside a body of water.

 

Links style is one of those phrases probably used too much, usually any time the course isn't a parkland or have a ton of trees on it but it's also a phrase open to a lot of interpretation IMO.

 

As for Trinity Forest, I'm very interested to see it on television and how it's played and received by the players. It's going to play a bit different than the other courses, requiring more strategy and decision making.

 

As for Shinnecock, I can't wait. I was debating going up there to watch but would only consider going for the practice rounds.

 

Agreed. "Links style" is definitely overused but it is the easiest way for most people to get an idea how the course plays. If I told my buddies that we were going to a heathland style course, they would look at me funny. haha  :blink:

 

And if we are really going to get this specific about it, there are hardly any "true links courses" outside of the British isles. Since true links style golf is played on linksland.

Hell even most of the Scottish courses are either parkland, heathland, mooreland or a combo of one of those and links. 

 

Definitions for any wondering:

Heathlands are lowland areas dominated by colorful heather, gorse and bracken. Much like moorland, the soils are acidic and nutrient-poor, but unlike the water-logged moors, heaths have light and sandy soils.

 

Linkslands is any rough grassy area between the sea(beach) and the land. The soil is sandy, acid and nutrient poor. The word links itself is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word 'hlinc', of about 931 AD, meaning a ridge.

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In my head "links golf" means that the game can be easily played on the ground due to sandy turf that drains easily and produces very dry conditions. The courses usually lack trees or have very few. This leads to very windy conditions which also farther encourage keeping the ball low. The turf and style of play encouraged is really what links style golf means to me. 

For example, I know that Sand Hills is nowhere close to an ocean but that is a links golf course. At least in my squirrelly mind. 

 

I've never thought of Pebble as a Links course. At least not in its current form. Same for many others that happen to be on a coastline. 

 

Here is list of all the "true links" courses in the world. It took me a while to find this again, but I knew it was out there somewhere on interwebs. The US has 5 of the 246. 3 of which are at Bandon Dunes. 210 of the 246 are in the British Isles. https://migrantgolfer.com/the-true-links-courses-of-the-world/

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In my head "links golf" means that the game can be easily played on the ground due to sandy turf that drains easily and produces very dry conditions. The courses usually lack trees or have very few. This leads to very windy conditions which also farther encourage keeping the ball low. The turf and style of play encouraged is really what links style golf means to me. 

 

For example, I know that Sand Hills is nowhere close to an ocean but that is a links golf course. At least in my squirrelly mind. 

 

I've never thought of Pebble as a Links course. At least not in its current form. Same for many others that happen to be on a coastline. 

 

Here is list of all the "true links" courses in the world. It took me a while to find this again, but I knew it was out there somewhere on interwebs. The US has 5 of the 246. 3 of which are at Bandon Dunes. 210 of the 246 are in the British Isles. https://migrantgolfer.com/the-true-links-courses-of-the-world/

 

Thanks Undershooter - I always learn something new from your "links" ;)

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Good list of the links courses but I always thought NGLA was links as well as Chambers Bay. And of course Cabot Cliffs is on there as well now. But it's correct that North America doesn't have many true links.

 

 

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Thanks Undershooter - I always learn something new from your "links" ;)

You're a very punny man!  :D

Glad to be of any help. MGS and its members have taught me a lot over the years so I'm happy to do my small part.

 

Good list of the links courses but I always thought NGLA was links as well as Chambers Bay. And of course Cabot Cliffs is on there as well now. But it's correct that North America doesn't have many true links.

 

 

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Chamber's isn't technically on the coast line. There is also A TREE on the property lol. They also had to move a bunch of sand around to make it what it is today. Thus the dunes are man made and not of nature. Plus there are more elevation changes that what's on most ''true links" courses. 

In my mind it is 100% a links course though. Because it plays as such. 

 

NGLA I know/remember less about so I'm not sure there. I'd guess there is couple trees somewhere or maybe it's not technically touching the coastline. It's probably something nitpicky. It definitely plays as a links course. 

 

Edit: quick google maps search and it looks like NGLA isn't on the coastline exactly. That may be it. 

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I'd argue that some non coastal courses are more of a "links style" course than some of the coastal courses that claim to be links. Trinity Forest for example is much more of a links style golf course then say Pebble Beach, Kiawah Island or Whistling Straights. And they are all either on a Coastline or sitting on Lake Michigan.

Whistling was sited as a source of controversy in one of the articles that I read attempting to define what a links course is. It's on the coast and has a links feel but they moved so much dirt.

 

I'm a huge Pete Dye fan but I'm not a big Whistling Straits fan. I was surprised at how easy it played when I got on it. It's visually intimidating for an amateur but there's tons of room on every hole. They've yet to have a windy day for a tournament there and it needs wind.

 

I actually prefer the other course on that sight - The Irish. The course seven miles to the South and inland by a few mikes, Blackwolf Run Championship course, is my favorite course of all time. Hands down.....

 

Sadly you can't often play it because it's an amalgam of two courses.

 

 

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NGLA is set on a body of water. The right side of the Eighteenth is coastline as well.

 

Chambers is likewise, it's on the coast of Puget Sound.

 

Whether there are trees or not, or whether dirt is moved doesn't affect whether it's links or not. I mean, that list has Old Mac on it which only has one green near the water and multiple trees. And a course is not necessarily links because it's set on a body of water.

 

I think it's a good list but not authoritative or complete.

 

Really though, these are just ways of characterizing courses. Wide, dry and fast courses, preferably on fescue, where the wind comes into play and strategy and options are at a premium is solid, enjoyable, adventurous golf to me.

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NGLA is set on a body of water. The right side of the Eighteenth is coastline as well.

Chambers is likewise, it's on the coast of Puget Sound.

Whether there are trees or not, or whether dirt is moved doesn't affect whether it's links or not. I mean, that list has Old Mac on it which only has one green near the water and multiple trees. And a course is not necessarily links because it's set on a body of water.

I think it's a good list but not authoritative or complete.

Really though, these are just ways of characterizing courses. Wide, dry and fast courses, preferably on fescue, where the wind comes into play and strategy and options are at a premium is solid, enjoyable, adventurous golf to me.

They are not true links bc they are not technically on linksland. That is the main qualification of true links.

 

Chambers has mutliple reasons. Yes its on the Sound but that's not the coastline, its a bay. There are massive elevation changes there as well which were manufactured by them moving dirt. They don't move much dirt on true links courses.

The tree thing was somewhat of a joke btw. Which is why i added "lol." 

 

I remember reading multiple articles about why Chambers wasn't a true links years ago before the US Open. I'm sure they are still online. 

 

Again, I don't remember as much about NGLA but it's also on a bay/river and never actually touches the coastline/ocean I believe.

 

Seeing or overlooking the ocean/sea at some point is a qualification for a "true links."

Old Mac is on linksland and does have a couple of holes that overlooks the Ocean. Thus is counts as a true links.

 

And I never said the list was the end all/ be all but I've seen that same list or similar ones in multiple books and on multiple websites. Just because a course isn't a "true links" doesn't mean that it isn't really a links course. As I've already stated. 

I wasn't the one who wanted to nitpick about it or even bring up what a true links was remember. 

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Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ Diamana Ahina 80X 44"
Fairway Metal- Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta 3W 13* w/ Matrix 7m4 X 42.5"

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Whistling was sited as a source of controversy in one of the articles that I read attempting to define what a links course is. It's on the coast and has a links feel but they moved so much dirt.

 

I'm a huge Pete Dye fan but I'm not a big Whistling Straits fan. I was surprised at how easy it played when I got on it. It's visually intimidating for an amateur but there's tons of room on every hole. They've yet to have a windy day for a tournament there and it needs wind.

 

I actually prefer the other course on that sight - The Irish. The course seven miles to the South and inland by a few mikes, Blackwolf Run Championship course, is my favorite course of all time. Hands down.....

 

Sadly you can't often play it because it's an amalgam of two courses.

 

 

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I like Pete as well but W.S. is definitely somewhere where less would've been more. They just tried way too hard with it.

 

Blackwolf Run is a much better course imo. Fantastic track and a well deserved favorite. 

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Driver- Tmag 2017 M2 tour issue 8.5* actual loft 7.8* w/ Diamana Ahina 80X 44"
Fairway Metal- Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta 3W 13* w/ Matrix 7m4 X 42.5"

Utility- Mizuno MPH5 1 iron w/ Aldila RIP 85X (depending on course/ conditions)

Irons- Mizuno MP-18 FLI HI 3i and 4i w/ KBS C-taper lite X
          Mizuno MP59 5i and 6I w/ PX 6.5

          Mizuno MP69 7i-PW w/ PX 6.5

Wedges- Scratch 8620 Driver/Slider set.  50*, 56* bent to 55* w/ rifle spinner shafts

                and Titleist Vokey 60* M grind

Putter- Never Compromise Dinero Mogul
Ball- Bridgestone Tour B XS

Bag- Ogio Aquatech Cart Bag

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