Types of Golf Courses
There are a few types of golf courses can be categorized in by the type of landscape it is located on and also the type of terrain that the course has been built on.
Golf courses can also be categorized according to Ownership, Length or by the Setting and Design of the courses. Most of us play our golf on the standard 18-hole, full-length courses but there are also 9-hole courses, executive courses, par 3s and miniature courses to enjoy. This variety means that if you have a limited time-frame or even a beginner, there are still options available to you.
The owners of a course can decide to make it open to the public or restrict it to a select group of people. The same is true for clubs, hotels, and resorts.
Defining the type of course in terms of their style is a slightly more complicated task than just grouping a course according to its ownership and the play style.
The original links courses, which are mostly found in the U.K., were situated in the thin strip of sand, grass, and dunes that lay between the sea and agricultural land. These courses “linked” these landscapes together. Links style courses typically have undulating fairways, sand dunes, deep bunkers and a few (if any) trees. Many of the most famous links courses are to be found in Scotland or Ireland, including St Andrews, Turnberry, and Portmarnock to name a few.
This is the most commonly found golf course in the U.S. On a parkland course, you will find lush, well-kept fairways, mature trees, thick rough and bunkers. They are usually found well inland, but some very fine courses can be found on the coastlines.
Resort courses are very common in vacation states, especially Florida. These are owned and run by hotels or resort companies, designed to be a pleasure to play for their guests regardless of the standard of golf they play. This means that they will typically have wide fairways and the rough will be fairly short. This increases the speed of play on what are often heavily played courses. These courses are visually appealing due to their stunning surroundings, with mature trees, lakes, and large shallow sand traps.
Heath-land courses are inland courses that have gentle, rolling fairways going through a landscape full of bushes and shrubs but a few large trees. Some of the oldest courses in the U.K., especially past Ryder Cup venues such as Walton Heath, are this type of course.
Desert Golf courses
These are mostly found in the southwestern U.S, in deserts like Nevada and watered heavily, these are an oasis of green in the middle of the sand. Desert courses are generally flat due to the nature of the country they are found in. Many of the best feature lakes, huge sandy waste areas surrounding the fairways, and large, sloping greens. A typical landscape of sand, cacti, palm trees and rocky outcrops gives a very distinctive feel to these courses.