What does hitting the links mean?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

When you hear someone say, “Let’s hit the links,” they are essentially suggesting that it’s time to go out and play a round of golf. The phrase “hitting the links” is often used as a casual way to invite or propose a golf outing.

The term “links” in this context refers to a specific type of golf course. Links golf courses are typically found in coastal areas, particularly in Scotland and Ireland. These courses are known for their unique characteristics and distinct playing conditions.

So, what exactly sets links courses apart from other types of golf courses? Firstly, links courses are usually situated on sandy, coastal land. This means that the terrain tends to be flat and relatively treeless, offering wide open spaces for golfers to navigate. The lack of trees also means that wind can play a significant role in the game, adding an additional challenge for players.

Furthermore, links courses often feature larger greens compared to many courses in the United States. The bigger greens provide more room for approach shots and putting, allowing for a different style of play. The greens on links courses are typically designed to accommodate the natural undulations of the coastal landscape, which can require golfers to develop a keen sense of reading and adapting to the contours of the green.

In terms of the overall design and layout, links courses tend to have a minimalist approach. The natural features of the land are often preserved, with minimal artificial alterations. This creates a more rugged and authentic golfing experience, as players must adapt to the natural hazards and challenges presented by the course.

When playing on a links course, golfers can expect to encounter deep bunkers, thick rough, and the occasional unpredictable bounce due to the firmness of the fairways. These factors, combined with the ever-changing coastal winds, make links golf a truly unique and strategic experience.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of playing on several links courses during my travels. The feeling of standing on the tee, with the vast expanse of the course stretching out before me, and the sound of crashing waves in the distance, is truly invigorating. The challenges posed by the wind and the need for creative shot-making add an extra level of excitement and satisfaction to the game.

“hitting the links” simply means going out and playing a round of golf, particularly on a links-style course. The term is often used in a casual and inviting manner to suggest a golf outing. Links courses offer a unique playing experience, with their flat terrain, larger greens, and natural hazards. So, the next time someone invites you to “hit the links,” be prepared for a memorable and challenging round of golf.