The first three weeks of July 2019 are a links golfer's cornucopia. Beginning with Lahinch, moving to Renaissance, and ending with Royal Portrush, golf viewers are to be treated to a feast of great seaside tracks. The Irish, Scottish, and Open championships could not feature a better triumvirate of courses. Wait, it's a quadrilateral! We forgot the Senior Open the 4th week, at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's. Strap in an enjoy the bounds, bounces, trundles and rolls of golf along the ground. When you've had your viewing fill, get with your crew and find your own links getaway. We'll take you through the affordable, mid-range, and hardcore-shepherd links options that only the experts know.
To clarify, the land that "links" the ocean with the town and aerable land, had little use beyond grazing of animals. Those shepherds, they say, took a few whacks at errant pebbles, and a lifestyle was born. True links are only found where the sand is the base, the ocean is (or once was) close by, and the ball can be putted from tee to green. Believe it or don't, those characteristics aren't far from your home, no matter where you find yourself.
Allow OnCore to explain...
If your local muni burns out during the summer, well, you almost have a links. Those firm and fast fairways are ideal for learning the fly-and-run, the lob-and-run, and the bump-and-run shots essential to proper links execution. If you can get to Cape Cod (east coast), play Highland Links in North Truro. If you are on the western edge of the continent, head up to Astoria or Gearhart in Oregon. Middle of the country? Try Wild Horse in Nebraska.
Wait, what? A links in the middle of the continent? Blasphemy! Not so fast, friend. Tens of thousands of years ago, glaciers advanced and retreated, shaping the topography of America's middle, leaving behind tiny particles of rock in dune formations. Given the winds that also shaped the heartland, seeds traveled, took root, and covered up much of the ancient dunes. Fast forward to the 20th century, and golf course architects began to discover these covered dunes.
If you find yourself in the state, then the states are mid-range. Places like Bandon Dunes in Oregon, Sand Valley in Wisconsin, Streamsong in Florida, offer links golf. No need for documents and other international-travel preparation. Book a flight (or a limo) to one of these all-inclusive resorts, and put your ground game to the test. If you're in need of a lesson, ask the resort professional. Chances are that she/he is skilled in the demands of links golf, and is willing to share a secret or two.
Start your planning (or leave on a whim) and fly to Europe soon. You can play links courses in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, England and more, a list that extends nearly into forever. Whether you plan your own trip, or put your fate in the hands of a travel company, you'll have the true links experience. What do our experts suggest? Play the big ones (The Old Course, Carnoustie, Royal County Down, Lahinch) if you only have one shot at this trip. If you are fortunate to return, check the hidden-gem boxes then.