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The Links Thread

  • 21-02-2014 1:59am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 19,378 ✭✭✭✭ FixdePitchmark


    So - how about a thread about Links Golf.

    I know many will say - but it fits into other threads.

    But (IMO) - it doesn't in many ways.
    Be it , the best deals to play the classics,
    the 8 iron from 90 yards.

    I think we need our own thread (A Links Golf Thread) - (This is not an Epic Thread)

    There is a small bunch of golfers here, that are in this links space. I hope we can build it into a group that play the big ones in Ireland and UK.

    Let's face it, running around under pine trees and taking your ball out of a pitch mark is not every-bodies cup of tea.

    So , be it, The Hillary Society ,links grass types, or whatever ?

    this is The Links thread.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,938 ✭✭✭ Kevinmarkham


    I'll start with my contribution - new blog up today on the Number 1 Links 'Fairways Less Travelled'

    Free four ball up for grabs, too.

    Seems like the perfect place to stick up this blog - nice one, Fix!

    Moreso than parkland, playing on a links always gives you the option to play different types of shot. The run on the fairway makes that 8 iron from 90 yards a delicate but beautifully rewarding shot to play. If the wind isn't up (big 'if'), a three iron off the tee is usually plenty sufficient, and putting around bunkers to find the surface of the green is entertaining - if only because you end up in the sand more often than not.

    I do miss the flop shot though


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭ Milkers


    In before some heated row over "inland links" :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,034 ✭✭✭ Loire


    What I love most about links golf is when I'm playing particularly bad I can blame the quirks of the course!

    Seriously though, there's no better golf when you're playing well and the weather's good. I remember playing so well in Rosses Point one day I had the opportunity to break 80 for the first time by parring the last only to sh*nk ;) my chip from off the green into the cabbage :o. Still, it was a great day with the sun on my back coming in.

    Loire.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,378 ✭✭✭✭ FixdePitchmark


    Milkers wrote: »
    In before some heated row over "inland links" :pac:

    :)

    I'm not the mod. and people can say what they want.

    But can we just make this about loving Links - not the "it is not true golf lark" thread.

    The thing I also love about links courses are the views - with a few exceptions - you always have a view of the sea. If things are not going that well (golf or life in general) - you can look out at the sea - and think, it is not that bad really.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 492 ✭✭ TrapperChamonix


    Played parkland growing up and as an adult in Ireland, UK, US, Spain and Portugal and can list many exciting and wonderful courses that I have played.

    Joined a links club in 2001 and it opened up a whole new universe of golf. Took me a long time to stop trying to overpower the course and instead adapt to it and its conditions.

    We are privileged in Ireland to have so many links courses (I think 30% of the worlds links are here).


    As a nipper when we were on holidays, my father would drop us off at the nearest beach and go play golf on the closest links.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 mike12


    First Links I played was the Island in good weather i walked off the 18th going why would anyone want to do that every week. I have been converted since then. I aim to play all the links courses in the coutry and am up to 28 at the moment i reckon there are 54/55 to play. The only one's i would rate at less than 7 out of 10 would be Bundoran i hope it is the worst Links in the country, i would have Corballis at just under 7 and Kirkstown Castle at around the same but i played it in a gale so we will see the next time we go back.

    Mike


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 492 ✭✭ TrapperChamonix


    :)

    I'm not the mod. and people can say what they want.

    But can we just make this about loving Links - not the "it is not true golf lark" thread.

    The thing I also love about links courses are the views - with a few exceptions - you always have a view of the sea. If things are not going that well (golf or life in general) - you can look out at the sea - and think, it is not that bad really.

    You've not played in Waterville in the driving rain which I did in August 2012. When you round the corner on the 16th and play the last 3 holes into the rain, man that's tough and definitely can't see the sea!!!! Infact the drive on the coast road from Killorglin to Waterville was scary as hell.

    By contrast, I spent the 1st week of last June in Cliften. The weather was terrific and me and junior played Ballyconnelly 5 days in a row. We'd start at 7:00 and be finished at 10:30. Back to Cliften by 11, by which time my other half had finished breakfast and was beginning to plan the day.
    It was such a perfect week, I'm afraid to go back and ruin the memory.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    Took me a long time to stop trying to overpower the course and instead adapt to it and its conditions.

    ^^^ this is links in a nutshell really.

    Can I do it?
    Can I f**k!!!!!!!!

    My best golf is played when I'm at this but I can't keep that attitude going long enough.


  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭✭ HB2002


    I'm an avid golfer.... have sleepless nights the night before playing somewhere good.... replay shots in my head after games constantly....and while I'm lying awake in the bed the night before I pre play the courses!
    Sad I know but true...

    There is something special about playing Links courses....
    Standing on the first tee in the club formerly known as Doonbeg!... unreal
    the anticipation of the back 9 in Tralee.... the excitment of waiting for The Atlantic Coast challenge this year....
    The hope of one day getting to play Ballybunion!

    There is just something special about links courses....

    Have been lucky enough to have played some nice ones for decent prices
    but have a lot more on the bucket list

    Have played
    Rosses Point
    Enniscrone
    Tralee
    Lahinch
    Waterville
    European
    Rosslare
    Doonbeg
    Dooks
    Old Head

    can't wait to play more of them further up the country....


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,378 ✭✭✭✭ FixdePitchmark


    The first links I played was Corballis - even the name seemed bizarre. There was just something about looking over a hill and seeing a flag , then having to almost sense the direction , pick a line or even a cloud and trust it.

    The 2nd one I played was Enniscrone and after that Strandhill. When I seen Enniscrone - I couldn't understand how anybody could build a course on that land , even think of it. Then I seen 13 and , went - this is it. This is "the hole".

    So the introduction I got to links, was just top of the range. Thanks Mam and Dad.

    I loved the imagination you have to use to bump into a bank - or go along a ridge in a green. Then hitting a 6 iron into a head wind from 130 yards out - is just unique to these lands.

    I don't think I'm a particularly good links players yet - I also love that it is something that takes a long , long time to master. And if the truth be known , it changes so much - I don't think you can ever master it.


    Loving the posts - seems I'm an oddball - but not in this sense.:p


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  • Registered Users Posts: 48,742 ✭✭✭✭ Wichita Lineman


    At the risk of being excommunicated from the thread on my first post I prefer parkland golf.

    BUT

    I'm gaining a love and respect for links courses after I really enjoyed The European Club last year and I played some lovely golf on the back 9 which quite surprised me to be honest.

    A number of years ago I had a nasty experience at Seapoint on a corporate day out where I racked up a horrendous score when I hadnt been playing golf long and I think it left scars for longer than I imagined it would!

    As a result I havent played much links golf over the years - The Island, Portmarnock Links, Corballis and the aforementioned European being the only others I've ventured onto. My best performance was the 24pts in The European last year with 17 (iirc) on the back 9 with 5 pars after being totally useless on the front 9.

    There will be more!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 mike12


    At the risk of being excommunicated from the thread on my first post I prefer parkland golf.

    BUT

    I'm gaining a love and respect for links courses after I really enjoyed The European Club last year and I played some lovely golf on the back 9 which quite surprised me to be honest.

    A number of years ago I had a nasty experience at Seapoint on a corporate day out where I racked up a horrendous score when I hadnt been playing golf long and I think it left scars for longer than I imagined it would!

    As a result I havent played much links golf over the years - The Island, Portmarnock Links, Corballis and the aforementioned European being the only others I've ventured onto. My best performance was the 24pts in The European last year with 17 (iirc) on the back 9 with 5 pars after being totally useless on the front 9.

    There will be more!
    I was much the same as you i think the more links golf you play the more you will come to love it and if you are not playing well then you have the sound of the ocean and the views.
    Mike


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 mike12


    These are the links i have played so far and how i rate them out of 10. I have included Ardglass and Greenore though both are not really Links they appear on a lot of Links Lists.
    Course Rating
    European Club 9
    Royal County Down 9
    Carne 8.8
    Portrush 8.7
    Portstewart 8.7
    Enniscrone 8.3
    Nairn and portnoo 8.3
    The Island 8.3
    Ardglass 8.2
    Ballyliffin 8.2
    Rosapenna Sandy hills 8.2
    Donegal 8.1
    Portmarnock old 8.1
    Baltray 8
    Galway Bay 8
    Portmarnock hotel 8
    Strandhill 8
    Rosses Point 7.7
    Laytown 7.5
    Royal Dublin 7.5
    Greeneore 7
    Seapoint 7
    Corballis 6
    Kirkstown Castle 6
    St Annes 5.3
    Anesley RCD 5.2
    Sutton 5
    Bundoran 3


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    mike12 wrote: »
    These are the links i have played so far and how i rate them out of 10. I have included Ardglass and Greenore though both are not really Links they appear on a lot of Links Lists.
    Course Rating
    European Club 9
    Royal County Down 9
    Carne 8.8
    Portrush 8.7
    Portstewart 8.7
    Enniscrone 8.3
    Nairn and portnoo 8.3
    The Island 8.3
    Ardglass 8.2
    Ballyliffin 8.2
    Rosapenna Sandy hills 8.2
    Donegal 8.1
    Portmarnock old 8.1
    Baltray 8
    Galway Bay 8
    Portmarnock hotel 8
    Strandhill 8
    Rosses Point 7.7
    Laytown 7.5
    Royal Dublin 7.5
    Greeneore 7
    Seapoint 7
    Corballis 6
    Kirkstown Castle 6
    St Annes 5.3
    Anesley RCD 5.2
    Sutton 5
    Bundoran 3


    It's a great list there and obviously subjective but I'm surprised to see rosses point so low, any particular reason?


  • Registered Users Posts: 390 ✭✭ BillyBoy


    Great idea for a thread. It has been mentioned already but I think the thing I most enjoy about links golf is the variety of shots you have to play, whether it be because there is a strong wind blowing a certain direction or the layout of the land etc.

    The shots that always stick in my mind after a round are not necessarily the ones where I hit a full shot the usual distance I do out of the middle of the club and it goes straight and works out (they are a good feeling alright, and quite rare!), but more the ones where you try to play the little knock down, cutty 6 iron aimed 20 yards right for it to come in on the wind and watching it do exactly as you imagined. The shots that are out of the ordinary where you have to use your imagination and vision rather than taking out x club because you are x yards away.

    Of course you can get this on parkland courses too but you seem to encounter it on links more.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 492 ✭✭ TrapperChamonix


    m r c wrote: »
    It's a great list there and obviously subjective but I'm surprised to see rosses point so low, any particular reason?

    Ranking is always subjective and has many variables in coming to a decision A few examples
    1. Your experience: I would also rank Rosses Point very low, because when I went to play there they treated me very shabbily. It effected my enjoyment and my view of the course. Fair? Absolutely not, but who said it had to be fair.
    2. Difficulty or Enjoyment. In terms of difficulty I would rank Waterville (in the wet and wind) as the most difficult course I've every played. But if I was on holidays in Kerry and was given the choice, I play Dooks every time. Can't explain why, I just would.
    3. Forget the course, how good are you? I would maintain that if you are a mid - high handicap golfer, The Island is a much harder golf Course than Portmarnock as an errant tee shot gives you little prospect of a 2nd shot while on Portmarnock you will get a 2nd shot back on the fairway and have a chance to get on in 3. However if you are a low handicap golfer who has control of his drives, Portmarnock is a better test of golf.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,034 ✭✭✭ Loire


    2. Difficulty or Enjoyment. In terms of difficulty I would rank Waterville (in the wet and wind) as the most difficult course I've every played. But if I was on holidays in Kerry and was given the choice, I play Dooks every time. Can't explain why, I just would.

    Played both last year and would agree. I'd go back to Dooks (and their bar) in a heartbeat!

    We're particularly starved of links golf in Cork (apart from the Old Head which I wouldn't personally rate). I go to Sligo a few times in the year and salivate at the thought of playing links when I get there.

    I know the answer is supply & demand, but I'm always amazed at the prices of links golf....apart from cutting the greens is there any other work involved? The rough is left grow naturally - high in the summer, low in the winter...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 mike12


    m r c wrote: »
    It's a great list there and obviously subjective but I'm surprised to see rosses point so low, any particular reason?
    I think i gave it that ranking after the first time i played it whic was the first Atlantic Coast Challange and compared to Carne and Enniscrone I just found it a bit flat in places. If i worked down the list I don't think I could move it up compared to the courses ahead of it. Think we are really spoiled with the quality of Links courses we have.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,378 ✭✭✭✭ FixdePitchmark


    Nice list Mike.

    I've only played 13 of them . So need to get out more.

    It is a sad thing to say, but if your from the east coast . You seem to be too far from the best courses on the West and North. Again that is subjective.

    It takes a real effort to get to them, take time out and do it.
    playing Atlantic coast this year taking annual leave to play golf for golf reasons alone . A first.

    Realistically , I'll probably join a top links when kids are older.
    Maybe The Island. Was just a bit too far (time wise) with kids school etc.

    I think I'll play a few more of these challenges in different locations over next few years.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 492 ✭✭ TrapperChamonix


    Nice list Mike.

    I've only played 13 of them . So need to get out more.

    It is a sad thing to say, but if your from the east coast . You seem to be too far from the best courses on the West and North. Again that is subjective.

    It takes a real effort to get to them, take time out and do it.
    playing Atlantic coast this year taking annual leave to play golf for golf reasons alone . A first.

    Realistically , I'll probably join a top links when kids are older.
    Maybe The Island. Was just a bit too far (time wise) with kids school etc.

    I think I'll play a few more of these challenges in different locations over next few years.


    No Excuses FD, There is no greater concentration of links courses than in and around Dublin. There are 8 Links Courses (Royal Dublin, St Annes, Sutton, Portmarnock, Portmarnock Links, The Island, Corballis, Rush) within 30 mins of each other. Further north Laytown, Baltray, Seapoint and Greenore, further south, European and Arklow. These cover a wide variety of terrain, high dunes (Baltray, The Island) moorland (Portmarnock), tight (Rush Sutton), flat (Royal Dublin) etc.. Portmarnock, Baltray & The European would routinely be in the top 10 ranked in the country and there is a wide variety of prices to match.
    You just don't know when you have it so good.

    Personally I've loved playing Ballyconnelly, Murvagh, Waterville, Dooks, Portsalon, Portrush, Rosapenna but don't underestimate the resource you have on your doorstep.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 mike12


    I think I'll play a few more of these challenges in different locations over next few years.[/QUOTE]

    Think they are a Super way of playing the courses at a reasonable rate, we played Portrush, Portstewart and Ballyliffin for around €150. In fact all the courses think i have only paid the full rate for Nairn and Murvagh all the rest have been reduced or opens or played with a member. I want to tick off 3/4 more at least this year. Think i will go to Lachinch for one of there opens.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 218 ✭✭ burnhardlanger


    I've never played on a links course. And I'm playing on and off since 1995.

    Booked Waterville on the last weekend of March (winter rate).
    Round on the Saturday and again on the Sunday. Can't wait.

    Hopefully we get the weather.

    It's also on my bucket list to play as many courses on the Open Championship rota as possible.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    Ranking is always subjective and has many variables in coming to a decision A few examples
    1. Your experience: I would also rank Rosses Point very low, because when I went to play there they treated me very shabbily. It effected my enjoyment and my view of the course. Fair? Absolutely not, but who said it had to be fair.
    2. Difficulty or Enjoyment. In terms of difficulty I would rank Waterville (in the wet and wind) as the most difficult course I've every played. But if I was on holidays in Kerry and was given the choice, I play Dooks every time. Can't explain why, I just would.
    3. Forget the course, how good are you? I would maintain that if you are a mid - high handicap golfer, The Island is a much harder golf Course than Portmarnock as an errant tee shot gives you little prospect of a 2nd shot while on Portmarnock you will get a 2nd shot back on the fairway and have a chance to get on in 3. However if you are a low handicap golfer who has control of his drives, Portmarnock is a better test of golf.




    I don't know when you played but there's no excuse for no 1 in any golf club period.
    Especially one where the green fees are €90 afaik.


  • Registered Users Posts: 661 Norfolk Enchants_


    I've never played on a links course. And I'm playing on and off since 1995.

    Booked Waterville on the last weekend of March (winter rate).
    Round on the Saturday and again on the Sunday. Can't wait.

    Hopefully we get the weather.

    It's also on my bucket list to play as many courses on the Open Championship rota as possible.
    http://watervillegolfclub.net/mens-major-competitions.php
    Open Comps in Waterville in early June, usually €50 to play and more details will be up soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭ thewobbler


    I became a links convert about 4 years ago as a result of playing in the most appalling conditions at Kirkistown.

    Unlike parkland golf, when all I want is sunshine and flowers, I actually prefer links golf when the weather is wreaking havoc. It's so much more fun.

    And having played Kirkistown, Tom Morris and Baltray in benign conditions this year, and not come away with any special memories, I really do think links golf needs either big dunes or mad weather to really make it better than the parkland version.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 802 m r c


    http://watervillegolfclub.net/mens-major-competitions.php
    Open Comps in Waterville in early June, usually €50 to play and more details will be up soon.


    Thanks for that, I might actually play this. They call it an invitational, without meaning to sound thick, is that still an open comp? ie all welcome


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,449 ✭✭✭✭ The_Kew_Tour


    Played Ballybunion(Old Course) for first time last summer on a sunny day. Very hard to beat it.

    I dont mind bit of wind, but would not be fan of 40mph+ winds.

    Golf is meant to be a challenge and fun, not a struggle.


  • Registered Users Posts: 720 ✭✭✭ Ronney


    HB2002 wrote: »
    I'm an avid golfer.... have sleepless nights the night before playing somewhere good.... replay shots in my head after games constantly....and while I'm lying awake in the bed the night before I pre play the courses!
    Sad I know but true...

    There is something special about playing Links courses....
    Standing on the first tee in the club formerly known as Doonbeg!... unreal
    the anticipation of the back 9 in Tralee.... the excitment of waiting for The Atlantic Coast challenge this year....
    The hope of one day getting to play Ballybunion!

    There is just something special about links courses....

    Have been lucky enough to have played some nice ones for decent prices
    but have a lot more on the bucket list

    Have played
    Rosses Point
    Enniscrone
    Tralee
    Lahinch
    Waterville
    European
    Rosslare
    Doonbeg
    Dooks
    Old Head

    can't wait to play more of them further up the country....

    This is a Links Thread Please Refrain from going off topic! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,378 ✭✭✭✭ FixdePitchmark


    m r c wrote: »
    Thanks for that, I might actually play this. They call it an invitational, without meaning to sound thick, is that still an open comp? ie all welcome

    That is the sort of stuff we should stick in thread - ways to get out on the big ones on the cheap.

    Maybe a group of us will go to a few things.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 661 Norfolk Enchants_


    m r c wrote: »
    Thanks for that, I might actually play this. They call it an invitational, without meaning to sound thick, is that still an open comp? ie all welcome
    Yes sorry I should have said, it is an open comp and you have to book well in advance, usually about 2 months, keep an eye on that website.


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