What is a links golf course, Tiger's strategy for The Open and how come both amateurs and professional golfers heave a deep sigh when talking about tips for playing it?
In my opinion, a links course has several of the following features:
-Natural Landscape so all of the bumps and undulations are naturally "rough" with few trees.
-Lots of bunkers and many of them deep and, speaking of sand, the soil is also sandy.
-Fairways appear to "blend" or roll right onto the greens.
-Plenty of water surrounding the course but not much on-course.
-Speaking of water and watching tournaments like The Open each year, very soggy too -with rain and wind sweeping through, playing havoc with golfers' shots!
When Tiger Woods was asked about Jordan Spieth and his chances at The Open this week, Woods mentioned that the 21-year old's choice of getting acquainted with St. Andrews by using a simulator was a good idea and offered the tip that "It's about wind conditions."
Woods continued, "playing in the different winds and having to hit the different shots, shaping shots completely differently from one day to the next on the same hole, it does help seeing the golf course under different winds."
Rain is also a big concern as it makes the fairways and greens soggy - plugged shots, golf balls not getting enough roll - so consider the time of year and type of day when going out to play on a links course.
What about putting; is there any secret to rolling golf balls on the greens at St. Andrews, for example?
If there is a lot of rain, expect a slower roll on all of your putts, which means you have to get both your speed and line down properly if you want to score birdies. Poor Tiger Woods - he said he hates slow greens!
In recap, in order to score well on a links golf course you will need to avoid bunkers (or know how to play well out of them), use the wind to your advantage, "have the right angles" as Tiger Woods stated and get the speed of the greens. Whoever at The Open plays with a links strategy will hold the Claret Jug on Sunday.
Do you have golf tips for playing links courses? What's YOUR Strategy? Tell us on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on this golf blog.