If you are a golfing aficionado, chances are you have already taken a couple of golf vacations, opted for the best stay and play golf courses, and visited as many pro shops as you could. But, how much do you know about the categories of golf courses that grace this world? If you thought golf course means 18 holes, think again; because depending upon a lot of factors including the ownership, location and length of a course, these can be categorized into various types. Sounds interesting? Read on!
Ownership of Courses
These courses are open for practice or tournaments depending on the decision of the owners. If the course owner wants, he can restrict it to a selected group of people. For instance, if the course belongs to a club, it can allow only the members to play. So, ownership will decide if the golf course is private or public.
Length of Courses
We are all aware of the full-length 18-hole golf courses, but that’s not all. There are courses that have just nine holes. Another type, the executive course, is significantly shorter than the typical 18-hole course. It may be a 9-hole track with a mix of par-3, par-4 and par-5 holes. This variation in the length of the courses allows the players to enjoy the sport the way they prefer. You can go for a full-length game or you can try the miniature courses, if you have limited time to play.
These are traditional courses located in the coastal regions of England, Scotland and Ireland. These areas have sandy soil because the sea has retired from these regions. There are dunes, water hazards and some trees as well. The grasses have short blades with long roots due to lack of moisture. The thin long grass in the rough, uneven fairways, small deep bunkers and the windy atmosphere make the course challenging for the golfers. However, the surface of the course is hard throughout the year, making it more popular among the golfers.
This is a common golf course in the US, amidst well-kept fairways, mature trees, and lush surroundings. Parkland courses have thick rough and bunkers and these are located mostly inland, resembling traditional British parks. Some of the fine courses can even be found close to the coastlines.
As the name suggests, these courses are found next to big hotels or resorts. Courses are mainly owned by the hotel or resort authorities and are meant for the guests. The players do not need to be a skilled golfer to be a part of this course. Resort courses have wide fairways. The rough portion is cut short to add speed to the game. Visually, these courses are breathtaking with lakes, bridges, trees and well-maintained landscapes.
These inland courses are open, less manicured, and often feature gorse and heather. Heath-land courses are less wooded than parkland courses. There are rolling fairways filled with bushes and shrubs, and are mostly found in Britain.
Desert Golf Courses
This is somewhat a recent invention and is found mostly in the Southwestern region of the US. The desert golf courses are in the middle of sand and the track is flat due to the topographical feature of the country where they are located. The courses may feature lake, sandy waste area around the fairways, sloping greens, cacti, palm trees and rocky outcrops. For the maintenance of the turf, heavy watering is required, which on the other hand, is a concern because desert golf courses violate the widely accepted principle of golf course architecture. However, these courses must not be confused with sand courses, which are devoid of any green features. But it is tough to play long game on such tracks.
How about golfing in a desert track or playing against the wind at the coastal lines? You can always opt for the best stay and play golf courses to make your experience more exciting. So break free from the usual track and tee off at an unexplored course.