A ‘real’ Links golf course

For the first time since 2006, it is clear that we have at Monifieth the sort of golf courses that we used to expect during the summer months of each year. The fairways are at last turning brown, and golfers who have played at Monifieth for some time will tell you that this used to happen every year, where a spell of dry weather with higher temperatures would quickly transform the golf course. At the time of writing the first rain for some weeks has arrived, but the fairways and rough are still dry and brown. Grass is very resilient, and will turn back to green again when the weather becomes cooler and wetter (hopefully not for some time yet!).


Links golf courses are those which have been created on land close to the sea where there is a sandy soil which drains quickly, an undulating terrain, and often windy weather which has a substantial effect on the playing of golf. In summer especially, golfers can see how different this is from playing a greener inland golf course. Golf writers have expressed differing views on how many Links golf courses there are in the world, but they have generally agreed that there are only between 200 and 300 Links courses, and that most of these are in Britain and Ireland. Many of these (such as St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Muirfield, Lytham and Birkdale) have become well known because of their association with the Open Championship, which is always played on a Links course.


At Monifieth recently golfers have seen the difference – the golf ball will travel much further than normal if hit on the fairway, bounces are unpredictable, and greens are likely to be firm. In hitting approach shots to greens it becomes necessary to judge where to bounce the ball (often short of the green), and ‘bump and run’ shots may be more effective than high shots hit with a wedge.


Our watering systems at Monifieth have not been used much in the last 6 years (yes, there have been 6 consecutive poor summers!). However, if there is no further rain, there is a need to ensure that the grass on the greens and fairways is protected from very dry conditions. Greens will be watered, but in a limited way so that the surfaces will remain firm. Fairways will also be watered, but sparingly, so that the Links nature of the course is maintained for as long as possible. Excessive watering will be avoided. The Links Board hopes that you will enjoy your golf on two true Links courses.



23 July 2013