what types of golf courses are there

From Links to Parkland: What Types of Golf Courses Are There

Last Updated on June 8, 2023

Golf is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, but did you know there are different types of golf courses? With so many options, it can be hard to decide which type of course fits your needs best. In this article, we’ll discuss what types of golf courses are there, from private to public, championship to executive. Whether you’re an experienced golfer or just getting started in the sport, understanding the differences between these courses will help make sure your next round of golf is a hole-in-one! So, read on!

Putting Courses

Putting courses are popular amongst amateurs and professionals alike. They come in a variety of forms, including the traditional putting green found at most golf clubs and miniature golf courses that feature obstacles such as windmills and water hazards. For those who don’t have access to an outdoor course, there is also the option of using a golf simulator instead which offers similar features with greater accuracy.

Private courses are another type of putting course commonly used by higher-level players for practise or competition purposes. Disc golf is yet another variation of the classic game; it uses discs rather than balls and involves aiming your disc into metal baskets scattered around the course. All these types of putting courses offer different levels of challenge for people to enjoy regardless of skill level. No matter what kind you choose, putting courses provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy a round of golf without having to invest too much time or money.

Executive Courses

Moving on from putting courses, executive courses are yet another type of golf course. Executive-style courses are known for their shorter length than other types of courses, making them ideal for players with a tight schedule. They offer more challenging shots than the average par 3 course but they lack the longer holes typical of full-length 18-hole rounds.

The following features can be expected when playing an executive course:

  • Executive Length Courses – Most executive courses feature 9 or fewer holes that range in yardage from 50 to 250 yards per hole.
  • Executive Fairways – These fairways tend to be narrow and surrounded by trees and bushes, providing greater difficulty when hitting your shot accurately.
  • Executive Holes – The greens on these holes usually have plenty of slopes and undulations which provide additional challenge during play.
  • Executive Difficulty – The overall difficulty level is higher due to the smaller tee boxes, hazard placement, and pin placements being closer together than regular-sized golf courses.

Regulation Courses

greens for a sports event

Regulation courses are the most common type of golf course. They’re typically made up of 18 regulation-length holes and feature a standard par for each hole, which is usually between 3 and 5 strokes. Regulation courses require players to hit from tee boxes at designated distances, with fairways designed so that shots can be played accurately and safely.

A variety of hazards such as sand bunkers and water bodies may also be present on these types of courses. Players must use their skills and knowledge of the game to navigate these obstacles successfully. Regulation golf courses come in many shapes and sizes depending on the designer’s intentions, but all share certain standards for playing regulations and course conditions.

Par 3 Courses

Par 3 courses are the shortest and simplest of all golf course types. They consist of only par 3 holes, with a total length ranging from about 1,000 to 2,500 yards. Par 3 greens typically range between 50-200 yards in length and have fewer hazards than other types of golf courses such as sand traps or water obstacles.

Hole LengthsTeeing GroundsLayouts and Hazards
50 – 200 ydsFlatStraight
CoveredWater Hazards
UncoveredSand Traps

A typical par 3 course is not very challenging compared to its longer counterparts but still provides a great opportunity for players to practise their short-game skills. The teeing grounds are usually flat however, elevated and covered (or uncovered) tee boxes can also be found on some layouts. Most par 3 layouts feature straight fairways without too many bends or doglegs; however curved ones can be encountered occasionally complete with various hazards such as water bodies or sand traps that make the hole more difficult to play.

Pitch and Putt Courses

Pitch and Putt courses are the most basic type of golf course. They offer shorter holes, typically ranging in distance from 30-90 yards, which allow players to practise their accuracy and focus on their short-game skills. The goal is not necessarily to get a hole-in-one or maximise distance with each shot. Pitch and Putt courses are sometimes referred to as mini-golf or footgolf because they allow both traditional golfers and non-traditional players to enjoy the sport. Players using miniature clubs or just their feet can have fun while playing this type of course.

The cost associated with these types of courses makes them an attractive option for casual golfers looking for some short-course action without having to spend lots of money at a regular golf course. Pitch and Putt courses often feature obstacles such as sand traps that require precise shots for successful navigation, making them ideal locations for honing one’s golf-practise skills before heading out onto more challenging layouts. Moreover, since many Pitch and Putt courses take less than an hour to complete, they provide great options when time is limited.

Waterfront Golf Courses

a course beside some water form

Waterfront golf courses are some of the most beautiful and popular types of courses around. They offer players a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature while playing their favourite game.

These waterfront courses often have breathtaking views of either the ocean or lake, depending on where they’re located. The tranquil sound of waves crashing against the shoreline or water lapping at the dock is also a great accompaniment to any round of golf being played. Golfers will find that many waterfront courses provide challenging layouts and unique features like sand traps carved into rock formations or water hazards along with natural landscapes.

Links-Style Golf Courses

Links-style golf courses are traditional, rugged, and championship-style layouts found mainly along the British Isles’ coastal regions. Links courses offer a unique playing experience as they have an open layout with windy fairways featuring native grasses and sandy soil. The landscape is usually flat but has subtle undulations like mounds and hollows that provide natural challenges, which make links-style courses more exciting to play.

In addition, these courses typically feature deep bunkers located near greens or tees for added difficulty. Many of these classic designs offer spectacular views of the sea from their elevated tees and often incorporate local bodies of water into the course design itself. All in all, links-style golf courses represent some of the oldest and most iconic styles of golf in existence today.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between a Links-Style and a Regulation Golf Course?

a good area to play sports

When discussing the difference between a links-style and a regulation golf course, it’s important to understand what each type entails. A links-style course is characterised by its open terrain, featuring rolling hills with few trees or other obstacles in play. Regulation courses tend to be more manicured; they are typically set up with a much higher degree of difficulty than their links-style counterparts.

The differences between these two types of courses can be seen in several aspects:

  • Links-style courses will often feature wider fairways, while regulation courses may have narrower ones.
  • The greens on a links-style course are usually flatter, whereas those on a regulation course are likely to be sloped.
  • Links-style courses require less water for maintenance than standard golf courses do.

Are There Any Regulations on the Type of Clubs You Can Use on a Pitch and Putt Course?

When it comes to playing a pitch and putt course, there are certain regulations on the type of clubs you can use. In particular, many golf courses have restrictions when it comes to the types of putt clubs that may be used by players. These regulations vary from course to course and often depend upon local rules or guidelines set forth by governing bodies such as the USGA or PGA Tour.

For example, some courses may only allow short-shafted putters while others may prohibit long-length shafts altogether. Additionally, some courses will specify which type of club head is allowed (e.g., metal versus graphite). Ultimately, understanding these regulations before teeing off can help ensure a smooth game for all involved.

Are Executive Courses More Difficult Than Regulation Courses?

Executive courses are becoming increasingly popular among golfers, but they often have people wondering how these courses compare to regulation ones in terms of difficulty. It is important to keep in mind that there can be a variety of executive and regulation courses with different levels of difficulty when comparing the two.

Generally speaking, executive courses tend to be shorter than regulation courses due to their smaller size. Holes on executive courses also typically feature fewer hazards and more forgiving greens compared to those found on regulation courses. This makes them less challenging overall for players who may not have as much experience or skill level as someone playing on a regulation course. However, this doesn’t mean that an executive course cannot present its own set of challenges depending on which one you’re playing.


So, what types of golf courses are there? In conclusion, there are a variety of golf courses to choose from depending on your skill level and budget. Links-style courses provide an opportunity for experienced players to test their skills, while Par 3s offer a simpler yet still enjoyable game for beginners or those with limited time. Pitch and Putt Courses can be played using any type of club, making them perfect for casual play.

Waterfront Golf Courses often require you to bring your cart but make up for it with the beautiful views they provide. Finally, Executive Courses tend to be shorter than Regulation Courses but don’t let that fool you: they can still prove challenging if you’re not careful! Whether you’re just starting out or have been playing golf for years, there’s a course out there perfectly suited to your needs. So pick one today and get ready for some great rounds of golf!

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