I have played dozens, or perhaps hundreds of courses that use the term “Links Style” golf course. To me this makes as much sense as saying a man had a “pregnancy style” weight gain.
A links course is usually in the British isles. It is by the sea, thus the real term, “seaside links.” The land has natural contours and rolling hills, but the overall piece of land is relatively flat. The fairways and greens are very firm and undulating, there is usually very tall grass just outside the fairway that allows you to find the ball, but not advance it very far. Almost every green, especially the ones that play down the prevailing wind, have nothing in front of them so you can run the ball up. There are random bunkers all over the place(some converted bomb craters from WWII) and they are to be avoided or you must layup or play away from the flag.
If the average roll a ball gets when it hits the fairway is minus 14 inches-not a links
If every green has a bunker, canyon or lake in front of it-not a links
If there are houses on both sides of every fairway-not a links
If the course is over 1000 miles from the ocean or one of the Great Lakes and is built on the side of a mountain-not a links
If your ball lands in the fairway or on the green and is lost over a 500 foot canyon-not a links
if you can’t see any of the other holes on the course, other than the one you are playing-not a links
If you land a 3 wood on the front of a green and your ball rolls off the false front 50 yards short of the green back toward you-not a links
If you lose more than one golf ball after one of your playing partners says “good shot”-not a links
If the course has more man made waterfalls than blades of grass-not a links
If it takes more than 6 hours to play-not a links
Since all of the above apply to every “Links Style” course I have ever played, it can only mean one thing.
“If we name all of the holes and call it “Links Style,” we can charge $200 to play it…and we have to because it cost us $20,000,000 to build this dump.”