What Is a Parkland Golf Course (or 'Park Course')?

Example of a parkland golf course

"Parkland" is one of the different classifications, or styles, of golf course that are based on geography and design elements. A parkland golf course is one that is built on lush, grassy territory, typically with plenty of trees, and in an inland location away from coastlines.

Originally called "park courses," the terms parkland course and park course originated in Great Britain as a contrast to that island's more typical links-style, seaside golf courses. All of the earliest British golf courses were built on the coast. But eventually, golf began moving inland, to more pastoral settings — settings that were more, you might say, park-like. Hence the terms park course and parkland course.

A parkland course is a golf course in a lush, inland setting, one with well-manicured and watered fairways and greens (and probably well-maintained rough, if there is substantial rough). There might be plenty of elevation change around such a course, but even if there is, a parkland course's fairways are generally flat, lacking the knobs and knolls and weird bounces of links fairways. A parkland course is usually in a treed landscape, fairways often tree-lined, but such a course doesn't have to have a ton of trees in play to be called parkland.

Parkland courses are the standard style of golf course in the United States. Augusta National Golf Club is a park course, and so are most of the famous major championship venues in the United States (such as Winged Foot, Oak Hill, Oakmont, Merion, Congressional, Bethpage Black and Baltusrol, to name a few). Most of the golf courses the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour play on are also parkland courses.

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Photo credit: Photo by Edewaa Foster on Unsplash

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