Links or parkland?

On a golf discussion forum, the question was asked whether golfers visiting Ireland should only play links courses.

Brought up in St Andrews, I love links golf, but it’s also great to mix it up on a tour – to say, Ireland – with in-land courses because it provides a contrast, especially if the weather isn’t great. I recently went to Northern Ireland and played Royal County Down and Royal Portrush, which were just brilliant. Two of my favourite courses in fact. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover Malone Golf Club which is a cracking parkland layout that is fun and challenging.

The shelter provided by the trees was a welcome change to the unforgiving exposure that often accompanies links golf. Don’t get me wrong; I much prefer the style of play demanded by the sandy soils and salt-laiden winds that define links golf, but a parkland course can offer up something different which can be a welcomed change.

By unimaginable co-incidence, you can see images of all three courses on my website.