What are the Different Types of Golf Courses?

For people who are looking to learn more about golf, or the best spots to play golf, they should first learn about the different types of golf courses. Whether playing for fun or for a club, it is important to know the golf course types. There are three main ways to categorize a golf course: access level, size, and landscaping.

Golf courses by access level:

Public courses are open to the public. Municipal and daily-fee are two types of public courses. Municipal courses are city-owned, while daily fee courses are privately-owned and more expensive. Both courses are open to all.

Resort courses often include a hotel, spa, and a few restaurants. These golf courses are owned by the resort and are generally open to everyone, although some are open only to people who are staying at the resort. Resort guests usually receive discounts and get to play at the best times of day.

Semi-private courses have options for membership, but allow non-members to play. Like guests at resort courses, members also get discounts and other benefits. Semi-private courses are the most popular courses worldwide.

Private courses are restricted to members only, but at non-members can sometimes play as guests. Membership fees at these courses vary, and the higher the price, the fewer the members.

Golf courses by size:

A standard golf course will usually have 18 holes with mixes of par-3, 4, and 5 holes. This is the most popular size and is for players who want the entire experience.

There are also 9-hole courses for people who want a quick game. These courses are exactly like the standard courses, except they have half as many holes.

An executive course can have either 9 or 18 holes, but most holes will be par-3. These courses are intended for quick games. A par-3 course has all par-3 holes. These are also quick courses for players in a hurry.

Approach courses are the shortest courses and are intended for beginners or for advanced players to practice. These are also known as pitch-and-putt courses.

Golf courses by landscaping:

Links courses consist of sand strips, dunes, deep bunkers, and grass and have hardly any trees. These courses are common in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Parkland courses are the most popular in the United States. They contain flourishing grassland in the fairway, thick trees and rough areas, and bunkers.

Resort courses are common along the ocean in vacation states, such as Florida and California. They typically cater to the beginning golfers that are playing for fun, so there will be bigger fairways and shorter rough areas. These courses are also very eye-catching.

Heath-Land courses are located inland and contain mostly bushes and shrubs. The fairways are also wide here.

Desert courses are common in the southwest and contain desert plants. They contain oases surrounded by lots of sand and are flat. The flatness can be advantageous to beginners.

There are many different golf course types. They can be categorized by access, size, and landscaping. It is important that someone learning about golf knows all of the golf course types so that they can choose the right place to play and learn.

Marlon Johnson is a freelance writer and golfer. Marlon writes about golf tips, and reviews all the golf courses he’s been to and golf packages he tries out. He will never get tired of writing about golf, because it is his passion.