What are Parkland Golf Courses?

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Parkland Golf Course

A Parkland golf course is a delightful retreat for golf enthusiasts. Unlike its sand-drenched cousin, the links golf, parkland courses serve as green oases tucked away from coastal winds. These courses, often part of elite country clubs, are characterized by lush, tree-lined fairways sheltered from the elements. So whether you’re a pro golfer or just starting out, a parkland golf course offers an unrivaled golfing experience, skillfully bridging the gap between a links course and the serenity of a parkland.

Difference From a Parkland Golf Course?

When compared to other types of golf courses, such as links courses and heathland courses, a parkland course stands out in offering a lush, tree-filled terrain. Unlike a links course, which is typically built on sandy, coastal land and is heavily influenced by natural defenses against the wind, a parkland course is richly designed with well-irrigated and sodded fairways that create an ideal playing surface.

Dotted with trees, parkland courses provide a relaxing backdrop, much like a park, hence the name “parkland.” In contrast to links-style golf and the rugged, open landscapes of heathland courses, parkland courses deliver a serene setting and are generally more forgiving to the average golfer. They offer an accessible and enjoyable golfing experience that caters to players of all skill levels.

Parkland Golf Courses

Type of Terrain

A parkland golf course presents a unique terrain meticulously crafted by a course architect to embody the defining elements of the game. It is the perfect example of a golf course sculpted seamlessly into mature, tree-lined surroundings often contrasted by lush fairways and manicured greens. Design elements like steep-edged bunkers are strategically placed, adding another layer of complexity to the playing field.

These courses also exhibit varying lengths of rough, frequently featuring coarse grasses to challenge the golfer’s skill set. The parkland course employs a distinct aesthetic sensibility—their layouts mimicking the serenity of parks—making them unique entities in the panorama of golf landscapes.

Famous Parkland Golf Courses

These are the famous Parkland golf courses in the United States:

Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia

Augusta National is not only one of the most famous parkland golf courses in the United States but also worldwide. This iconic course, designed by the legendary Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie, opened in 1933 and later became the home of the prestigious Masters Tournament.

Augusta National is renowned for its strikingly colorful azaleas and dogwoods, impeccably manicured greens, and pristine water features. It is truly a golfer’s paradise, offering not only a challenge but also an unforgettable journey through its mesmerizing landscape.

Pebble Beach Golf Links, California

Pebble Beach Golf Links, situated along the breathtaking Pacific shoreline of California’s Monterey Peninsula, provides golfers with a unique blend of parkland and coastal golf. It has hosted numerous major tournaments, including the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and multiple U.S. Open Championships.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

With iconic holes like the par-3 seventh and par-5 18th, accompanied by stunning vistas, it continues to captivate players and spectators alike with challenging greens and unforgettable panoramas.

Oakmont Country Club, Pennsylvania

First established in 1903, Oakmont Country Club boasts a rich heritage that stands proudly as one of the most esteemed parkland courses in the United States. Designed by Henry Fownes, the course has hosted numerous major championships such as U.S. Opens, PGA Championships, and U.S. Women’s Opens.

The distinctive features of Oakmont, such as its massive bunkers and lightning-fast greens, have consistently challenged the skills of the world’s greatest golfers, earning it a top position in the golfing world.

Boca Raton Golf Course, Florida

The Boca Raton Golf Course is a renowned parkland-style golf course situated in the heart of Boca Raton, Florida. Owned and operated by the City of Boca Raton, this course has gained a reputation for providing an enjoyable and challenging golf experience to players of all skill levels.

Spanning over 7,000 yards, the Boca Raton course features 18 holes of impeccably manicured greens and lush, tree-lined fairways that epitomize the classic parkland aesthetic. This full-length, par-72 championship course delivers a delightful combination of natural beauty and strategic challenge that any avid golfer will appreciate.

Designed by renowned golf architect Charles Ankrom, the course offers a diverse range of challenges, from carefully placed water hazards to strategically positioned bunkers. The course’s signature par-3 16th hole requires golfers to accurately navigate a water hazard, making it a memorable feature of the layout.

Medinah Country Club, Illinois

Located just outside Chicago, Medinah Country Club features three world-class golf courses that exemplify parkland-style play. Course #3, its crown jewel, designed by Tom Bendelow and later renovated by Rees Jones, has hosted prestigious tournaments such as the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup.

Medinah Country Club

Medinah’s picturesque parkland layout includes mature trees, strategically placed water features, and perfectly maintained greens, providing golfers with an unparalleled experience.

Quail Hollow Club, North Carolina

Quail Hollow Club, set amidst the naturally beautiful landscape of Charlotte, North Carolina, offers a pristine parkland-style golf course that has been a favorite among professional and amateur players.

Designed by George Cobb and later updated by Tom Fazio, Quail Hollow is the annual host of the Wells Fargo Championship and has hosted the PGA Championship. It boasts the notorious “Green Mile,” a thrilling closing stretch of holes that entices golf enthusiasts with its combination of picturesque scenery and challenging play.

These are The Famous Parkland Golf Courses Outside United States

Sunningdale Golf Club

Nestled in the Berkshire countryside, Sunningdale Golf Club is one of Britain’s most prestigious and beautiful parkland courses. It is home to two of the finest layouts in English golf – the Old Course and the New Course.

Sunningdale Golf Club

The Old Course, designed by the legendary architect Willie Park Junior in 1901, offers an exceptional blend of heathland and parkland play, while the New Course, designed by Colt in 1922, complements its older sibling with an equally scenic and strategic design. From magically manicured fairways to stately stands of pines and birches, Sunningdale exemplifies parkland golf at its very best.

Alwoodley Golf Club

Situated on the outskirts of Leeds, Alwoodley Golf Club is an exceptional parkland golf course with elements of heathland. The course, often lauded as one of the finest in Britain, is a shining testament to the design prowess of

Dr. Alister MacKenzie is one of the great architects of the golfing world. Opened in 1907, the course features a captivating heathland setting that offers both challenging gameplay and serene landscapes.

The mix of dense woodland and open spaces on the course provides golfers with a variety of challenges that test precision and strategic thinking. From meticulously maintained greens to stunning natural beauty, Alwoodley Golf Club offers a golf experience that’s both challenging and visually rewarding.

Royal Melbourne Golf Club

Royal Melbourne Golf Club, located in the heart of the famed Sandbelt region of Australia, establishes itself as one of the world’s premier parkland golf venues. It is globally recognized for its two acclaimed courses, the West Course and the East Course, each showcasing a distinctive blend of parkland and links-style gameplay.

The West Course, consistently ranked among the top golf courses worldwide, is a compelling demonstration of parkland golf expressing extraordinary design and strategic depth. It was primarily designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie, whose profound influence can be seen in the bold bunkering and skillfully contoured greens.

The complementary East Course, filled with beautifully mature trees and delightfully undulating fairways, adds another layer of allure to this iconic golfing destination. Its characteristically large and fast greens test even the most seasoned golfers.

With its pristine surroundings, strategic design, and the esteemed Presidents Cup to its name, Royal Melbourne Golf Club firmly occupies an indisputable position in the echelons of golfing excellence.

Type of Golf Players Who Liked to Play in These Courses

Many professional golf players on the PGA Tour have expressed a preference for parkland golf courses due to their stunning aesthetics and unique challenges. Parkland courses, given their often strategic planning and beautiful surroundings, have been the venue for numerous, significant PGA Tour events.

One prominent example includes the Honda Classic, a professional golf tournament in the PGA Tour, hosted annually at the PGA National in Parkland, Florida. This beautiful parkland layout with its picture-perfect backdrops has been loved and admired by numerous professional golfers. Players like Rory McIlroy, a four-time major champion and a winner at the Honda Classic in 2012, have repeatedly expressed their admiration for this classically designed parkland course.

The unique blend of strategy, precision, and beauty associated with parkland courses attract not only professional golfers but also amateur players seeking an immersive golfing experience. Hence, parkland golf courses indeed hold a special place in the hearts of many golfers.

Best Equipment To Bring In This Type of Course

Callaway Mavrik Irons Set

Callaway Mavrik Irons Set

Callaway Mavrik Irons, with their advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) design and Flash Face technology to optimize every club in your bag, could be an excellent choice. The low center of gravity in each iron provides strong loft and optimum ball flight – particularly helpful for conquering those tree-lined fairways common on parkland golf courses.

Taylormade SIM MAX Driver

Taylormade SIM MAX Driver

Taylormade’s SIM MAX Driver is built to provide greater forgiveness on off-center hits. It features Twist Face technology to correct a mis-hit and increase the sweet spot – a handy feature for parkland courses, whose narrow fairways may often require precision hitting. The Inertia Generator also stores 46g of weight low and back for maximum forgiveness.

Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Putter

Odyssey Stroke Lab Black Putter

For those manicured greens common on Parkland golf courses, your putting game needs to be on point. The Odyssey Stroke Lab Black putter, with its micro hinge face insert for improved topspin and smoother roll, along with Stroke Lab Weighting for a more consistent and accurate stroke, would be a crucial addition to your golf bag.

Nike Men's Dri-FIT Victory Golf Polo

Nike Men’s Dri-FIT Victory Golf Polo

Well suited for a day on a parkland course, the Nike Men’s Dri-FIT Victory Golf Polo keeps you cool and comfortable. Its moisture-wicking technology keeps sweat at bay, ensuring you remain dry during the game. It is made from a stretchy, lightweight fabric that allows a full range of motion, which is essential in delivering a perfect swing. Its collar is ribbed to help prevent curling.

Under Armour Men's Showdown Golf Pants

Under Armour Men’s Showdown Golf Pants

Under Armour Men’s Showdown Golf pants are a great choice for parkland golf play. These pants are crafted with a high-performance, mobile fabric that has a soft stretchy feel, but maintains a fast-drying exterior for comfort throughout your round. In addition, the waistband is built for ultimate flexibility and comfort inside with its moisture-wicking capabilities. The pants come with a flat-front, four-pocket design for a tailored and sleek look desired on the fairways.

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