It is a Scottish term that is derived from the Old English language, from the word hlinc, which means a rising ground or a ridge. It refers to coastal sand dunes and it sometimes refers to resembling areas inland. These areas were located near the towns that are found in Scotland’s central eastern areas where golf was played for hundreds of years, since 1400.
The sandy subsoil and the shallow top soil made these lands unsuitable for any kind of farming or the cultivation of any types of crops. It was also unsuitable for any urban development, this is why these lands did not have any economical value. These Links were used as common lands between the residents of the towns and they were used mostly for recreation, laundering clothes and animal grazing alongside other activities.
The grazed surf and the natural drainage of these lands made them the perfect course for golf and the areas that have longer grass as well as exposed sand or bushes were used to represent the hazards that can be found at modern golf courses. On the other hand, the early link courses that were used were usually close to sea and which was rarely used as hazards because of the unstable nature of the dunes that are located close to the water as well as the expensive cost of handmade balls, so players did not want to risk losing them. These lands rarely had trees, and the coastal locations made the wind and the weather a factor to be accounted for in golf.