"Wind is the biggest challenge that the golf course presents," said Tommy Rutherford, head professional at Stonelinks Golf Course, a links-style course in North Little Rock.
"You have to know which way the wind is blowing, because it's going to have an effect on every shot you hit."
To compensate for the swirling winds, a player has to try to keep his
ball low and out of harm's way.Rutherford
said there won't be many of the high, drawing shots that fans are used to seeing while watching tournaments in the United States.
Wind is not the only problem created by a lack of trees.Rutherford
said links courses can be harder to navigate because trees aren't there to help determine the direction of play, leaving a number of options from the tee."You need to know where your trouble is," Rutherford
said."It is important to know the layout of a course, because a lot of the hazards are hidden."
The hidden hazards and deep bunkers make it that much more important for players to keep the ball in the fairways and on the greens at a links course.Rutherford
said this requires a new kind of shot.
"You've got to learn how to hit your irons low, and sometimes even roll the ball up on the green," Rutherford
If the wind isn't doing its part, though, the course could work in the players' favor.
"Links courses don't have anything else to keep them from being fairly easy," Rutherford
Players will have the opportunity to hit the ball out of bounds on 10 holes, which Rutherford
said is rare for a links course.
"It takes away one of the advantages," he
said."They're going to have to hit those narrow fairways, which are going to be hard and fast."
Rutherford's tips for playing a links course lined up with Weir's strategy for the British Open, which he
outlined toward the end of his
"My approach will be to hit a lot of different clubs off the tee and try to shape the ball accordingly to keep it in the fairway," he