Many links are located in coastal areas, on sandy soil, or amid sand dunes. There are few water hazards and trees. This reflects both the nature of the scenery where the sport happened to originate, and the fact that only limited resources were available to golf course architects at the time and any earth moving had to be done by hand, so it was kept to a minimum.
The challenges of links golf fall into two categories. Firstly, the nature of the courses themselves which tend to be characterised by uneven fairways – thick, rough, and small deep bunkers known as "pot bunkers". Secondly, due to their coastal location many links courses are frequently windy. This affects the style of play required, favouring players who are able to play low accurate shots. Other facilities include a bowling green, practise facilities, gym, and tennis courts.