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A links is the oldest style of golf course, first developed in Scotland. The word "links" comes via the Scots language from the Old English word hlinc : "rising ground, ridge" and refers to an area of coastal sand dunes and sometimes to open parkland. Links land is typically characterised by dunes, an undulating surface, and a sandy soil unsuitable for arable farming but which readily supports various indigenous browntop bents and red fescue grasses, that result in the firm turf associated with links courses and the 'running' game (the hard surface typical of the links-style course allows balls to "run" out much farther than on softer turf course after a fairway landing- often players will land the ball well before the green and allow it to run up onto the green rather than landing it on the green in the more targeted-landing style used on softer surfaces. It also retains this more general meaning in standard Scottish English. It can be treated as singular even though it has an "s" at the end and occurs in place names that precede the development of golf, for example Lundin Links, Fife.