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"undulating sandy ground," 1728, from Scottish/Northumbrian link "sandy, rolling ground near seashore, a crook or winding of a river," from Old English hlinc "rising ground, ridge;" perhaps from the same Proto-Germanic root as lean (v.). The Scottish word for the type of landscape where golf was born; the word has been part of the names of golf courses since at least 1728. The southern form of the word was Middle English linch "rising ground, especially between plowed fields or along a chalk down," which persisted in dialect.