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could more par 3 courses help the game ?


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I know that financial reasons have long been the reason that par 3 courses are not more prevalent. Specifically, courses are unable to charge high enough greens fees to justify the cost of owning-operating a par 3 golf course.

Also, in recent decades most new golf courses were constructed by real estate developers aiming to sell golf course home sites, and a par 3 course does not fit the business model for selling homes.

That said, if somehow more par 3 courses could be constructed, I think this would serve the game very well.

Par 3 courses are perfect for youths and adults who are beginners to the game.

Par 3 courses are ideal for super seniors for which long yardage shots and, or, long days are not a good fit.

Par 3 courses are great for any skill level player looking to sharpen their short iron , wedge, putting game.

Pace of play on a 9 hole par 3 course is usually 1.5 hours or less.

So, there are lots of reasons that additional par 3 courses may be good for the game. I think if the golf industry is concerned about lack of participation, then major organizations (USGA, PGA Tour) and companies (Nike-Titleist-Ping-Callaway etc...) should consider trying to promote the construction and operations of par 3 courses.

If you agree or disagree with the above, please post your thoughts.

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Totally agree but the question will always

be finances. I love the little par 3 course by my church. I will play it a couple of times a month in the summer. It's not crowded and it beats pounding balls st the range.

 

It's packed in the winter.

 

 

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Par 3s are dreadfully slow. Despite the shorter distances the group on the tee can't play until the greens are cleared.

 

Great idea in principle but falls short in practicality.

 

 

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Yes. Absolutely. I also think more places like “The Playground” and those types of places. Even add in a couple of short par 4's 350 and under. If I were to build a short track it would go something like this.

 

#1 147 yards

#2 180 yards

#3 90 yards

#4 299 yards (par 4)

#5 168 yards

#6 195 yards

#7 120 yards

#8 301 yards (par 4)

#9 151 yards

#10 176 yards

#11 166 yards

#12 289 yards (par 4)

#13 181 yards

#14 135 yards

#15 222 yards

#16 344 yards (par 4)

#17 112 yards

#18 275 yards (par 4)

 

That way you'd have to use pretty much every club in the bag, or have the opportunity to.

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The last course built in my area was a nine hole par 35 exec course.  I played there a lot before joining our upscale muni.  It was built by a local pro who owns and operates it.  It has one par 5, two par 3's, and 6 par 4's. The par 4's are short, many drivable by big hitters.  The par 5 is a dogleg right 425y hole.  The par 3's are 135y and 190y from the tips, but there are 4 sets of tees.

 

It's a great course for beginners, kids, families, and seniors.  There are no tee times; get in line.  No water hazards; no sand traps.  The greens are small and relatively slow, and the fairways are fairly tight and you don't want to be off in the dirt. However, people enjoy playing because it usually doesn't take long to play nine holes unless the course is full.  If more courses were built like this one; more people would take up the game.

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Absolutely IMHO depending on the area. I think we have a total of 4 in the Grand Strand area. In the summer regular tourist season they are crowded at night.

The course I grew up on that my old man ran had a 9 hole regulation course and a 9 hole par 3 course where the longest hole was 100 yards or so. As with all the par 3 courses here it was lit at night. As far as my observations growing up many a person started their golf on that par 3 course. I actually played it a lot especially on summer weekends when I was doing nothing. I honed my uncanny short game skills on it. Now at night it did get crowded in the summer. Now it was only ran at night the first 3 years of operation. The man that owned it pulled the plug so to speak on night time operations for reasons I can not and will not discuss here. 

But I think in general a par 3 course with a driving range can do good almost anywhere

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Yes. Absolutely. I also think more places like “The Playground” and those types of places. Even add in a couple of short par 4's 350 and under. If I were to build a short track it would go something like this.

 

#1 147 yards

#2 180 yards

#3 90 yards

#4 299 yards (par 4)

#5 168 yards

#6 195 yards

#7 120 yards

#8 301 yards (par 4)

#9 151 yards

#10 176 yards

#11 166 yards

#12 289 yards (par 4)

#13 181 yards

#14 135 yards

#15 222 yards

#16 344 yards (par 4)

#17 112 yards

#18 275 yards (par 4)

 

That way you'd have to use pretty much every club in the bag, or have the opportunity to.

That is a Executive type course not a Par 3 course--- Some of your par 3 holes IMHO are a little long for that type of lay out and the type of players playing it. But on the positive side it would be one heck of a little course to play money matches on. My fertile larcenous mind was drawing up games to play on that layout while reading and imagining the course

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Like many have mentioned, I learned to play on a par 3 course as well. It was a blast to trot around there with my 5 club bag and be taught all the things this game has to offer.

 

I'm going to borrow an analogy from another thread regarding choosing the correct tees to play from. A par 3 course is like the bunny hill in skiing; a perfect place to teach or reinforce the basics.

 

 

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Like many have mentioned, I learned to play on a par 3 course as well. It was a blast to trot around there with my 5 club bag and be taught all the things this game has to offer.

 

I'm going to borrow an analogy from another thread regarding choosing the correct tees to play from. A par 3 course is like the bunny hill in skiing; a perfect place to teach or reinforce the basics.

 

 

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Great analogy. But like that bunny slope once you master it you'll want something more difficult to ski on. So you need both. One to learn on or to play a quick 9 and the other to further improve skills.

 

When we wintered in the Keys we played on a short par 3 nine hole course outside of Marathon. Longest hole was 130 yds - most of the holes were 70 -100 yds. Definitely sharpened your short game, however, it did get pretty boring after a while. 

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That is a Executive type course not a Par 3 course--- Some of your par 3 holes IMHO are a little long for that type of lay out and the type of players playing it. But on the positive side it would be one heck of a little course to play money matches on. My fertile larcenous mind was drawing up games to play on that layout while reading and imagining the course

Yeah, that's from the back. So everyone could enjoy it. 20-30 yards between front and back tees. Then a junior set even further up. I really don't like 180+ yard par 3's much myself.

 

I played one exec course in va. It was pretty dang fun. Had a few more par 4's then my lay out.

 

I'd maybe even go par 3,4,3,4,3,4,3,4,3 front 4,3,4,4,3,4,3,4,3 back

 

Or all par 4's under 400 from the back.

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I would love if one was in my area! Just getting the wife into golf and it would be perfect

 

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We always have a fun time playing the par 3 in Gaylord.

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Par 3's are great - low cost, quick playing time. There are 3 Par 3 courses within 30 minutes of my home that I've played and 5 total. I've never had a "long" round there, or dealt with big backups at any time. I think the most I've paid is $15 per round, and 2 out of the 3 have junior rates so my son is only around $8. 

 

They're a wonderful way to get someone new into golf since it's usually all iron play, and leaves the driver out of the bag, which tends to be the most frustrating club for a lot of beginners. 

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I've thought about this in one form or another through recent years. I tried leading an initiative with our city council to renovate our only muni in town. Sadly, it mostly fell on deaf ears. They own and run a goat ranch and appears it will remain goat. The city council all prefer playing their golf at the Country Club. (I play at a CC too) Anyway....

Our golf committee made a few suggestions to them to not only renovate the existing 36 holes but to "rethink" their entire approach to muni golf. One suggestion was to eliminate 9-holes and repurpose the acreage for other events like; concerts, car shows, plays, picnics, farmers markets, family gatherings, etc, etc. Part of the reason here was to eliminate the expense of maintaining a golf course. (the city doesn't support the course financially therefore - goat.) Another suggestion was to redesign one of the 9's into an executive 9 and or make a lighted par three using one of the 9 holes. Our vision/plans for the city was based on the Community Links concept put forth by Staples Golf of Arizona. In my general area there are 3 par three courses each connected to an 18-hole course. One is located at a private club and the other two are at muni's. Are they successful? That I cannot answer. None of them are lighted. 

 

Lastly to answer the question of this thread.... Yes. I do think par three courses could help the game. But like everything; it all depends.

 

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Great analogy. But like that bunny slope once you master it you'll want something more difficult to ski on. So you need both. One to learn on or to play a quick 9 and the other to further improve skills.

 

When we wintered in the Keys we played on a short par 3 nine hole course outside of Marathon. Longest hole was 130 yds - most of the holes were 70 -100 yds. Definitely sharpened your short game, however, it did get pretty boring after a while.

So true. Possibly a way to make this happen is have 27 hole courses. 18 “regular” holes and a 9 hole par 3 attached. Could help with the profitability factor as well as having a place that appeals to multiple skill levels like a ski resort does with multiple difficulty levels.

 

 

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So true. Possibly a way to make this happen is have 27 hole courses. 18 “regular” holes and a 9 hole par 3 attached. Could help with the profitability factor as well as having a place that appeals to multiple skill levels like a ski resort does with multiple difficulty levels.

 

 

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There's a semi-private near my office that has a nice 18 hole layout plus a 9 hole par 3 course. Their parking lot is packed 7 days a week. That sort of setup, if space permits, can definitely work. 

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So true. Possibly a way to make this happen is have 27 hole courses. 18 “regular” holes and a 9 hole par 3 attached. Could help with the profitability factor as well as having a place that appeals to multiple skill levels like a ski resort does with multiple difficulty levels.

 

 

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That's very intriguing to me.

 

The muni in St Pete is a reasonable 18 hole track with four very nice set of tees. 6700 from the tips 6200 from the white 5900 from the seniors and 5000 from the red. Our foursome completed 18 in just under four hours on Friday with a five some in front of us (it went off as a 3 and 2 behind a 4 that was a bit slower so we didn't complain). There is also a great 9 hole par 3 on sight.

 

They made what is a brilliant move with the 6th hole IMO by moving the white tee to the back making it impossible for most people to reach in 2. (It's a shortish par 5 that used to back up the course. Now most people must lay up even if they have the length because to reach requires carrying a grove of trees.

 

Back on topic I also think executive courses are great. Plaid will appreciate that Chi Chi Rodriguez designed a course in our area that has a wonderful academy associated with it operated by first tee. The academy is a full blown Day School. The course is impeccably maintained, playable in around 3 and a half hours and lets you play all the clubs in the bag. It's short but tons of fun.

 

 

 

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Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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I believe places like Top Golf help grow the game more than a par3 course, and don't carry the financial problems. I can't remember the other chain that's similar to top golf but has launch monitors in the stalls and you can pay to play certain courses. But anyways I feel like those sort of places are better set up to introduce new people.

 

I would be curious what it would cost and how it would impact public courses to have a set of par 3 tees on all the holes. (Or maybe just the front nine)

 

I don't know if logically that would work but it could solve the money issue that woe a solely par 3 course while providing a place for new player to learn the game.

 

 

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