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could more par 3 courses help the game ?

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I miss the one we had here. It was part of a driving range batting cage type place.
All the holes where under 130 yds. You could play it easily with 3 clubs. It was lighted but all that did was attract every misquote within 3 counties.
Most of the guys I play with wish we did have another one but money is the problem.
Heck one of the better courses just closed. It was a country club but you could still get on. It'll be a park soon

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While my wife is in Florida, she's been playing a couple of different Par 3 courses - what a confidence booster for her (she played very well on both)! 

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If it wasn’t for the local 9 hole and 18 hole par 3 courses, I would play a lot less golf. Time is so short that I could possibly only play once or twice a month on a regular course. With these short courses I get to play almost every week.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I totally agree that par 3 courses are great for adult beginners. I just picked up the game (maybe even have become obsessed with it 😲) last year, and I'm in my late 20's. My local par 3 course has boosted my confidence a lot as I've been able to get a lot of repetitions on an actual course every week, especially with my short irons and wedges. The course is pretty dead around 11 o'clock on Sundays so I actually can play two or three balls without slowing the pace of play. I find it a very efficient way of practicing. Best of all, I'm not breaking the bank. The condition of the course I play is not great. The greens are not well kept, specifically around the edges. All the tee boxes are mats, but I just hit off the grass next to or in front of the mat. What's important to me is that I practice getting solid contact off of the turf, so I'm very pro par 3's.

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I used to live near a 9 hole par 3 course and loved going there.  What a great way to practice iron play and short game.

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That’s where I learned to play, and my Dad promised me once I was able to play there and hit the ball far enough, we would graduate to full size courses. It gave me a lot of confidence. I think this is missing these days as kids have to start on a full-length course with traps, and undulating greens, and this can lead to frustration. I really wish there were more around, even “loops” where once could play three holes.

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I just lost our local par 3 (well, par 60, some 4s in there) as it closed last fall. It was the side project for the owner, taking up all of his free time for almost 20 years. He built it himself. Was a nice little course.

I was told if that he had hired someone to oversee the course to let him get away more, he would have eaten up all of his profit. Sad.

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There is a short 12 hole par 47 course near my cabin I got my kids started at.  Only around 3700 yards with short walks between green to next tee (most people still take carts).  Shorter holes with some narrow fairways, doglegs and small greens to keep it challenging.  I think this is a great place to get started or for practice, especially since it is easy to finish in less than 2 hours.

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I do think they help the game.  As mentioned already, these courses are great for beginners and those that are very casual players. They are also good for older folks who have lost the ability to play long courses (even some "senior tees"). I started golf playing a small par 3 course in Florida, that was part of but seperate from the main course, and reserved for kids play on Saturdays. 

It would be interesting to know the business case/challenges concerning a small par 3 vs. a full length track.  My understanding is that running a golf course, particularly these days, is a real challenge.  I always thought it would be cool if the PGA, USGA, and players built/sponsored kid's par 3 courses much like is done for baseball fields/complexes.


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We have one in town that is a fun little course that is lit. It is great fun to go out there for a quick 9, but they have really let it go down hill over the last 5 years and its become a bit of a dog track. 

I would like to buy it and replace the grass greens with high quality artificial turf and the same for the tee boxes. I think that would cut the maintenance cost considerably and the condition will always be great. 


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I love the idea (grab half my irons and Wedges, plus putter, easy to haul around in a carry bag, or jus PW and putter), but then look at personal history. Have a Par 3 course 20 mins away, never been. Another an hour way, been once. 

Everytime, I end up going to the range, or playing 4 and a half holes (15 mins away). Observationally, the 20min par 3 (At a seaside resort town, and is very good condition, one of our grounds gaff parents own it, and he learnt how to greens keep there) remains quiet at peak times, as the grandparents will take the kiddies to the range instead. 

So great ideas, but has to overcome a lot of the impetus of habit. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think It be great. San Diego has a good one. Wasn’t maintained well. I think if pat 3 courses popped up and we’re maintaied well they be a hit. Great for guys to work on the shots they lose strokes on and for jr or even families to get into golf or so. I live in Northern California and we don’t have any. 

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The Cradle at Pinehurst is worth the trip to the area. Save yourself $450 and the agony and skip playing #2 and play it. 


$50 dollars gets you unlimited play for the day. Might be the best deal in golf. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

I think par 3 courses would be more popular paired with a full or championship course. That way there is a range and one location to go to for golf.

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  • 1 year later...

If it wasn’t for my local par 3 9 hole course ( they actually have 2 par 4 holes) I wouldn’t play nearly as much golf as I do now. Not because I prefer them, but because of the time commitment. 1.5 to 2 hours I can do a couple of times a week easily. 5 hours plus from the time I leave home until I return is just not an option every week. Maybe twice a month most of the time.

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Other than a quality practice facility-driving range I cannot think of a better way, fun way to introduce/teach newcomers to the game. Additionally a par 3 course w/multiple tee boxes allows us veterans of the game to get quality practice with the scoring clubs. And most of the time the score card final # makes one feel better than they really are :)

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We have a nicer par 3 course near me and I'll head out there with a Sunday bag and no tees and just work on my iron game without aimlessly bashing balls on the range... Most days you can get unlimited play after a certain time.


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Both Chip and Putt and Par 3 courses would be wonderful if they were more available. I have a 7 year old that i'd love to go play a par 3 course with. 

Additionally, I think adding lights to a par 3 course could extend the golf day and make it more fun.  TopGolf seems too have this market cornered right now but sometimes I just want to be more outside and something more real at like 9pm. 

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I think these courses definitely have a place in the world. But If you could pair it well with a putting course and a good range + short game area it would be somewhere that people could go to hang out for a while instead of just play and leave. 

If there was also a bar/restaurant on the premises, accessible easily on holes 4-5 as well, that would be even better.  Make it somewhere you can go with a few clubs, hit around easily, then maybe go putt or hit a small bucket with a beer or cocktail.  I'm thinking Cradle/Thistle Dhu at Pinehurst-esque. 

There is something very close to this in Cleveland.  Washington Learning Center.  Has a range, big putting green, short game area, and a 9 hole exec course with 3 par 4s but longest is 235.  There would be room to put a putting course if they wanted and renovate to have an outdoor bar near the first tee area.  But as this is run by the Cleveland Metroparks I don't think that will happen. 

Sidenote, I am surprised TopGolf hasn't integrated some sort of putt putt into their business.  Its a logical addition, anyone can do it, you're already there waiting, and would be a nice bonus if you wanted to spend more than just 2 hours there in the bay. 

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