"Course" Idea


First of all, my apologies if this post doesn’t quite fit under this category. Double apologies if this is a thing that exists out in the world, but I had an idea for a “course” that I think would be really cool. I’ll try to be as brief and concise as I can for everyone’s sake.

IDEA: A short game course that still maintains a regulation golf design, but only if the holes were cut off from 50 yards and in.

Why: Short game practice can be a little monotonous and unhelpful if you just practice the same shot on the range/practice area over and over with no new angles or greens, etc.

Concept: 18 holes (or however many you want to design on your property). Each hole is a par-2 or par-3 with a different realistic short game situation you’d encounter on a regulation course. For example, the first hole’s tee box could be in a bunker to a green sloping away from you. The second hole could be from a “fairway” 40 yards away that requires a pitch onto a biarritz green, and so on. No full shots really required so anyone technically could play it, but also an elevated practice experience for those who are there to grind on their games.

Thoughts? Is there something out there like this already?


Soooo a par 3 course?


Some of the new short courses that are being built at the big resorts like the Sandbox at Sand Valley are similar to this. They have some longer holes of up to 145 yards, but the majority played in the 40-90 yard range and they have some really interesting greens. The one thing you mentioned that I haven’t seen is teeing off from a bunker or other lies like that.


I think his idea is an altered par 3 course. It’s very similar but with his idea, instead of regular tee boxes, you have to hit from areas like bunkers, rough, and so forth.


Other than teeing off in a bunker it sounds like you are describing a pitch and putt. We’ve got a few around Massachusetts. Are they not common elsewhere?


I’d like to merge this idea with the “par is irrelevant” debate. I think a lot of that debate stems from the fact that in most cases, par is just a proxy for yardage. The longer the hole, the higher the par. Why not try to design a short course, but use extreme angles and obstacles to maintain a higher level of par. So you could have a 375 yard hole, but utilize various concepts (hazard-heavy, angles, dangerous green complexes) to make it a par 5. Just a thought.


This could be interesting. Force a wedge or short iron off the tee and make a generally short par 4 into a par 5. Probably would be the worst course ever for a new golfer.

Reminds me of the “Bad Little Nine”:


i believe in this. its been done before and currently. the resort meccas (bandon, etc) have it dialed in. vibe included. Whether its 6, 9, 12 or 18. Number of holes and whatever par is dont matter in Match Play format.

this is the future. Urban courses that are quicker to play and focus on hitting shots. All of the shots. A course like you describe makes golf so much more approachable for newcomers too. Most people can move the ball 50-150 yds in the forward direction. and they can all putt. With lots of short grass and closely mown green surrounds- even shitty golfers can have lots of FUN.

I also believe that a course like this should have an open or mixed routing. More of parkland style, so it’s open and you have visibility across the property. Muy importante for variety, Shout out @thefriedegg.

vibe is important tho. needs to be muni like with well appointed features. whether it be the locker room, 19th hole and the menu or even the pencil for the scorecard. It all adds in to the experience. I think if you come in with a new concept, or new take on an old one- you have to all the other stuff be very special and memorable. Otherwise your just another par 3 course or a pitch and putt.


Sorry for the very late clarification. It sounds like some variety of this idea exists already elsewhere (I’m in Wisconsin), but I just wanted to clear it up. It’s not a par 3 course, but it is basically a regulation course scale where you cut distances off at the part of the hole where you can’t drive your carts past. You could set the “tee” wherever you wanted: in a bunker, at the bottom of a green runoff, etc. Basically the holes are very, very short so the beginners don’t have to hit a full shot and the better players can practice their short games in realistic scenarios while still entertaining the idea of birdieing a hole if you get up and down (if playing with a par is your thing, of course). Hope that makes some sense for those who didn’t quite get it.


I think i get what you are saying. Like, close down a course except 100 yards in or so every once in a while? That could actually be pretty fun for some quirky events or nights where you wanted to play quickly and not have to run through the full bag of swings.

At prairie club in Nebraska, they have a short course with greens, but no formal tee boxes. You can take a wedge and a putter out and basically call your shot and play little wedge or chip and putt games from wherever. Its super fun. Geoff Shackelford was one of the designers.


Yep, this is exactly what I’m talking about, except that these would probably be even shorter than 100. Probably like 50 and in. Chip and putt games on legitimate green complexes and surrounds would be a blast and would provide some nice variety to the typical range session grind.

So, all this being said, who wants to fund it? :joy:


We have something similar to what you’re describing at my club - although it could definitely be improved upon, as its currently set up as more of a practice area than a true course, but it has three holes that are all approx 30-60 yards. It does have tee boxes but you can go at pretty much any green from any tee box, increasing the options. I often find myself picking a spot in the rough/side hill lie/sand/etc. and hitting to each of the greens to be able to practice multiple shots from one location. It rarely gets used so I often have my run of the place but I think with a little creative work it could be exactly what you’re describing.


Love this idea. There’s a par 3 course near my house (full 18) that’s divided down the middle into two 9’s by a driving range.

I desperately want them to scrap the (18) 75-100 yard holes and just build larger greens with multiple tee boxes. Set up a 9 hole layout every day and if it’s empty (or late) enough you can go full sweetens and start playing other tees to different pins. It HAS to cut down on maintenance right? Would be cool to see more courses try a concept like this imo.