Houston Short Course

A group of us are working to develop a plan centered around a short course/pitch and putt in the Houston area. I think this is a part of the game that is seeing a resurgence these days with more limitations on time and trying to break the mold on what golf should and shouldn’t look like.

We want it to be very casual, laid back and centered around a central beer garden/gathering space (for those from Houston, think Kirby Ice House, etc). No hole would be longer than 120 yards or so. Low stress and hoping to attract all types of golfers.

Has anyone seen other instances of this type of course being successful? The only one I’m familiar with is the Butler Park Pitch and Putt in Austin and hoping to see a broader spectrum of ideas.

Appreciate the input

-DQ

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I believe @MerchCzar entertained the idea of getting in deep with Big Pitch and Putt. Flushing Meadows might be too good…

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I’m in the Spring/Woodlands,TX area and we have Top Golf over here. However, I think the idea is great for golf nuts. If developed, I will be sure to stop by. There is also a Top Golf south of Houston in League City, and on the West Side in the Katy area.

I think Acorn 5050 driving range has a similar mindset to this in Oak forest. The sell a grab bag bucket of good craft beers and you can hit range balls to some Jimmy Buffet. It would be really good to have a place to go actually be able to hit some golf shots and drink some beers over an hour and rejoin the family. Seems like it could be accomplished on an abandoned field or an old driving range. Could be cool to have the pitch and putt come back by the bar every 2-3 holes so your never get empty.
It seems like the par 3 courses just don’t do well for some reason. Green Caye in League City just closed, the shorter course at Bear Creek no one ever seemed to want to play, and Melrose Golf course is not in a great area of town and not taken care of along with them not even using the lights at night.
That being said, I love the concept but it would probably only work well in the center of the city for us hardcore golfers.

I grew up playing Hackberry Park down in Alief. According to HAR the land is still available:

https://www.har.com/HannaHuang/hackberry-golf-club/golf_course/28

I would love to see Herman Park golf course or even Sharpstown shortened to 9 good holes instead of marginal 18. That would likely involve another public/private partnership like the Astros Golf Foundation and Memorial Park.

Check this place out.

http://www.swansongolfcenter.com/

I haven’t been here, it appears to be more of a practice facility, but similar in that it also has a bar/beach club vibe while marketing to serious golfers with club fitting, practice area, trackman, etc. It may be worth a scout or even consult with the folks involved if you are looking to develop in a different area of town.

Looks like Mike Nuzzo, who designed the famous Wolf Point, was a consultant on the golf piece. This place is in NW Houston near Willowbrook Mall and Champions GC; it used to be a dump of a 9 hole par 3 course where I played my first rounds of golf ever. Curious to check out the facility next time I’m in town.

I’ll list the few courses on Long Island that are similar to what you’re going for.

Sumpwams Creek https://www.golfonlongisland.com/teebox/2009/01/flyover-sumpwams-creek-par3-course.html This is a town owned muni which is kept in awesome shape and cost about 15 bucks to play. No other amenities just a course and a small clubhouse.

Nickerson Dunes https://www.golfonlongisland.com/teebox/2018/06/flyover-nickerson-dunes-pitch-putt.html. A true pitch and putt but in the dunes of the Atlantic.

Poxabogue https://www.golfonlongisland.com/teebox/2017/10/flyover-poxabogue-golf-center.html About 10min from NGLA and Shinny. Awesome place that has a great restaurant attached and a driving range. Little longer than what you mentioned you were thinking but its a blast to play.

Heartland Golf Park https://www.golfonlongisland.com/teebox/2010/10/flyover-heartland-golf-park.html. Short Par 3 course that also has a range. All of the holes are “recreations” of famous par -3’s. Final hole is an island green for example. Flood lights too for night golf.

Good luck with the project!

Thanks for all the feedback - a few quick notes:

-we already have some property under control
-the goal is to have 9-12 holes, all less than 150 yards or so
-trying to stay price point around $15/round
-don’t want people to have to carry more than 2-3 clubs
-I’ve been to acorn, great spot: want to integrate a driving range component that has a very similar vibe.

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One thing you’ve probably thought of: If it’s possible to add lights and for play under the lights, I think you should go for it. A Thursday night of pitch and putt action with some beers is a seriously good time.

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100% on the lights. Giving me the option to play after work needs to be a component for courses like this to succeed in my opinion. Lighting costs have gone through the floor with LED’s so the economics on night golf have to have changed significantly over the last 10-15 years.

This sounds like an awesome idea, and as a Houstonian, I’d love to see it happen. I live above 5 minutes from 5050 acorn and a short course that captures that mindset sounds perfect

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Considering how hot Houston is, and the fact that you want a bar / ice house to be heavily incorporated, I think lights would be a fantastic addition.

I live about 5 minutes away from 5050 and would love to see a short course added to the area. What part of town is the property in?

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You might watch the new Erik Anders Lang video of the LA short course in Bel-Air. Pretty neat little pitch and putt. Reminds me of the pitch in putt in the middle of town in Edinburgh next to the Golf Tavern.

This sounds like a great idea, but just my 2 cents…150 yards does not sound like a pitch and putt course. That sounds more like a full blown par 3 course to me.

If you’re looking for a fun, casual, non-intimidating vibe to attract all levels of golfers from brand new to experienced, I might go as far as saying no hole should be over 80-100 yards.

Having holes in the 150 yard range, even if it’s just one and the rest are short, means now you’re carrying (depending on skill level) 8i, 9i, PW, 52(?), SW, putter. Takes the casual vibe right out of it.

Lights would be an awesome addition, and just add to the laid back vibe as well. Excited to see how it ends up!

This sounds extremely similar to what we have been working on at Some Guy’s Backyard. Would be happy to share what we have learned in the development of our short course built around fun.

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I’m on the fence about this. One of my family’s vacation destinations is a spot with a 9-hole “pitch and putt” course with minuscule greens (Average around six hundred square feet). Play barefoot, shirtless, whatever. The holes range from 30 yards to 165 yards. One one hand when sober it requires me to carry too many clubs and at that point I’m just taking the whole bag. On the other hand some of the most fun I’ve ever had out there is a couple beers deep playing every hole with an 8 iron. a 65-yard 8 iron with a forced carry to a 600 square foot green is quite the test.

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I dig the idea, living in the Houston area it depends on the location of course. But would be difficult to compete with the top golf crowd for folks who are not golf nuts.

I think this is a great idea. I just moved to Houston from New Orleans,and one of my favorite things to do in the city was playing a quick round at Audubon (shout out Strapped). There’s something nice about playing a low-key, quick round, and not taking yourself or your golf game too seriously. Sounds like your proposal is on a smaller scale (nothing longer than 120 yds) and a bit more low-key (ice house, etc.), but the general philosophy is the same. Personally, I’d rather play a short course/pitch and putt than TopGolf.

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As a guy whose in-laws still live across the street from Memorial Park I’m all for this idea. I remember when I lived there for a college internship, shoutout Willowbrook, I had no idea where to go for golf as a single besides a driving range and it would’ve been cool to know about a short course.

Any of you Houstonians go to Diablo Loco or Whiskey River, or remember Drink for that matter?

Whatever happened to this, and why did @Bullseye not get consulted for logo work?

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