Thoughts on Executive & Par 3 Courses


Do you play par 3 and executive golf courses? (photo by Greg D’Andrea)

I don’t really play executive (or par 3) courses. In fact, the last time I played one, it was 2007. I’ve been pretty forthcoming in the past about these length-challenged courses (see HERE), but perhaps I’ve sold them a little short (pardon the pun).

In these tough economic times and (perhaps more importantly) with slow play alarmingly rampant, perhaps we should revisit the idea of sneaking in a few rounds per year on a par-27 (or par-32) course. After all, they are cheaper to play and your round goes much faster.

Yet when I recently learned one of the nicer courses near me was all booked for the weekend, I declined their offer to play their new executive course instead. What gives?

Well, not being able to use your driver still bothers me. And even though par 3’s play into my strengths, I feel there still needs to be a nice mix of holes (especially with some par 5’s mixed in).

But I want to know what you think – and to that end, we have two polls for you below. First, tell us how often you play executive-style courses and then, tell us if you would be interested in playing them more frequently.

Hey, maybe we can kill two birds (slow play and price) with one stone here.

How Often Do You Play Executive (Par 3) Courses?

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Would You Consider Playing Executive (Par 3) Courses More Frequently?

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  1. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says:

    We don’t have any “executive courses” in our area, just a few chip-n-putts which are much shorter and an entirely-different critter. My local course has a nice c-n-p facility that great for kids, and for short-game practice when it’s not busy, but none of the holes are more than 40-yrds and the greens are small, and there’s only one sand-trap. It’s more of a “miniature golf for adults”, than true golf. You’re supposed to hit off the mats, but if it’s not busy and you’re considerate of the turf you can chip off the grass.

    The one Exec. course that I know-of was built to sell houses along the “fairways” and they didn’t have the room for all the building-lots and a Par-70 course, so they cut it down to Par-54. . . and they charge as-much to play to as some of the other nearby Par-72 courses.

    Our local course has a reputation as an “executive course”, but it’s not. It was built originally as a Par-70 but the modern-ball, equipment and encroaching development meant that one for the Par-4s were converted to a Par-3 to avoid driving balls into the newer houses back-yards, and a Par-5 was cut-down to Par-4 due to stream erosion. As a 4850-Yd. Par-68 off the white tees, it suffers from a marketing-perception that it’s not a “real golf course” by outsiders not being a Par-70 course. And with the Blue tees are typically just 10-15 yards back, so there’s not much difference between them except at the Par-3s. Blue vs. White just spreads-out the wear-n-tear.

  2. Rhino, your local course sounds a lot like this short par 35 near me. There are two par 4’s under 300 yards and the only par 5 is like 420. It’s funny because golfers will call it a “Mickey Mouse” course or something like that and then show up and not break 50 for 9.

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