Who Likes Short Shorts For A Course?
In our last newsletter, or what we consider a newsletter, we pointed out the 9-hole loop called the Mulligan 9 at The Starfire Club in Scottsdale. What does this have to do with anything...it doesn’t.
Other than short courses are popping up like candy from a Pez dispenser.
Let’s start right off by stating that these aren’t the par 3 “pitch ‘n’ putts” you played when you were on a beach vacation as a child.
There are some well-designed short courses at some premium golf destinations. Short on distance doesn’t mean short on quality, be it the layouts or the agronomy or the designers:
- Sand Box (Sand Valley - Coore Crenshaw Design)
- Cabot’s Nest (Cabot Links - WAC Golf)
- Bandon Preserve (Bandon Dunes - Coore Crenshaw Design)
- Bootlegger Short (Forest Dunes - Keith Rhebb and Riley Johns (Winter Park 9))
- Mountain Top (Big Cedar Lodge - Gary Player)
- The Hay (Pebble Beach - Tiger Woods Design)
Hardly an exhaustive listing, but a good start to a short course bucket list.
These courses provide a different experience than the “dozen balls lost, blood pressure elevated” game you enjoy off the wrong tees at the full-length courses. Advantages of these smaller gems:
- Inclusive - less distance brings more variety of golfers to the mix
- Fun - side games, gambling, less pressure
- Quick - most are 9-13 holes, time will evaporate quickly on these condensed courses
- Cheap(er) - of course, this depends on where you are and what you are comparing it to
If you are tired of full swings, or can’t bear the thought of sending another bladed wedge towards your playing partners, there are even alternatives to these short courses.
Enter the cartoonishly fun “putting courses” that require only a putter, a ball, and enough creativity to fill Hal Sutton’s ten-gallon hat from the 2004 Ryder Cup.
- Himalayas Putting course at St. Andrews
- Cascade Putting Course at Gamble Sands
- Tom Watson Putting Course at Big Cedar Lodge
But our favorite has to be Welter’s Folly which is a putting course in behind a rundown manufacturing facility turned distillery. Gives a whole new meaning to Putt-Putt.