Par 3 golf courses offer advantages
Before you “poo-poo” and discount the Par 3 golf course as the second fiddle to the big course, we offer some defense for the little fellas of the world. After all, as any diminutive person will tell you, size is NOT everything and that certainly applies to golf courses. In 2012, Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove, MN opened its par 3 course and in its first year, had over 1,500 rounds played. Guess what? While a majority of the rounds at Rush Creek are juniors, thanks to a robust junior program, the adults are in on the action as well. There are plenty of good reasons to play the short course, in the spirit of the post, here are 3 good reasons why Par 3 Golf Courses ROCK!
Strengthen your iron play
Do you monitor the percentage of greens you reach in regulation (GIR)? If you’re like most golfers then the answer is “NO!” However, there’s a good chance you’re not 100% in this category. To put it in perspective, the leader in greens in regulation on the PGA Tour hits 72.64% of them. The leader right now is Graham DeLaet. Who? Exactly. The number one golfer in the world, Tiger Woods is ranked 41st this week and he hits just over 67%. So, needless to say, golfers like us are probably well below 50% of GIR. So, hit the par 3 courses. Typically, you’re going to play irons off the tee and it’s a terrific chance to work on those 130 -180 yard shots that cause you problems with friends on the weekend. In fact, many high school golf teams will dedicate practice time on par 3 courses for this very reason.
You’ve got kids, you want them to play golf, but they don’t have the patience for a four hour round and frankly, neither do you! Truthfully, you don’t have patience for a two hour round, but an hour and a half on the course with your kids or your entire family is totally doable! We asked Glenn Hagberg, the head golf professional at Madden’s why Par 3’s are great places for families together and he said, “because they can!” As Glenn says, golf might be the only sport that an entire family can enjoy together! Also, par 3 courses are lower key, less stress and pressure to play well. The golf holes are shorter and much easier for your child to achieve success. You won’t lose as many golf balls and you certainly have a better chance of keeping your temper and developing a kid who loves the game of golf.
Par 3 golf courses are affordable
Not everyone has the time or money to play golf on an 18-hole championship course. Par 3 golf courses provide golfers of all levels to enjoy the game at an affordable rate. Depending on your community you may be able to find municipal courses like this from as little as $10 per nine holes to $20. A lot depends on the course, how well it’s maintained and of course the location. In many ways, nine holes on a par 3 golf course is a nice alternative for better golfers to get in some meaningful practice time that is much more interesting than sitting on the range and banging golf balls for an hour and a half!
Par 3 golf courses are fun and relaxing. As Glenn Hagberg reminds us, you can bring as few or as many clubs on the course as you’d like since the holes typically range between 95-yards and 300-yards. They’re also extremely social. In Minnesota, Madden’s and Grand View Lodge in the Brainerd Lakes Area have short courses (The Social 9 at Madden’s and The Garden Course at Grand View) which make for a wonderful setting whether it’s with kids or with your buddies and a beer. Spend some time on the par 3 courses before you discount them. Besides, you’ll probably see your greens in regulation start to creep up!
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.