Par 3 and Executive Golf Courses

Get your short game on!

Par 3 and Executive Golf Articles

Architecture and Design

by William W. Amick, ASGCA Golf Course Architect

Pitch and Putt Fields

Beginning golfers don't need an Augusta National.....Once upon a time in the far off land called Scotland, there were no golf courses and no golfers. Sheep grazed on the dunes between the sea and some of the towns. Their shepherds were probably often bored. At some time, history doesn't tell us exactly when, on the grass closely cropped by the sheep those shepherds began to play a game. So in places like St. Andrews golf began..... more


A smaller golf course along side a par-72 course is an established concept and the two courses can complement each other nicely. This arrangement has been done more frequently in Europe than in the U.S. The smaller course are labeled an executive, par-3 or pitch and putt course. They can have 18, nine or fewer holes. Pebble Beach has a pitch and putt named the Peter Hay Course. Augusta National has its nine-hole Par-3 and Pine Valley a Short Course. These three indicate the appeal of a brother or sister course alongside a famous course. In these instances saving money was probably not a motivating factor in the smaller course. In Scotland some high-profile courses have a wee links, including Turnberry, Gleneagles and North Berwick. The latter opened its Children's Course in 1888. At those and others in the birthplace of golf, reduced playing difficulty allowing for quicker rounds and taking a limited amount of land may have been the main reasons for those adding such courses. Second courses can be looked upon as what beginner's slopes or trails are for starting skiers. According to the National Golf Foundation, shorter courses in all kinds of situations are so popular in Florida that they comprise close to 19% of that State's more than 1,260 total courses..... more

ALTERNATIVE GOLF COURSES...or do we really need 7000 yards?

....Nine-hole, executive, par-3 and pitch & putt are some of the courses that have recently been labeled "Alternative Golf Courses." Alternative courses are in fact, more enjoyable to many golfers than regular courses. This is because most of us can't play golf nearly as well as the pros do. In my career I've seen far too many young and beginning golfers completely demoralized by playing their first few rounds on a "Championship" golf course. Right now, golf would most certainly gain even more popularity if there were additional courses built for the average or casual golfer. ..... more.....