An old adage in golf is that you never want to leave yourself “short,’’ whether it’s on an approach shot or a putt. But “short’’ is proving to be a positive these day when it comes to creating golf courses that are alternatives to traditional 18-hole layouts. These short courses – and par 3 courses – give the lie to the belief that golf takes too long to play and are opportunities for everyone from scratch players to entire families to enjoy the game.
Here’s a look at some of the top short and par 3 courses in the U.S.
Pinehurst, North Carolina: “The best part about The Cradle is that it’s good for everybody,’’ said Ben Bridgers, director of golf at Pinehurst Resort. With a mobile bar and rock and roll music playing the background, the Cradle is a fun nine-hole layout that attracts players of all ages and skill levels. The green complexes on the Gil Hanse-designed course offer hints of the fabled Donald Ross-designed humpback greens on Pinehurst’s legendary No. 2 Course. Holes on The Cradle vary in distance from 56 to 127 yards, so there is no need for a full bag. The Cradle has its own starter’s shed where players receive a carry bag similar to the one carried by Pinehurst’s “Golf Lad’’ in early resort advertising.