Let’s face it, most people don’t have time for a full 18 hole track every week. Sometimes we just want to play 9 holes and have a cheap post round brew to call it a day.
There’s just one problem. Most of us have to settle for some local municipal golf courses with fairways that look like they’ve been carpet bombed and greens running at a solid two on the stimpmeter.
Fear not. There are beautiful little courses popping up all over the country. These are the short golf courses you must visit in America:
Winter Park 9 (WP9)
Built in 1914 and renovated in 2016, the WP9 is an exceptional little course and a true test of golf. I may be a little biased as I’m currently a Winter Park resident but we have one of the best short courses in the United States. The golf course is always in immaculate condition and the $2 beers after the round are quite refreshing. During your round, you must avoid a cemetery and any BMWs passing on near by brick roads. If that’s not enough action, there’s also a railroad track neighboring some of the holes.
Bandon Preserve at Bandon Dunes in Oregon is pure joy. The 13 hole par 3 course has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and a design that never gets old. In fact, many visitors to Bandon Dunes Resort always rate it as a favorite even though it’s only a par 3 course. All net proceeds go to the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance. So you can have fun playing golf and give to charity!
Goat Hill Park – Oceanside
No, this course is not a “goat ranch”. Actually, it’s a stunning 18 hole short course based in Oceanside, California. A favorite of golf travel expert Matt Ginella, Goat Hill Park is absolutely fantastic. Tiny greens and rolling hills with the perfect California weather, create an awesome short course experience.
The Cradle Short Course – Pinehurst
This new short course was designed by Gil Hanse and is nestled in the golf mecca of Pinehurst North Carolina. The layout is absolutely stunning and is a perfect addition to this world class golf resort.
Top of the Rock – Big Cedar Lodge
Any time you see a course designed by “The Golden Bear” (Jack Nicklaus), you better bring your A game. This course is so amazing, some have even mentioned they should host a PGA tournament. I’m not sure I would go that far but the Top of the Rock is definitely a must play. I would put this course in the “Garden of Eden” category for Par 3 layouts. Well done Jack.
The Palm Beach Par 3
This stunning gem is located oceanside in Palm Beach, Florida. Built in 1961 and redesigned by Raymond Floyd in 2009, this par 3 offers both challenge and relaxation. They also have an amazing practice facility so you can work on those “Tiger stinger” shots you may need to go low. This place is so good, Golf Digest ranked it the best par 3 in the USA.
“New short courses and par 3 layouts are showing up everywhere these days because fewer people have 5 or 6 hours to devote to a full 18-hole round,” says The Golf Travel Guru. “Heck, Tiger Woods is even designing a nine-hole, par three course at Pebble Beach.” (Tiger’s new course is scheduled to open spring of 2021).
If you’re ever in Winter Park, let’s play nine and grab two brewskis…