The past year has been tough. Many of us have been trapped inside or limited in the number of places where we can gather with friends. Gym time, club events and concerts have been put on hold. It’s been strange to say the least and most of us are ready to get out and do something.
Golf is one of the few entertainment options that still exists in the COVID era. If you’ve never golfed before, now is the time to start. If you’ve written off golf, now is the time to reconsider.
Let me be clear — I’m not talking about fancy country club golf. I’m talking about a lesser-known golf option known as the short course. Chances are, you have a par 3 golf course or executive golf course near you. In fact, this unique website was built to help you locate one of these courses.
So what is a par 3 course?
I’m so glad you asked. Simply put, a par 3 golf course is like a full size golf course except each hole covers a much shorter distance.
Many par 3 courses have all that you would expect at a full-length course — sand traps, water and other fun obstacles — but every hole on the course is a par 3. This means that a good golfer is expected to complete the hole in 3 shots (a tee shot and maybe two putts). Hole distances tend to range from 65-200 yards, so you only need a few clubs to play a par 3.
On a normal golf course, most holes are a par 4 or a par 5. Hole distances usually range anywhere from 300-500 yards. The courses require a greater skill level and present more challenges to a newbie. You need to a full set of clubs to play a regular golf course efficiently.
Reasons to Play a Par 3 Course
Reason #1 – Par 3 courses are beginner-friendly.
These courses are usually more friendly to newcomers. The par 3 atmosphere is less pretentious and par 3 courses are generally known as a great place to learn. You don’t need to worry about being around a bunch of golf pros — par 3 courses are for normal people who may not be very good at golf. You’ll find kids, adults and seniors all playing golf at these facilities.
Some courses offer free club rentals, so even if you don’t own a set of clubs, you can still show up and give golf a try. Check with your local course to see if they have clubs available or pick up a cheap set at a yard sale.
Reason #2 – Par 3 courses are budget-friendly.
A round of golf at a fancy championship course can range from $30-200 per round. That’s crazy (unless you’re rich)!
Par 3 courses are often one of the most affordable golf options in town. You don’t need to own a Rolls Royce to enjoy the par 3 experience, but having a Rolls Royce would be an added bonus.
Expect to pay anywhere from $5-$30 depending on the course conditions and amenities, but most of these courses cost considerably less than a full size golf course.
This lower cost lets you explore the sport for yourself without emptying your bank account. It also means you can buy fancy golf balls with your leftover cash.
Reason #3 – Par 3 courses are good for your health.
Since most of the hole distances on a par 3 are shorter, these golf courses are often walker-friendly. In fact, some par 3s don’t even offer a golf cart rental.
Did you know that walking 18 holes of golf can help you burn over 1,000 calories? That’s way better than spending your time inside on a treadmill. If you golf several times per week, you’ll end up walking 5-10 miles without even thinking about it. Better yet, if you’re a really bad golfer, you’ll end up walking even more steps to find your ball.
Burning calories is great, but the health benefits don’t stop there.
Research shows that fresh air leads to increased energy for most people. Furthermore, exposure to sunlight is one of the only ways to help your body make use of Vitamin D, labeled the “wonder drug” by some.
Looking to improve your health while doing something fun? Try playing a par 3 course.
Reason #4 – Par 3 courses are a small time commitment.
One of the downsides to playing a full size golf course is that it requires over 4 hours to play. A par 3 course, in contrast, requires less than an hour to play 9 holes.
This means you can play a round early in the morning, have some fun and get on with your day. Some people will sneak in a par 3 round on their lunch break or right after work.
Short courses let you add golf to your normal schedule without eating up your entire day.
Reason #5 – Golf is one of the few sports you can play even as you get older.
There are many sports that rely on pure athleticism for success. Even super-talented athletes don’t make it in the NBA past the age of 40.
Golf is different. Once you learn how to swing a club, you can carry this hobby into your old age. Some of the best golfers I’ve met are over 60 years old! You can still find older golfers playing professionally.
By playing par 3 courses, you can develop a new hobby that you’ll be able to play for many years.
If you’re looking for a new outdoor activity that can improve your mental and physical health, you should find a local par 3 course and give it a try. Bring along a friend who hasn’t played and the two of you can learn (and laugh) together.
Talk with the golf course staff to learn the ins and outs of the game and be patient as you develop some new skills. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!