Over the previous 15 years, numerous high-profile short courses have popped up round the country. Examples embrace Bandon Preserve at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (13 holes), The Cradle at Pinehurst (9 holes) and The Sandbox at Sand Valley (17 holes), every a short course inside a in style multi-course golf vacation spot. Each has a well-regarded designer and every serves to maintain resort friends on property.
Typically full of par 3s, they’re enjoyable, daring, fast and a really perfect complement to the huge programs. At the finish of the day, the major customers are males on buddy journeys.
Pebble Beach has had a short course for greater than 50 years. However, the design and advertising and marketing of the former Peter Hay Golf Course by no means supplied that very best complement to the huge programs at Pebble Beach Resort, and friends hardly ever added it to their golf itinerary.
That has modified.
After a full reimagining of the web site by Tiger Woods, The Hay opened final Friday. The new format is daring and honors the historical past of Pebble Beach. Architecture aficionados will acknowledge the Biarritz, the thumbprint and the duplicate of the seventh gap at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Novices will discover you may putt off the tee on many holes.
Like Bandon Preserve, The Cradle and The Sandbox, The Hay is enjoyable, fast and lovely. It is relaxed (eightsomes allowed) and communal, with loads of crosstalk from gap to gap and group to group. Simply put, it offers a really perfect complement to the different resort choices.
The Hay is completely different from the others in measurement. Sitting on roughly eight acres, the holes are short. Very short. The longest is 100 yards, with 4 holes at 61 yards or shorter. And nobody cares. Golfers comprehend it is completely different and meant for enjoyable.
While success shall be decided over time, the early returns are noteworthy.
Three days after opening, the tee sheet is full morning by night. Golfers taking part in Pebble, Spyglass Hill or Spanish Bay are including a stroll round The Hay earlier than or after their rounds. In lower than a week, the tees have been moved to mats on account of the quantity of divots. And with a $65 inexperienced price for resort friends, it doesn’t break the financial institution.
Which begs the query: If these programs work at resorts, why can’t they work in additional city and suburban areas?
Wouldn’t or not it’s nice if the folks taking part in had been children? Or native residents who bike over? Wouldn’t or not it’s nice to expire with the household for a summer time loop after dinner?
Wouldn’t or not it’s nice to have a lunch assembly with sticks in hand? A spherical solely takes 45 minutes.
At eight acres, the improvement prices are affordable, and the influence might be vital.
Think about your nearest huge metropolis and even a small city. Odds are there is an underperforming golf course or public park the place a short course might be a great neighborhood asset. A spot the place children may study to play. A spot that connects residents of completely different backgrounds.
This week Golfweek reported that the PGA Tour will offer $40 million in bonus cash to gamers who transfer the needle. Think what that $40 million may do for communities throughout the country? Much more than it’s going to do for 10 gamers who’re already multi-millionaires.
The USGA has lengthy used the slogan For The Good of the Game. Just assume if the governing physique used its sources to assist fund short programs in cities throughout America.
Think about the golf producers. How cool wouldn’t it be to point out up at programs like these figuring out you didn’t have to have golf equipment or balls as a result of they had been supplied?
Golf has gained a lot throughout COVID-19, with the quantity of rounds performed in the U.S. hovering as folks search for out of doors recreation. I’m hopeful the powers that be in golf will seize this chance to put money into future generations of golfers. A good way to do it could be taking programs like The Hay to cities and cities throughout America.