Regular golf courses with a par of
72 take 150 acres or more, cost multi-millions of dollars to construct,
require a majority of a million dollar annually to maintain, can seem
discouragingly difficult to most trying to learn the game, are often
crowded with experienced golfers impatiently pushing beginners playing
ahead of them and demanding novices to concentrate for too long a period
Here is a friendly place for
getting people hooked on golf by only taking a couple hours at the start,
using three clubs and occupying approximately 20 acres.
The three clubs are a putter, 7 iron and 5 hybrid/utility wood. These are the clubs selected by several leading golf
instructors as giving beginners the most satisfying feedback. This facility consists of a larger and a smaller course.
It needs a fraction of the construction and maintenance for a
conventional golf course.
The holes of the smaller course
have tee markers, a cup and practice putting green marker.
Half the tees are located on a large green similar to a practice
putting green and the other tees are on its fringe.
The 7 iron is used from off the green with a par of 3 for each of
those holes and the putter only from the tee markers on the green as 2
pars. The 12 holes have a
total par 30. The green and
fringe are artificial/synthetic turf, allowing this course to be
constructed rapidly and playable in most weather.
Maintenance is easy and unlike natural grass, the surface cannot be
scuffed or damaged by “untrained” feet or over-enthusiastic swings.
large course is much smaller than a conventional golf course.
It is composed of a mix of “one shot” and “two shot” holes,
somewhat like regular par 3 and par 4 golf holes.
The six par 3 holes and six par 4 holes have a total par of 42.
From the tees of the one shot holes the 7 iron will generally be
hit. The hybrid club is used
from the tees of the longer holes and either club can be chosen for the
second shot and beyond, if necessary.
There is a cup, pin and flag for each hole, but the rest of the
course is not so typical. The
tees are synthetic turf to handle wear and potential damage from
non-schooled golfers. The natural grass on most of the rest of this course is
maintained at fairway-height for ease of play and to facilitate beginners
quickly finding their ball no matter where it goes. This course does not have conventional greens.
A “doughnut” of slightly
shorter grass is mowed around each cup.
This is for the scoring system, not putting.
When a player’s ball stops in the shorter grass of the doughnut
portion, the player picks up their ball and adds two strokes as their
score for that hole. When
their ball stops on the fairway-height grass immediately surrounding the
cup inside the doughnut, they pick it up and add only one stroke.
If with skill and maybe a little luck a ball hit from outside the
doughnut goes in the hole, no additional stroke is added.
All putting is done on the smaller course, so there is no waiting
for other players to mark or putt, no lining up putts, no three or four
putts and hence no time-consuming delays spent on greens of the main
course. There could be
hazards players must contend with following stray shots and thus adding
more strategy to the holes, but nothing so difficult to overwhelm
The smaller course is played with
a golf ball. The larger with
the limited-distance Cayman ball Jack Nicklaus had developed.
It is much easier than a golf ball to get this ball pleasingly
airborne, especially rewarding for erratic swingers.
The Cayman ball is also essential to shrinking the length of the
holes and even allowing them closer together.
Because the ball doesn’t hook and slice as much and due to its
lightness, errant shots are not hazardous to players on adjacent holes or
to nearby property. As with
any course, how suitable the site originally is, how well the course is
designed and how adequately it is maintained will contribute to a
Combined par of the small course
and the large one is 72. A
primary goal of all this is to interest beginners.
The setup of this low cost course and the procedures are aimed at
bringing these players back for more, soon and often.
In promoting their comfort, it should help encourage those who
start with a strong feeling of insecurity from lack of experience and fear
of being embarrassed. The
whole activity gives them quick fun at low fees.
Everyone is invited to give these
courses a try, whether with family members, doing it with friends or
alone. It is not intended to be a substitute for golf and many of
the participants will move on to “big” golf.
So programs to teach good swing techniques, all aspects of golf
including course management, the Rules of Golf and etiquette could be
conducted at a facility. Where
practical, it would be great for regular courses to have a beginners
course. This is for growing
new golfers to increase the present field and
eventually cultivating the next crop.
To get more free information about any and all
of these matters: a course more suitable to beginners; a club easiest for
beginners to learn with; a ball friendlier to beginners; contact me now,
Bill Amick at 1-386-767-1449, firstname.lastname@example.org
or P. O. Box 1984, Daytona Beach, Florida 32115 USA.