• Cameron MacKellar

Designing a shorter golf course is good for the game!

There has long been a stigma attached to Par 3 and Executive course development, with many industry "professionals" professing a love for the traditional 18-hole layout out of fear for losing potential customers.

The truth is, in modern-day golf, where resources are scarce, superintendents are focused on reducing maintenance costs and time is indeed money, there is a significant place in the golf design world for short courses and executive-style layouts.

The intriguing part of golf course design is that everyone has an opinion, and typically one regards their opinion superior to another. However, as the sport continues to deal with declining numbers, as golf course designers we must embrace a new direction and creatively work within our industry parameters to promote the game to new players, juniors, women and emerging cultures. This is where a carefully considered Par 3 or short-course development creates a compelling case that addresses key elements of cost and time.

MacKellar Golf has been approached over recent years with more clients seeking an alternative facility to historic expectations. From 3-hole "private" courses, to 9 and 18-hole Par 3 courses and practice facilities, we have been blessed with the opportunity to provide these designs that are truly tailored to our clients requests. The pivotal aspect associate with such developments is the ability to create interest and maintain the challenge that one expects out of a regular layout. Therefore, we have been addressing these challenges by considerately designing these locations to suit the intended demographic of the location. Forced-carries are minimal (increasing pace-of-play), hazards although prevalent are not impossible to recover from, and landing-zones are considerate of player capabilities to ensure that a good shot is rewarded and not penalized.

Our vision we believe is unique, and as pioneers of such locations, we spend the majority of our concept planning considering those alternatives that we believe will attract players from the game and offer them an "experience" that is unique to their location. With our commitment to ensuring the continued growth of the game, we are confident that in due course (no pun intended) the industry and its developers will finally embrace design strategies that actually respond to what current golfers expect, and provide an encouraging layout that promotes the health and well-being of the game globally.

For information on our Executive Course and Short-Course designs please contact us at info@mackellargolf.com

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USA Phone + 1 (734) 218.6104 • info@mackellargolf.com 

48004 Fieldstone Drive, #201, Northville, Michigan   •   United States Of America

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