The “Coming of Age” of Par-3 Golf
July 10, 2017
There was a time when par-3 golf courses were viewed by some as “not real golf”, and were lumped with mini-golf and pitch ’n putt courses as an activity primarily targeting kids and families. At one time, we at Paradise Valley even tried to de-emphasize the “par-3” stigma to a certain extent, wanting to build a reputation as a great place for golf in general. While the lack of sand traps and the tee-box mats are still give-aways, our focus has always been on a well maintained track that provides “fun, affordable golf for everyone”.
In recent years, as larger courses struggle with declining memberships and tough economic times, we are encouraged to hear that par-3 golf is finally being seen throughout the industry as a great complement to the more traditional courses. Professionals around the world are joining us in embracing the shorter format course as acceptable if not encouraged.
Scanning the internet, there are hundreds of articles claiming that “from coast to coast and for golfers rich and poor, par-3 courses are short on yardage but long on value. Whether it’s the attention of the par-3 contest at Augusta National during the Masters Tournament or special events at a local unsung course, par-3 courses are a valuable part of the industry. They help introduce the game to children, allow avid golfers to practice their short game or squeeze in a few holes, and raise money for environmental causes.”
One such article, by Alan Walker, PGA Master Professional and Council Member of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, encourages traditional golf course owners to add a par-3 track to their property as an added service and revenue generator. Following are a few of his key points – which of course we at Paradise Valley (staff and customers alike) have known for years now:
The Benefits of a Par-3 Golf Course:
- A much less daunting proposition – we all know that golf is a difficult game to master and is a fairly long process from taking up the game to attaining reasonable proficiency. For raw beginners, the first hurdle is to actually make contact with the ball; and the second is taking their ball-hitting skills onto the golf course and attempting to actually play golf – a daunting proposition for many. A Par 3 golf course offers a much lower level of intensity and is therefore a ‘stepping stone’ towards a full-length course. The facts are that new golfers feel more ‘comfortable’ on a par 3 course.
- Less time to play – ‘golf takes too long to play’ has been the message from golfers and non-golfers at all levels for a few years. The 9-hole Par 3 course addresses that issue head-on. A Par 3 course can be played, in most cases, in less than an hour so it is not time consuming at all and can be played before or after work, at the weekend or holiday time as it does not take a large chunk of time out of the day. Clubs with Par 3 courses are able to promote this opportunity and attract an audience who may well use the other facilities on offer at your club before or after they play.
- Attracts juniors, ladies, seniors, families and friends – Par 3 courses can be enjoyed by many individual groups of golfers – juniors play with their parents or grandparents, a husband with wife and/or children, seniors who just want a ‘few holes’, groups of friends for some fun, and so on. For many, playing golf is a social occasion offering some mild exercise as well – a Par 3 golf course is perfect for those who are not necessarily looking for competitive play or club membership.
- A great ‘stepping stone’ for new golfers – the game needs new players as participation levels are still on the decline. Par 3 courses are a great first step for those new to golf and are a part of the progression from golf tuition as a beginner, to practicing in-between sessions, and then trying out your game on a Par 3 course. A similar concept to the shallow-end of a swimming pool when you have just learned to swim, the Par 3 course eases a player into the main course
- They are great fun and break down the ‘golf is an exclusive game’ attitude – Par 3 courses offer the opportunity to tap into more markets than just those people wanting membership and are already experienced golfers. For many, Par 3 golf is their first introduction to the sport, and if you provide them with a positive experience, the long-term benefits for golf clubs are numerous.
Blogging in Paradise
March 11, 2017
Over the past few years I have been spending more time with paper and pen, or computer and keyboard as the case may be, writing newsletters, posts for my foodie websites, and miscellaneous notes for some future purpose yet to be determined. And still, writing a blog for Paradise Valley never really made the list. Which baffles me now, as it seems it would have been a logical first step.
I have worked in and around the online world for more than 30 years, with an IT background that began before IT was an acronym and long before there was an “offline” that you could turn on! I have worked with clients to develop websites and manage eCommerce businesses. I have designed and maintained websites & electronic newsletters for my own business. I even held the title of “webmaster” for a short period of time (don’t ask).
But Blogging??? That is a whole new world.
First off, why would I want to sit and share my thoughts or ideas with anyone aside from close friends and family? I am generally a private person (note that I said “private” not “quiet”), and aside from my journal, my husband, and a few close friends, what I write is my own.
More importantly, why would anyone else want to sit and read this stuff? Assuming that I can find time to write a few paragraphs each week or two, who out there is not leading a busy life of their own? What type of person is going to take time out of their hectic schedules to see what is on my mind? And even for those of you who are sitting with your smart phones while waiting at the doctors office right now, there are so many other great things to read! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, newspapers, online magazines, and books just as a start! Why would anyone want to read a blog? Especially one of mine??!
Paradise Valley is a community, a village all its own within the city limits, where our staff are also our customers, our customers in turn are our friends, and all are loyal to the Valley, almost to a fault. This is not your typical golf course – and we are proud of that! The Clubhouse is much like the kitchen of a home. It is the heart of the valley, where family and friends meet to share meals, laughter, wine, music, and conversation. Each person who comes through the door shares a bit of themselves in doing so. And with all that to work with, writing becomes easy. It’s really like writing about one’s children.
So please connect with me. Let me know what you would like to hear about and what you would like to see more of on the site. And I in return will do my best to write regularly and try to keep things interesting and fresh.