Small is par for the course

Lesser space and maintenance cost have made compact golf courses highly popular

Small is big; we happen to hear this quite often. Things are becoming smaller, shorter and more compact; from electrical goods to daily household items. All this is thanks to technology. Probably it’s a sign that we are evolving at a faster pace. Now, when everything is changing, how can golf be left behind?

Less and less

Golf courses are moving from 18 holes to nine holes. This does not necessarily mean that 18-hole courses have lost their charm. Like in cricket, the popularity of 20/20 doesn’t mean that test cricket and other formats are passe. Everything has its own value and demand. Nine-hole golf courses are becoming popular due to such factors as lesser land requirement, development cost, maintenance cost and it takes lesser time to play.

Golf course can get smaller; there are three and six-hole golf courses. The course can now be customised based on land availability.

Most of the short courses can popularly be called par-3 courses (where the hole lengths vary from 80-180 yards). There are other short executive courses that contain par-4 holes and an occasional par-5.

Since most golf courses have adjacent real estate, the hole distances are kept short so that the safety of residents is not compromised.

Check land availability

There are different types of golf course projects, based on land availability. If you are planning to construct a villa and a golf course adjacent to it, first of all, check the availability of space. Mini golf courses typically require less than one acre of land. A nine-hole chip and putt golf course requires two to three acres and a six to nine hole executive golf course requires about 12-25 acres of land. In contrast, 18-hole golf course with driving range typically requires more than 100 acres of land. A driving range is an area where golfers practice their golf swing.

No age bar

Sometimes, a real estate project of builders could have a combination of various formats of golf courses as well. An 18-hole golf course with a mini golf course — short or executive, for instance — attracts all types and levels of players — the young, the elderly as well as women.

Moreover, there is a great psychological advantage of playing the short/executive golf course, as it tends to boost the ego of the newcomers. It is interesting to note how many players shoot better scores in these friendly courses. Also, the fun of playing night golf in these golf courses cannot be ignored. Imagine the possibility of coming late from work and still getting a chance to play a quick round of golf with your friends. So, go a-la-carte and pick and choose golf courses that suit your needs.

The writer is Golf Course Architect, AV GOLF INTERNATIONAL

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