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In the world of limited time, limited space, and novel socialization it would seem that a Pitch and Putt course would be a perfect option. Great for beginners and families, still challenging for the established player, doesn't take too long to play, and doesn't require much equipment. For as much land as a TopGolf occupies you could build something like a Butler Pitch and Putt.So, this begs the questions; why is there not a, let alone many, Pitch and Putt courses in every major city? Why would a course of this type succeed in your town and why would it fail?
This project looks very interesting. A par three course with a focus on accessibility for disabled people. I spoke with one of the people behind the project and hope it is successful.https://www.barrierfreegolf.com/theloop
When we were kids we often played pitch and putt at the Golf Farm in Gibbsboro , NJ. It was simple and fun with the longest hole being about 40 yards. They mandated play off the mat tees so the maintenance issues were minimized to some extent. Great fun and definitely sharpened your short game. Don't know why it isn't more popular as it used to be busy weeknights and packed on weekends.
Nassau County opened up a county park pitch-and-putt in 2015 at Nickerson Beach, nine short holes playing over the dunes not far from Lido. Unlike the typical P&P, or at least the other local ones, Nickerson has some interesting elements -- a punchbowl-style green, mounding, moat bunker, waste-area carry, etc. There was some thought put into the design. I wrote about it in 2018 and the Fried Egg did as well in 2019, expressing a similar sentiment to Ben's original post, about how this type of course with tiny acreage could/should be a part of many towns and cities.For whatever reason, Nassau chose to do next to nothing to promote it, so to about 98% of county golfers, it simply doesn't exist. I didn't even know about it until about two years after it opened, when I stumbled across the original county press release. Fast forward to this past spring, while talking to some local golfers for a piece on Lido, we got to talking about Nickerson, and the vibe I got was that the course had been neglected and in disrepair. I took a ride out there one day in April (pre-season for the park, so I was told to just go play, as no one is manning the course) and they were right. Chewed up greens, weedy traps, gnarled wooden boards (walking paths). Now, the park/county did just post a few weeks ago that Nickerson is open for the season, with pics of cosmetic and grounds repairs on the course. I'll have to go see for myself when I have an hour to kill. That's the good thing about these courses -- you can play in an hour, take your kid (I took my 5-yo daughter there for her first-ever "round," and she's been into golf ever since), and have a great time. Not sure if this is Nassau's plan -- leave the course neglected for nine months then spruce it up for beach season -- but I sure hope it's not. Seems like a good amenity wasted.All in all, I don't know the economics, but it seems to me a 10-acre P&P with some intelligent design and a mildly competent social media poster should work in many places around the country, even if confined to municipal city and county parks.https://www.golfonlongisland.com/teebox/2018/06/flyover-nickerson-dunes-pitch-putt.htmlhttps://thefriedegg.com/nickerson-dunes-review/
Phil,If you haven't already, you should check out the Robert Moses P&P on Fire Island. It is a beautiful little course, and probably the best P&P I have seen. 18 holes, usually in good condition, with holes from roughly 50 to 120 yards. Nearby Cedar Beach also has a P&P, which is also fun, albeit not as good as Robert Moses.
but land became too valuable and fell to "progress" ... easy to see history repeating itself elsewhere, but nice while it lasts