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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
I understand that pitch-n-putt is very popular in Ireland with inter-club matches, national events etc. Shane Lowry has commented on how it was p-n-p that got him started in the game. Others too I suspect.
Perhaps someone form the Emerald Isle could explain its popularity?
Atb

Yes, in Ireland P n P is a separate game from "proper golf". It can be very serious. They have a separate union with comps and championships. They use a heavy ball so greens can be very small! It's tough.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
When I was a kid growing up in Durham, NC there were three par 3 courses in town; all three are long gone now. Two of the sites have houses on them, and the third is retail space.  Itís just money.


Low cost to the consumer means low revenue to the operator, UNLESS you are getting Walmart type volume, and par 3ís just donít.  Most golf courses depend on a regular clientele, whether itís members, or ďavidĒ regulars, or resort guests, etc, and those sorts are looking to play ďfull sizeĒ golf.  If your business model depends on casual, occasional golfers, good luck.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Adrian_Stiff

  • Karma: +0/-0
When I was a kid growing up in Durham, NC there were three par 3 courses in town; all three are long gone now. Two of the sites have houses on them, and the third is retail space.  Itís just money.


Low cost to the consumer means low revenue to the operator, UNLESS you are getting Walmart type volume, and par 3ís just donít.  Most golf courses depend on a regular clientele, whether itís members, or ďavidĒ regulars, or resort guests, etc, and those sorts are looking to play ďfull sizeĒ golf.  If your business model depends on casual, occasional golfers, good luck.
Good points and also THE CLIENTELE that play pitch and putt golf are very likely to go one of two ways.
1. Give Up for Various reasons
2. Like it, get better and move on to full size golf....so their success actually means you lose a customer.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
I understand that pitch-n-putt is very popular in Ireland with inter-club matches, national events etc. Shane Lowry has commented on how it was p-n-p that got him started in the game. Others too I suspect.
Perhaps someone form the Emerald Isle could explain its popularity?
Atb
Yes, in Ireland P n P is a separate game from "proper golf". It can be very serious. They have a separate union with comps and championships. They use a heavy ball so greens can be very small! It's tough.
Ciao
Curious about this Ďheavy ballí. Any more info?
Atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
I understand that pitch-n-putt is very popular in Ireland with inter-club matches, national events etc. Shane Lowry has commented on how it was p-n-p that got him started in the game. Others too I suspect.
Perhaps someone form the Emerald Isle could explain its popularity?
Atb
Yes, in Ireland P n P is a separate game from "proper golf". It can be very serious. They have a separate union with comps and championships. They use a heavy ball so greens can be very small! It's tough.
Ciao
Curious about this Ďheavy ballí. Any more info?
Atb

https://www.colgansports.ie/product/commando-3pk/

"Commando is the #1 ball for pitch n putt because its soft and spins alot when you catch it right it also only travels about 3/4 the distance of a normal golf ball which makes it ideal for pitch shots because you can nearly make a full swing at it and it wont go too far."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN9S4KU-4tk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnIG81N_rYY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRGjw62bI60

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 11:03:44 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
I understand that pitch-n-putt is very popular in Ireland with inter-club matches, national events etc. Shane Lowry has commented on how it was p-n-p that got him started in the game. Others too I suspect.
Perhaps someone form the Emerald Isle could explain its popularity?
Atb
Yes, in Ireland P n P is a separate game from "proper golf". It can be very serious. They have a separate union with comps and championships. They use a heavy ball so greens can be very small! It's tough.
Ciao
Curious about this Ďheavy ballí. Any more info?
Atb
https://www.colgansports.ie/product/commando-3pk/
"Commando is the #1 ball for pitch n putt because its soft and spins alot when you catch it right it also only travels about 3/4 the distance of a normal golf ball which makes it ideal for pitch shots because you can nearly make a full swing at it and it wont go too far."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN9S4KU-4tk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnIG81N_rYY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRGjw62bI60
Ciao
Thank you.
The good olí Commando. I recall them well from general play a few decades ago when they were cheap and durable as against balatas that cut and were expensive.
Iíve one I use for hickory play. Rather pleasant to play with. Soft and spinny but doesnít go far. A spec that would actually be pretty good for a rollback ball but best not go there just now! :)
Atb

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
When I was a kid growing up in Durham, NC there were three par 3 courses in town; all three are long gone now. Two of the sites have houses on them, and the third is retail space.  Itís just money.


Low cost to the consumer means low revenue to the operator, UNLESS you are getting Walmart type volume, and par 3ís just donít.  Most golf courses depend on a regular clientele, whether itís members, or ďavidĒ regulars, or resort guests, etc, and those sorts are looking to play ďfull sizeĒ golf.  If your business model depends on casual, occasional golfers, good luck.
Good points and also THE CLIENTELE that play pitch and putt golf are very likely to go one of two ways.
1. Give Up for Various reasons
2. Like it, get better and move on to full size golf....so their success actually means you lose a customer.

Adrian,

Couldn't agree more on point #2.  And it doesn't even need to be an 18 hole course, it just needs to have longer holes so people can bang away with the big stick and 3 wood.

Here in northern Utah I count more than 10 standalone 9 hole courses that are all somewhere between par 33 and 36.  And only 1 standalone P-N-P, but private where presumably fees are such to make the math work.

Stewart Abramson

  • Karma: +0/-0
What's the difference between a par 3 course and a pitch & putt course? Is it the length of the holes? If so, what's the magic number for the distinction? The state of New York operates at least two par 3 courses that get very heavy use. Both are in state parks that also have a "full size" course. The par 3 course at Rockland Lake is 18 holes and about 2,700 yards. They have one set of tees and use mats to tee off from. Saratoga Spa is 9 holes  (7 par 3's and two short par 4's) and is about 1,600 yards.   Green fees at each are about $20 for 18 holes. Less than that for seniors and juniors.  The holes at Rockland Lake range from 100 yards to 200 yards. The par 3 holes at Saratoga range from 90 yards to 160 yards. The two par 4's at Saratoga  are 270 and 300 yards. Both courses are in very nice parkland settings. Rockland has a lot of elevation changes. When my son was little he loved the drop shot second hole at Rockland Lake. The tee marker said its 150 yards but it played around 120 and even a terrible shot could trickle down close to the green.  Are these courses too long to be considered pitch & putt courses? In any event they are very busy.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Pitch n putt is 2 club golf. So I would 1800 yards would be quite long.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
What's the difference between a par 3 course and a pitch & putt course? Is it the length of the holes? If so, what's the magic number for the distinction?
Internationally, the cutoff is 90 meters (98 yards). But its not uncommon to see courses that have a hole or two in the 100-110 yard range.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Shame that the once very common municipal pitch-n-putts and putting greens (and bowling greens) no longer exist in U.K. parks.
Isnít there a very short yardage pitch-n-putt in the middle of Edinburgh (thatís maybe even free or very cheap to play)?
Lerwick in the Shetland Isles has a local council mown area with a p-n-p thatís free to play.
Who are the clientele going to be and how much space is really needed?
What spec and conditioning is really needed for total beginners, novices and those wanting some simple fun? Greens with a low height of cut? Nah, not really. Bunkers? Nah, not really. Raised tee mounds? Nah not really. Just cut some 4.25Ē holes in the ground and mow the damn grass and/or let some sheep graze the area. Golfís essentially a simple stick, ball and hole game. No need to over complicate it.
And then thereís jumbo size putting greens. More Himalayas like putting courses would be really cool.
And as a slight aside, what about Ďcrazy golfí, as itís called in the U.K. Somewhere many of us first held a club and hit a wee ball.
Atb

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
Thanks for everyones feedback. It does appear that a large portion of the PnP courses in the states have/had some municipal connection. Which I can understand can allow them to exist for a lot longer breaking even and will eventually cause their ultimate demise as those in power when the course was built are long gone when the decision is made to repurpose the land for future needs.

Low cost to the consumer means low revenue to the operator, UNLESS you are getting Walmart type volume, and par 3ís just donít.  Most golf courses depend on a regular clientele, whether itís members, or ďavidĒ regulars, or resort guests, etc, and those sorts are looking to play ďfull sizeĒ golf.  If your business model depends on casual, occasional golfers, good luck.
Good points and also THE CLIENTELE that play pitch and putt golf are very likely to go one of two ways.
1. Give Up for Various reasons
2. Like it, get better and move on to full size golf....so their success actually means you lose a customer.

Adrian,

Couldn't agree more on point #2.  And it doesn't even need to be an 18 hole course, it just needs to have longer holes so people can bang away with the big stick and 3 wood.

Here in northern Utah I count more than 10 standalone 9 hole courses that are all somewhere between par 33 and 36.  And only 1 standalone P-N-P, but private where presumably fees are such to make the math work.
I don't know if this is entirely true anymore, at least in the way you're looking at it. Places like mini golf (putt putt) have not exited as a gateway to regular golf. Topgolf's does not seem to target current or aspiring players, their focus seems to be more on the social aspects. The same with a place such as Puttshack. In many ways Pitch and Putt seems to be the middle ground between. Those generally non-golfers who are attracted to try out a place like Topgolf or Puttshack would also seem to be the clientel who would try pitch and putt.
Topgolf and a pitch and putt course occupy the same amount of land, 10-13 acres. The cost to build a top golf averages around $18 million! A large staff means high operational costs. Thus why they need so many hitting bays, high priced food, and a $30-50 per hour rate for a hitting bay.

It would seem possible for a fraction of the cost to build and operate a Topgolf you could take the Butler PnP model and reproduce it all over the place. Balance the experience to be only 40% golf and 60% social, allow the golf to be a conduit to entertainment and community. If people are drawn to the PnP for the social and entertainment aspects, perfect. If they come to fall in love with golf, even better.

Peter Sayegh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Itís just money.


Low cost to the consumer means low revenue to the operator, UNLESS you are getting Walmart type volume, and par 3ís just donít.  Most golf courses depend on a regular clientele, whether itís members, or ďavidĒ regulars, or resort guests, etc, and those sorts are looking to play ďfull sizeĒ golf.  If your business model depends on casual, occasional golfers, good luck.

Pitch n putt is 2 club golf. So I would 1800 yards would be quite long.

Ciao

A.G., it's why I cited Arroyo Seco in an earlier post. I'm surprised it still exists. I don't know why considering its location. Your post neglects to assume those jumping to the "full size" level will not be filled by the next generation that will occupy the void and continue the cycle. Anyone have thoughts on why AS still lives?

Sean, I agree with the yardage you provide. However, ALL golf is 2 club golf if one chooses to do that.  ;)



Ben Malach

  • Karma: +0/-0
Ben:


I think this is the correct opinion. Pitch and Putts are a tough sell due to the costs to run them are far greater than the average greens fee. This makes it a challenge to run them without a model that has a profit motive. The only pitch and putts that I can think of that are profitable are attached to large-scale resorts. The model of an open field being mowed down with pins is a tough sell in the North American market if you want to charge more than $10. Which is not enough of a fee for these places to survive without a strong volunteer culture or support from a community organization. It is also the same reason that Par 3 courses not attached to large-scale resorts tend to struggle as people are not willing to pay the cost to make them a functional option for a for-profit entity.


This is why I suggest the model of executive courses with alternative tees is probably the best model as people seem to be more willing to pay to play a course with 3 par 4's and 5 par 3's rather than playing just 3's. This makes sense as par 3's are the hardest holes in golf to score on. Also, golf is a game of variety so playing a course of only one length of hole can be challenging to make work unless the site or the shaping is extreme. This is not the case in most of these examples. I think it would be cool to see golf embrace the use of more alternative teeing areas to create golf courses that have more flexibility.
@benmalach on Instagram and Twitter

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Ben H,

TopGolf is interesting, I only have anecdotal data from 4-5 visits thru the years including one last week.

On the most recent visit 95% of the shots taken by our group of 5 players over 3 hours was 3 wood or driver, and that confirms what i've seen in prior visits. Very few if any want to have wedge and 9 iron contests but it would certainly be fascinating to analyze the macro data for all TopGolf venues in the aggregate.

And as mentioned, this seems to correlate well with full length stand-alone 9 holers being able to keep the doors open, but nearly every pitch & putt I've ever played was a secondary course to the main attraction.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
As to how many clubs how about 1, yes 1!
It's happening in Melbourne, Aussie. Well done Sandy Jamieson.
See - https://www.1club.golf/
atb

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
This is why I suggest the model of executive courses with alternative tees is probably the best model as people seem to be more willing to pay to play a course with 3 par 4's and 5 par 3's rather than playing just 3's. This makes sense as par 3's are the hardest holes in golf to score on. Also, golf is a game of variety so playing a course of only one length of hole can be challenging to make work unless the site or the shaping is extreme. This is not the case in most of these examples. I think it would be cool to see golf embrace the use of more alternative teeing areas to create golf courses that have more flexibility.
Ben,
I'm not sure an executive course would be any more profitable.

While a Pitch and Putt course can be built on ~10 acres, you would need nearly 3x as much land for a 9 hole par 3 or executive course. Purchasing that much land anywhere near a city center would be nearly impossible or extremely expensive.

Then you'd have a significant increase in maintenance cost. Whereas a PnP may use mat tee boxes and smaller greens, a par 3 / exec course would most likely need grass tees, fairway, and larger greens.
All which could nearly double the cost to play, and increase the time to play the course by 1.5 - 2x.

as people seem to be more willing to pay to play a course with 3 par 4's and 5 par 3's rather than playing just 3's.
This might be true for the established weekend warriors looking for their weekend round. But I don't believe its as true for the guy looking to get his golf fix during lunch hour on a Tuesday or happy hour on a Friday. It's certainly not true for someone new to the game who finds par 4's daunting because they may not be able to reach the green in 4 shots. Or for the person that finds the cost and time too expensive to try out.
Much like how Topgolf isn't used by the retail player to replace a full scale round of golf, I don't believe the target for Pitch and Putt would either. If anything, its for them to augment their other golf and to possibly replace one of their weekly range sessions. It is also a place people can bring their children and non-golfing friend to introduce them to the game in an relaxed and social atmosphere.






Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
Ben H,

TopGolf is interesting, I only have anecdotal data from 4-5 visits thru the years including one last week.

On the most recent visit 95% of the shots taken by our group of 5 players over 3 hours was 3 wood or driver, and that confirms what i've seen in prior visits. Very few if any want to have wedge and 9 iron contests but it would certainly be fascinating to analyze the macro data for all TopGolf venues in the aggregate.

And as mentioned, this seems to correlate well with full length stand-alone 9 holers being able to keep the doors open, but nearly every pitch & putt I've ever played was a secondary course to the main attraction.
It does seem Topgolf almost caters to their patrons taking big swings, but that could easily be steering into the skid, or that the average non-golfing patron feels the big headed driver is the easier club to try and hit.

It would make sense for the PnP to be with another facility, My question though, does that other facility have to be golf related. If the PnP was connected of the back of a brewery or food hall, could the combo of the two make each more desirable? Something like Welter's Folly?

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
There's a local one here that best matches that description.  They do call themselves a CC thou, even if the course is a par 3 9 holer fit into a tiny piece of land.  They offer a ton of social amenities and there has been a waiting list in place for years, so seems its pretty popular.  :)   Certainly seems to benefit from its location too, sits right on the edge of probably the largest group of high end homes in the valley.

https://cottonwoodcc.org/

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cottonwood+Country+Club/@40.6510346,-111.8417206,540m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x875262117221327f:0xde0d0da8b6de5010!8m2!3d40.6521957!4d-111.841682
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 03:31:53 PM by Kalen Braley »

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
I think we can take Topgolf out of this discussion; it has nothing to do with PNPís in any way.  Not in concept, not in target demographic, not in operation.


I donít think a significant number of people go to Topgolf to practice; thatís not what Topgolf is about.  Itís also not weather dependent, or daylight dependent, or tee time dependent, or any of the other stuff the golf courses, big or small, have to factor in. 


Topgolf is another thing entirely, and not very instructive about anything else.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
AG,

I would wholeheartedly disagree. I believe there is a great deal that could be learned about who goes to Topgear and why they visit that could be directly applied to a pitch and putt type facility.

I would say that the connections between pitch and putt and Topgolf are greater than between pitch and putt and regulation golf.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 03:58:38 PM by Ben Hollerbach »

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
AG,

I agree with Ben.  Top golf and PNPs probably have more things in common, including the top one:  Inexperienced players...

Last time I was there, the side bay protectors and safety nets got plenty of use, and not just ours...

However, I would agree that:

1)  Those who want to play and excel in golf will play less and less PNPs...
2)  Purely social players aren't seeking out PNPs, or regulation 18 holers for that matter.

Perhaps PNPs would do best at YMCA clubs or venues setup to attract kids?

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
AG,

I would wholeheartedly disagree. I believe there is a great deal that could be learned about who goes to Topgear and why they visit that could be directly applied to a pitch and putt type facility.

I would say that the connections between pitch and putt and Topgolf are greater than between pitch and putt and regulation golf.


You can say that, but youíd be wrong.  Topgolf is a large scale arcade.  A pitch and putt is small scale golf. 
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Craig Sweet

  • Karma: +0/-0
There's a nice, and challenging, Pitch and Putt course in Doolin, IE

He's nuttier than a squirrel turd.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Shame that the once very common municipal pitch-n-putts and putting greens (and bowling greens) no longer exist in U.K. parks.
Isnít there a very short yardage pitch-n-putt in the middle of Edinburgh (thatís maybe even free or very cheap to play)?
Lerwick in the Shetland Isles has a local council mown area with a p-n-p thatís free to play.
Who are the clientele going to be and how much space is really needed?
What spec and conditioning is really needed for total beginners, novices and those wanting some simple fun? Greens with a low height of cut? Nah, not really. Bunkers? Nah, not really. Raised tee mounds? Nah not really. Just cut some 4.25Ē holes in the ground and mow the damn grass and/or let some sheep graze the area. Golfís essentially a simple stick, ball and hole game. No need to over complicate it.
And then thereís jumbo size putting greens. More Himalayas like putting courses would be really cool.
And as a slight aside, what about Ďcrazy golfí, as itís called in the U.K. Somewhere many of us first held a club and hit a wee ball.
Atb

You are right. Folks here are envisioning proper 18 hole conditions for a PnP. I've only played two, Bruntsfield Short Links and Doolin. Neither was a conditioning marvel. I would go so far as to say Bruntsfield was rudimentary, but a bunch of us had fun. Being in the centre of a major city and basically a park to boot certainly helps, but location always matters. PnP takes vision where many lack it. Times are changing.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 04, 2022, 07:48:01 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies & Crystal Downs

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