News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Mike Hendren

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


Craig, nice mention of Doolin Pitch & Putt.  I had looked forward to playing but it was closed when we were there.  Spectacular views of the Cliffs of Moher - within walking distance of the village. 


If I may go off topic, anyone visiting nearby Lahinch should take an extra day or two to visit Doolin.  Specifically, the Doolin Cliff Walk and the Doolin Music House should not be missed.  4th generation farmer Pat Sweeney leads the 7 miles hike from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher Visitors Center, climbing 700 feet along a path he helped create that is mere steps from the cliff-line.  A delightful and insightful fellow.


Follow that up with an evening at Doolin Music House, where Christy Barry and his wife host a dozen or so visitors in their home. Christy plays the whistle, spoons and flute accompanied by a fiddler and discusses the history of songs and Irish music between numbers.  All this in front of a peat fire with plenty of wine served. 


A pint of two at Gus O'Connor's Pub closed what both my wife and I consider our best day of traveling - ever. 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2022, 04:08:33 PM by Mike Hendren »
Two Corinthians walk into a bar ....

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-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.


I like Topgolf. I enjoy the fast turf, cold beer, and the fact that my golf-hating wife enjoys it as much as my buddies who join leagues for Midwestern winter practice do.


Adapt the pitch and putt concept into something more like Topgolf and maybe I'd get on board.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

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.


I like Topgolf. I enjoy the fast turf, cold beer, and the fact that my golf-hating wife enjoys it as much as my buddies who join leagues for Midwestern winter practice do.


Adapt the pitch and putt concept into something more like Topgolf and maybe I'd get on board.


Ok, Iím game.  Explain to me how a pitch and putt could become more like Topgolf. 


Be sure not to leave out the fact that your buddies are there in the winter because ďrealĒ golf courses of ANY size probably might not even open, and that the bays at Topgolf are heated.  Be sure to include your golf-hating wife, too.


Iíll give you a pass on the cold beer part.
"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

cary lichtenstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
With the huge success of pickelball, I would think some version would work.
Lived Chicago, now Jupiter, Fl, was a 4 handicap, played top 100 US, top 75 World. Great memories, no longer play, 3 back, wrist, shoulder surgeries. I don't miss a lot of things about golf, life is simpler with out it. I miss my 60 degree wedge shots, I don't miss nasty weather, icing, back spasms

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
With the huge success of pickelball, I would think some version would work.


A pickleball court is the size of a tiny green, usually imposed on an already-existing tennis court or gym floor, often indoors and heated, and always paved. 
"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

Peter Sayegh

  • Karma: +0/-0
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?
The par three Cane Patch in Myrtle Beach was in The Confidential Guide. It was lit and close to other attractions in the area. Nothing special, as Tom wrote, but it did offer some opportunities for creativity and semblance of real golf. It was busy every time I visited. It was closed for redevelopment (which still has not happened).
Maybe the offers to cash out and eliminate the headaches of business ownership is just too attractive.

As for TopGolf, I gotta give those guys credit. I guess "Swing & Swill" wasn't great for marketing because that place is akin to GOLF as much as frisbee golf.

That's just me though. I'm off to the batting cages with a twelve pack of warm Schlitz and a couple buddies. We're all gonna convince ourselves we're hitting ropes off Randy Johnson.

SBusch

  • Karma: +0/-0
First let's decide what we are talking about.  Is it a pitch and putt course or an executive course?  It seems like everyone wants to talk about the expenses of a pitch and putt course due to the lower land requirements but then you talk about the revenue of an executive course.  So let's talk about a pitch and putt course.

First, good golfers won't play a pitch and putt course for the exact reason mentioned:  golfers want to hit driver.  Period.  I own an executive course and we see about 1/2 the rounds of a full length course for just that reason.  So that means you're talking about very limited demand from kids and beginners unless you are in a totally unserved market like New York City, in which case you can't afford the 10 acres to begin with.  If a typical public course in the market has 35,000 rounds, a pitch and putt will have maybe 10,000 rounds.  What's the greens fee?  If it's a flat piece of land with some greens mowed in it, it's probably less than $10.  So 10,000 rounds x $10 is $100,000.  In the US, by the time you pay electricity, insurance, property taxes, and course maintenance, assuming you want even decent conditions, you're looking at no less than $200,000 to run the place. What's land cost these days - $300K an acre?  Even 10 acres is a $3M investment.  Throw in a million or so to build the course and you're in for $4M.  Good luck making $600K PROFIT to get a 15% return on that.  You would need revenue of $800K or so, which is about $80 a round.  And, if you want to get a better greens fee by making an interesting course, your investment just went into the multiple millions, you will need more land, and your maintenance cost went up. 

For the same amount of land, you can build a driving range for less, and have more revenue and lower expenses.  The math is really quite simple.  And if you have the land to build a driving range, you can sell it for development and make even more money with no risk.

As for the TopGolf argument, it is a bar that happens to have a driving range.  It isn't full on a Friday night because people want to practice, it's full because 20 somethings are getting loaded on $10 cocktails and having fun.  Unless you can sell $10 cocktails on a pitch and putt, it's a totally different deal.  That's why you see these bars coming out with putt putt courses like Puttshack.  The bar is where the money is.  I applaud any city looking to build courses like this because we need places for people to learn golf, but I can't imagine how a private developer would make any money today. 

Steve Lapper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Keep your eye on a new business developing in this space. They are targeting a national (and eventually an international) footprint and will be "bringing TopGolf and more to green grass."


They have a well-experienced and respected team that has access to significant capital and a very shrewd business plan. fresh ideas.


I believe they'll remain in "stealth mode" for a little while longer, but their ability to find and secure well-located venues is impressive.


The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."--John Kenneth Galbraith

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sounds like you're talking about Topgolfs new model of including actual courses with their facilities, like they have in LA with The Lakes at El Segundo.

Peter Sayegh

  • Karma: +0/-0
First let's decide what we are talking about. 

As for the TopGolf argument, it is a bar that happens to have a driving range.  It isn't full on a Friday night because people want to practice, it's full because 20 somethings are getting loaded on $10 cocktails and having fun.  Unless you can sell $10 cocktails on a pitch and putt, it's a totally different deal.  That's why you see these bars coming out with putt putt courses like Puttshack.  The bar is where the money is.  I applaud any city looking to build courses like this because we need places for people to learn golf, but I can't imagine how a private developer would make any money today. 
https://aeroclubgolf.com/
I think Michael Whitaker knows the individual or group that owns/runs it.
Do people really prefer an antiseptic bay over a place like this?




Bruce Katona

  • Karma: +0/-0
Slapper:

It will be interesting to see what this new model to "Swing & Swill" Topgolf rolls out as..........and Swing & Swill is pretty successful.

Mark Fedeli

  • Karma: +0/-0
First, good golfers won't play a pitch and putt course for the exact reason mentioned:  golfers want to hit driver.  Period. 


I don't even think it's drivers. It just can't be a series of sand wedges. That's why I found the Cradle to be too short and completely underwhelming compared to something like the Sandbox, where you might hit a few full 7/8/9 irons and have a lot of exciting chances to experiment with different shot types. We had just as much fun there as we did on the big courses.


Edit: That said, the main appeal of the Sandbox is as a complement to the big courses. It's a blast, but it's not a replacement.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 12:02:19 PM by Mark Fedeli »
South Jersey to Brooklyn. @marrrkfedeli

Ben Sims

  • Karma: +0/-0
If Iím not playing ďrealĒ golf, Iím probably going to Top Golf way before Iím headed to a par 3 or pitch n putt or even a nice putting course. Why? Convenience, fun, lack of required skill or seriousness. I get to stand around in a bay, whack the rock, get food and drink and music and compete for who pays the check with buddies. Or I get to watch my non-golfer wife dribble one off the mat playing Angry Birds while giggling and looking like a million bucks.


Stand alone (meaning not associated with a regular full length facility) par three courses or pitch n putts are an that sound great until the realities of finances and preferences of consumers are taken into account.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0

That's just me though. I'm off to the batting cages with a twelve pack of warm Schlitz and a couple buddies. We're all gonna convince ourselves we're hitting ropes off Randy Johnson.


Peter,

This one had me rolling, prolly cause i knew a few of these dudes who were convinced they were gonna play pro ball, but couldn't even make the high school team!  ;D

P.S.  I'm aware of only one model that has integrated the Top Golf/Pitch N Putt concept and that's The Las Vegas Golf Center.  Went there years ago when I was passing thru and the bar, driving range, and lit-up short course were all packed!

https://lasvegasgolfcenters.com/

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
I would not view a pitch and putt as a replacement for a full round of golf. If you have the time and money of course you'd pick playing on a full size regulation course. If anything, I would view it more as a replacement or augmentation of a range session. For the serious golfers it would be a wedge/shortgame focused range session.

But even that to me would not be the fundamental draw of such a facility popping up near large metro areas. If you don't have the time, money, or experience to play on a full size course the pitch and putt can fill that niche. You have a free hour and you want to actually play the ball in the hole. You want to introduce your children to the game in a laid-back environment, you want a fun social activity to go do with your significant other / friends that still allows you to play some golf, the pitch and putt would work well for those scenarios.

The Aero club in Myrtle Beach looks to be very close in concept to the PnP/Topgolf-esque hybrid that I'm thinking of. For a place like MB, it may be very well placed to catch all 3 scenarios I mentioned above, plus the potential for late afternoon/evening E9 type play from golf trips to the area.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 04:27:52 PM by Ben Hollerbach »

Steve Lapper

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sounds like you're talking about Topgolfs new model of including actual courses with their facilities, like they have in LA with The Lakes at El Segundo.




Ben,


  TG is calling it a new model, but in reality the El Segundo location is more of an outlier...it was TG's only feasible site in the LA-SoCal market. I will say there are two GCA people involved.


   I'm hearing some of the architectural creativities will be unique.
The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking."--John Kenneth Galbraith

Ben Hollerbach

  • Karma: +0/-0
Interesting Steve,
It would seem plausible that Topgolf could find quite a few rundown 9 hole / par 3 courses across the country that they could repurpose for similar type facilities. It would also seem very plausible that in this "golf-lite" environment that the architecture could be taken to new and exciting extremes.

Peter Sayegh

  • Karma: +0/-0
If Iím not playing ďrealĒ golf, Iím probably going to Top Golf way before Iím headed to a par 3 or pitch n putt or even a nice putting course. Why? Convenience, fun, lack of required skill or seriousness. I get to stand around in a bay, whack the rock, get food and drink and music and compete for who pays the check with buddies. Or I get to watch my non-golfer wife dribble one off the mat playing Angry Birds while giggling and looking like a million bucks.
"i get to stand around in a bay." I hope I'm dead before any golfer touts this as positive.

I couldn't imagine a world in which my friends and I couldn't manufacture an-OUTDOOR-golf simulation of any length that would cost a third of TopGolf. Coolers and BBQs are reusable.

Rick Sides

  • Karma: +0/-0
Funny this thread is on here because I was just thinking about this.  I live in South Jersey and use to drive past this abandoned sand quarry every day and think what a perfect place it would be for a par 3/ pitch and putt. It was about 10 miles from Pine Valley and had that same pine scrub look with movement in the land.  Problem around here is the cost of the land. It was over a million dollars for the lot then I would imagine the cost of creating it would be a lot.  You would have to try to fetch a pretty goof fee to recoup the investment.

Philip Caccamise

  • Karma: +0/-0
I'm really surprised nobody has mentioned what is surely the best pitch and putt in the United States- The Hay!


I've played it a few times now. It's absolutely phenomenal, the vision and execution by Tiger on a tight and sloped piece of land was perfect. (They use mats four days a week and grass three days a week to reduce wear.)


Tiger started at a community pitch and putt- Heartwell in Long Beach. I started at pitch and putts in NYS. I truly believe they could work anywhere.
My hope is people will experience the Hay on their Pebble Beach travels and realize what a community benefit it could be in their home towns.

Philip Caccamise

  • Karma: +0/-0
Sounds like you're talking about Topgolfs new model of including actual courses with their facilities, like they have in LA with The Lakes at El Segundo.




Ben,


  TG is calling it a new model, but in reality the El Segundo location is more of an outlier...it was TG's only feasible site in the LA-SoCal market. I will say there are two GCA people involved.


   I'm hearing some of the architectural creativities will be unique.


I'm likely going to play there on Saturday. Anybody played it yet?

Ben Sims

  • Karma: +0/-0
If Iím not playing ďrealĒ golf, Iím probably going to Top Golf way before Iím headed to a par 3 or pitch n putt or even a nice putting course. Why? Convenience, fun, lack of required skill or seriousness. I get to stand around in a bay, whack the rock, get food and drink and music and compete for who pays the check with buddies. Or I get to watch my non-golfer wife dribble one off the mat playing Angry Birds while giggling and looking like a million bucks.
"i get to stand around in a bay." I hope I'm dead before any golfer touts this as positive.

I couldn't imagine a world in which my friends and I couldn't manufacture an-OUTDOOR-golf simulation of any length that would cost a third of TopGolf. Coolers and BBQs are reusable.


There was a lot more to that sentence than that, Oxford comma and all.  :)


But I donít have to defend it. I go to the Top Golf thatís nearby perhaps three times per year and actually play golf a hell of a lot more than that. As a 12 handicap I might as well be a ringer there, by the way. Not many serious golfers around those parts. But it makes a helluva date night. And it sure beats sitting in a pub with the fellas from time to time.


If I were to bring up going to a pitch n putt with the same fellas, theyíd ask why we werenít playing ďreal golf.Ē Top Golf doesnít even register as golf to them, or me. Itís entertainment. Thatís a tough chasm to cross for modern pitch n putts and par threeís.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2022, 08:54:40 PM by Ben Sims »

Peter Sayegh

  • Karma: +0/-0
If Iím not playing ďrealĒ golf, Iím probably going to Top Golf way before Iím headed to a par 3 or pitch n putt or even a nice putting course. Why? Convenience, fun, lack of required skill or seriousness. I get to stand around in a bay, whack the rock, get food and drink and music and compete for who pays the check with buddies. Or I get to watch my non-golfer wife dribble one off the mat playing Angry Birds while giggling and looking like a million bucks.
"i get to stand around in a bay." I hope I'm dead before any golfer touts this as positive.

I couldn't imagine a world in which my friends and I couldn't manufacture an-OUTDOOR-golf simulation of any length that would cost a third of TopGolf. Coolers and BBQs are reusable.


There was a lot more to that sentence than that, Oxford comma and all.  :)


But I donít have to defend it. I go to the Top Golf thatís nearby perhaps three times per year and actually play golf a hell of a lot more than that. As a 12 handicap I might as well be a ringer there, by the way. Not many serious golfers around those parts. But it makes a helluva date night. And it sure beats sitting in a pub with the fellas from time to time.


If I were to bring up going to a pitch n putt with the same fellas, theyíd ask why we werenít playing ďreal golf.Ē Top Golf doesnít even register as golf to them, or me. Itís entertainment. Thatís a tough chasm to cross for modern pitch n putts and par threeís.

Ben, thanks for the honest response.
I am blessed/cursed with friends who cannot sit in a bar without a frequent outdoor activity.

Is the future of pitch and putts in major cities married to entertainment, i.e., group drinking? I've stated how boring I find The Cradle but I do appreciate watching a 7-some of friends, lubricated or not, enjoy the hell out of their time there.

A.G._Crockett

  • Karma: +0/-0
If Iím not playing ďrealĒ golf, Iím probably going to Top Golf way before Iím headed to a par 3 or pitch n putt or even a nice putting course. Why? Convenience, fun, lack of required skill or seriousness. I get to stand around in a bay, whack the rock, get food and drink and music and compete for who pays the check with buddies. Or I get to watch my non-golfer wife dribble one off the mat playing Angry Birds while giggling and looking like a million bucks.
"i get to stand around in a bay." I hope I'm dead before any golfer touts this as positive.

I couldn't imagine a world in which my friends and I couldn't manufacture an-OUTDOOR-golf simulation of any length that would cost a third of TopGolf. Coolers and BBQs are reusable.


There was a lot more to that sentence than that, Oxford comma and all.  :)


But I donít have to defend it. I go to the Top Golf thatís nearby perhaps three times per year and actually play golf a hell of a lot more than that. As a 12 handicap I might as well be a ringer there, by the way. Not many serious golfers around those parts. But it makes a helluva date night. And it sure beats sitting in a pub with the fellas from time to time.


If I were to bring up going to a pitch n putt with the same fellas, theyíd ask why we werenít playing ďreal golf.Ē Top Golf doesnít even register as golf to them, or me. Itís entertainment. Thatís a tough chasm to cross for modern pitch n putts and par threeís.

Ben, thanks for the honest response.
I am blessed/cursed with friends who cannot sit in a bar without a frequent outdoor activity.

Is the future of pitch and putts in major cities married to entertainment, i.e., group drinking? I've stated how boring I find The Cradle but I do appreciate watching a 7-some of friends, lubricated or not, enjoy the hell out of their time there.


I absolutely love The Cradle, and as I understand it, itís now the leading money maker at Pinehurst. 


BUT put it a few miles away without the courses that surround it and the Pinehurst clubhouse, etc, and itís a different story.  Iíve played it three times; all three were either before or after an 18 hole round, and Iíd wager thatís the story for the vast majority of the rounds there.


Itís also important to remember that The Cradle benefits from perhaps the greatest economy of scale in all of golf for maintenance; labor, equipment, chemicals, etc. 


Like Topgolf, I donít think the success of The Cradle tells us anything at all about the chances of success for short courses.  That real estate was golf long ago, and was never going to be anything else, which is a far cry from what has happened to most short courses in urban areas.
"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 Sims

  • Karma: +0/-0
If Iím not playing ďrealĒ golf, Iím probably going to Top Golf way before Iím headed to a par 3 or pitch n putt or even a nice putting course. Why? Convenience, fun, lack of required skill or seriousness. I get to stand around in a bay, whack the rock, get food and drink and music and compete for who pays the check with buddies. Or I get to watch my non-golfer wife dribble one off the mat playing Angry Birds while giggling and looking like a million bucks.
"i get to stand around in a bay." I hope I'm dead before any golfer touts this as positive.

I couldn't imagine a world in which my friends and I couldn't manufacture an-OUTDOOR-golf simulation of any length that would cost a third of TopGolf. Coolers and BBQs are reusable.


There was a lot more to that sentence than that, Oxford comma and all.  :)


But I donít have to defend it. I go to the Top Golf thatís nearby perhaps three times per year and actually play golf a hell of a lot more than that. As a 12 handicap I might as well be a ringer there, by the way. Not many serious golfers around those parts. But it makes a helluva date night. And it sure beats sitting in a pub with the fellas from time to time.


If I were to bring up going to a pitch n putt with the same fellas, theyíd ask why we werenít playing ďreal golf.Ē Top Golf doesnít even register as golf to them, or me. Itís entertainment. Thatís a tough chasm to cross for modern pitch n putts and par threeís.

Ben, thanks for the honest response.
I am blessed/cursed with friends who cannot sit in a bar without a frequent outdoor activity.

Is the future of pitch and putts in major cities married to entertainment, i.e., group drinking? I've stated how boring I find The Cradle but I do appreciate watching a 7-some of friends, lubricated or not, enjoy the hell out of their time there.


No I donít think so. I think the future of pitch n putts is already here. Itís tied to the after glow, down time fun time at higher end private clubs and resort facilities. Ballyneal, Pinehurst, Bandon, Shelter Harbor, Colorado Golf ClubÖthe list goes on and on. A.G, nailed this in his last post.

What I think he may have missed is the success of Top Golf not impacting the success or failure of pitch n putts or par three courses. Think about it. Whatís better than a low stress, low consequence environment to teach a kid than whacking a ball and watch it knock over some bowling pins on a screen or something stupid like that. Sure ďrealĒ golf comes later. But for getting my six year old to actually enjoy being terrible? Iíll take Top Golf over a par three course any day.

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back