The Par 3 9-hole Academy Course at Beamish is fundamental to developing our juniors and one of the key ingredients to the success of our program that many won’t appreciate. Our yardages range from as little as 80 yards up to 180 yards. We have forward tees (yellow = shorter course) and back tees (white = longer course). 

10 Reasons Why a Par 3 course is a massive advantage to our players development?

1. They are introduced to the game of golf, scoring and not just hitting balls.

2. They can play more regular due to less time constraints. It takes min 40mins, max 2hrs to play – even as a group.

3. Players can see the target from the tee. (clear target and objective)

4. There is a realistic chance of the players reaching the green from the tee-box in one to three shots.

5. Players can easily identify why they take to many shots and what skills they need to develop to improve.

6. Quickly learn to control distances and positively develop a better feel/touch/finesse on and around the smaller, trickier greens.

7. It’s not as physically demanding as a full length 18-hole course.

8. Smaller greens focus players on more precise approach play, recovery shots and pressure putting.

9. Many of our younger players (8-10yrs) quickly start competing against adults.

10. Provides a truer reflection of the players ability and where they can improve.

 

How does the Par 3 Academy Course aid development?

Many world leading junior development coaches consider the ideal way to develop juniors is by more on course coaching and by gradually lengthening the course and the par of the course being based upon how far they hit a driver and a 7 iron. i.e. US Kids Golf Tournament Format. So the Par of the course is effectively based upon how far they hit the ball and everyone plays off scratch. However very few of these facilities exist. The question is, “once a junior becomes capable of playing on a big course should they concentrate on just playing on a big course”?

No. They should do both and this is why…

Our National Squad Coaches are continually finding that their players are better than PGA Tour average from tee to green but poor at holing out, wedge-play and short-game. Not surprising when most are brought up on full length courses.

In our experience, many older and physically stronger players, once they start playing on a big course obtain an above average handicap immediately which is great. We do all the development and the local 18 holer gets a ready made good golfer. Furthermore they will likely reduce their scores further using the skills they have already learnt and as they naturally master those skills that a larger course demands: course strategy, driving the ball, and longer range chipping and putting required around much larger greens. However, they don’t improve at the same rate on the Par 3 course. This is why…

A lower figure handicap player finds it tougher to play there academy handicap on a Par 3. i.e. Many scratch golfers struggle to regularly play to par on Par 3 courses due to the fact the lower the par, the less margin for error and less opportunities they have to recover from a bad tee shot. The reductions in score on a full course may not be seen on the par 3 course which is a greater test of skill and not power. As a coach, its good to see this and we know the emphasis on short game in early years with continuously working on proximity to the hole with irons will produce amazing players. When it comes to driving the ball, the stats tell us that at elite level, its distance that matters, not accuracy. Hence why we spend a lot of time developing club-head speed on the range over winter. As soon as our smaller players can reach all the holes in one shot, their short games will be so hot, they will be able to take on scratch players at Beamish.