Everyone loves to grip it and rip it. With things like Twist face, DragonFly Technology, and Active Recoil Channels, we don’t even bat an eye at 300 plus yards anymore. It’s blatantly obvious distance is king in the modern era of the game we are smack dab in the middle of. But since moving to Florida I’ve found the aspect of the game that I had never seen in person growing up in a less than golf driven area, the short course! I knew they existed but I had never truly got to experience how much fun this form of the game can be. Watching the par 3 contest on TV the first weekend in April was about as close as I had ever been to a short course, and I’m glad I have found 2 great little tracks here in Palm Beach County.
In all seriousness, I’ve had some of the most fun rounds in recent memory on these short courses. In my opinion, it is a great direction for the game of golf to go with life becoming busier and time being so valuable. With some of the big boys incorporating short courses on property, such as “The Cradle” and Pinehurst or “Bandon Preserve” at Bandon Dunes it’s pretty clear people enjoy the short tracks and the time it saves. Why not comfortably get a round in after work, make a bunch of birdies, enjoy a quick and easy walk with friends, and have 18 reasonable chances at an ace? You get that opportunity at Jupiter Dunes and Palm Beach Par 3. These 2 great little tracks are my focus in my second “for the people” public course review in Jupiter/Palm Beach.
We will start with the Dunes. This was my first experience playing a short course. About a week after I moved to Jupiter my roommates said: “let’s go play the Dunes”. I had absolutely no idea what that meant but of course, I was in. stretched all the way back it plays a daunting 999 yards, ranging from about 65yds to 160yds its perfect! With the nickname of “the little monster”, you know you’re going to have a good time out there. The staff always treats our group with a great amount of respect. Encouraging us to play our unique format of a 2 ball scramble, not batting an eye at us throwing a few back while we are out there, unbelievably cheap summer rates (including a “play all day” rate), the place is just a little gem. You may not be able to really see it, but the property is right next to the ocean. So you really have to navigate a considerable amount of wind, which makes it even more fun. Don’t let the fact that it’s under 1000yds fool you, the little monster has some teeth! So make sure the wedge game is sharp and fire away, have fun living the Dunes life!
Next is a very special spot. I’ve only played Palm Beach Par 3 a few times, but the first time out there it went straight up to the top of my list. You can’t go wrong with going out onto Palm Beach Island, especially for golf. The track was redone by Raymond Floyd in 2009 and it has it all; views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Intercostal, great layout, tricky greens, great bar/restaurant, and a nice little practice area. I fell in love with this place the first time I was on the property. The front 9 has views the whole way through of the beautiful intercostal, and the back 9 traces the coast along the ocean. For the most part, every hole you step up on is a legit par 3, nothing easy about it. From the back tee the shortest you’re going to see is 81yds, but don’t just bring your wedges because there are a few over 200 out here. After seeing my fair share of golf down here, this could strike some as a very bold statement. This place almost gives you the vibe of a miniature Seminole based on how it catches you at a glance. With the ocean views and vast panoramic landscape, Palm Beach Par 3 is a must stop on your list if you are a fan of not just good golf, but pure beauty. The great Moscow Mules upstairs on the ocean view balcony don’t hurt either!