The future of golf could be shorter than you think – CNN

Shorter Golf Courses Future

(CNN) There can surely be no greater advert for golf than an 11-year-old boy hitting a hole-in-one on the inaugural tee shot at the opening of a Tiger Woods-designed short course in front of the 15-time major winner himself.

This is precisely what happened to Taylor Crozier back in March 2016 at Bluejack National in Texas, the crowd’s whoops and hollers making it feel like one of the many great Woods triumphs over the years.

Playing in a three-ball with another lucky youngster, Woods followed suit with his putter across the 81-yard opening hole, remarkably lipping out for eagle.

And just like that, a vision of golf in years to come was implanted in Woods’ mind.

“Tiger’s golf design business really started with him having kids. He said from the beginning that family-orientated clubs are really the future,” TGR Design President and long-time friend Bryon Bell told CNN Sport.

Woods became a father to daughter Sam in 2007 and son Charlie in 2009 having grown up playing on a short course in Long Beach, California in the 1970s and 1980s.

“His time as a kid, playing with his Dad on a short course when he was three or four and enjoying every minute of it, has made him realise how great an introduction to golf it was for him.”

Fast forward from Woods’ first foray into short course design with Bluejack to 2019, and the reigning Masters champion and his team were approached to redesign the famous Pebble Beach par-three layout.

Bell said they replied “right away” to express their interest, and in spring 2021 the new-look short course will be unveiled.

“When we first did this at Bluejack, we weren’t quite sure how it would be received,” said Bell, who attended high school with Woods and once caddied for him in 2011.

“We loved the concept and Bluejack is a very family-orientated club, but we didn’t know if it would be empty and we were wondering: ‘Are we really building this for kids?’ and ‘Is anyone going to play it?’

“That whole experience made us very comfortable with the short course concept, to know it’s a worthwhile venture and there is a lot of interest there, plus it’s a great tool for golf courses to get more people involved in the game.”
— Read on


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