Natural-grass putting courses are a ton of fun, but you can't really call them "new."
The most famous example -- the Himalayas putting course next to The Old Course at St. Andrews -- has been around since 1867 and dozens more have existed for years in the UK, Ireland, and North America.
What is new, however, is the recent addition of these courses by several, big-name golf resorts.
For example, this past summer North Carolina's Pinehurst Resort unveiled Thistle Dhu, an 18-hole natural grass putting course located next to its practice area.
New Jersey's Seaview Resort did something similar; its nine holer is called the Turtle Course.
Even the mighty Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is getting into the act. It plans to open a huge Tom Doak/Jim Urbina-designed putting course (with a minimum of 18 holes) this fall. The course is tentatively being called, "Punchbowl."
This is a great trend, in my opinion.
These courses, which often mimic the topography of their bigger siblings, usually cost nothing (or next to nothing) to play, and the ways to have fun on them -- and who can have fun -- is virtually limitless.
You can use them as warm up holes, as bet settlers; as après golf wind downs, for family bonding, couples competitions, or simply to play a little golf when you don't have the time or desire to swing the big sticks.
Whenever possible, my favorite way to play them is with drink-in-hand and flip-flops on feet.
How about you? Have you ever played a natural-grass putting course? Would you like to see more of them built at the places you visit?
Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.