Matt Ginella's top 10 short golf courses you can play in the U.S.

As part of Junior Golf Week on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive," Matt Ginella showcases 10 of his favorite short courses in the U.S.

Golf doesn't have a firm definition of "short course," other than when you're on a short course, you know it's a short course.

Generally speaking, they are more casual courses that are less than 6,000 yards and don't take as long to play. The U.S. is filled with memorable short courses, from classics nine-holers like Winter Park Country Club and Northwood Golf Club, to modern par-3 courses like Top of the Rock and Threetops.

Whether they are strictly par-3 courses or have some longer holes too, short courses are ideal for juniors, beginners, couples, families and fun. I think the development of more short courses is critical to the health and growth of the golf in America.

Here are my 10 favorite short courses you can play in the U.S. Many of these can be played for under $30, while the top three are more premium, resort golf experiences.

Video: Ginella's top 10 short courses

10. Peter Hay Par 3 at Pebble Beach Resort, Pebble Beach, Calif.

9. Spring Creek at Hershey Country Club, Hershey, Pa.

8. Goat Hill Park, Oceanside, Calif.

7. Northwood Golf Club, Monte Rio, Calif.

6. The Cradle at Pinehurst, Pinehurst, N.C.

5. Winter Park Country Club, Winter Park, Fla.

4. Threetops at Treetops Resort, Gaylord, Mich.

3. Palm Beach Par 3, West Palm Beach, Fla.

2. Top of the Rock, Hollister, Mo.

1. Bandon Preserve at Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon, Ore.

In the comments below, be sure to share your favorite short-course experiences that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Apr 11, 2018

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2046pelee's avatar
2046pelee wrote at 2016-03-17 19:51:36+00:00:

There is a great 5,900 yard 27-hole course called Maple Leaf in Linwood, Michigan.  The 3 nines are the East, North and West.  The East and North are my favourites, quite challenging for a short course.  The North nine even has an island green par-3 for the 8th hole.  If you play the East first, then the north, it's a close as I will come to a TPC Sawgrass-like experience!  It is family owned and operated, and they keep the course in tip-top shape.  Always a must-play every time I'm in the area.

Bob MarshallOakville, ON Canada

Baldel's avatar
Baldel wrote at 2015-09-23 01:43:55+00:00:

U guys definitely forgot about Ashwood Gold Course in Apple Valley CA - 3 - nine hole courses; try it you'll love it (maybe not).

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Matt Ginella

Special Contributor

Matt Ginella is Golf Channel's resident travel insider. He writes for and appears weekly on "Morning Drive." Before Golf Channel, Ginella was senior travel editor for Golf Digest and Golf World from 2007-2012 and covered courses, resorts and the avid amateur golfer's annual buddies trips to over 60 destinations around the country. Ginella graduated from St. Mary's College (Calif.) in 1995 and earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2003. Follow Matt on Twitter at @mattginellagc and on Instagram at @Matt_Ginella.