PAR 3 POPULARITY – Raymond Hearn Golf Course Designs Gets It, Creates It!

While the bread and butter of our work at Raymond Hearn Golf Course Designs has been award-winning renovation and restoration in recent years, our combination of experience and skills fit naturally with versatility and we’ve responded with some spectacular work in response to the popular par 3 course construction trend.

In other words, our customers asked and we delivered, and in some cases they asked and we suggested a par 3 that we are delivering.


Golf has seen an increase in the number of people entering the game and this was happening even before the surge to another level that followed the Covid-19 pandemic. We also recognize the three-headed dragon that has hampered the industry to some degree – time, expense and difficulty keeping people away from the game.

  For those looking for something with some wow factor to add to their golf facilities in addition to another 18-hole course or an expanded practice facility, the par 3 works and fits seamlessly. For those especially concerned with the three-headed dragon, the par 3 course helps solve that puzzle, too.

The Inn at St Johns Par 3 Course and Two Acre Putting Course

We think a par 3 can serve in multiple ways, one being the tricycle to the bicycle or even training wheels. Get on, learn to ride, and then move forward. A par 3 course also takes less time to play and is less expensive than playing an 18-hole course. There is also the crown jewel of a hole-in-one awaiting golfers of any skill level at each of the holes. Par 3s add excitement. It’s that simple.

  In addition to helping the golfer in many ways, a par 3 course helps our expanding clients. A par 3 is less costly to construct, uses less land, less irrigation, less fertilizer, and there is less to maintain overall.

  With both the golfer and the client in mind, we feel the key to success with a par 3 course is to make them special in design, friendly to the golfer, attractive and alluring. Along with that they have to be interesting enough that the better golfers want to use them to hone their short games which allows a facility to get all the golfers A to Z engaged in the experience.

  We’ve found that when a par 3 is added to an established facility with 18 or 36 holes, there is a higher chance of it being successful. They are adding something else for their current customers and potential new audience.

  The proof of course, is in the pudding and we are working to back up our par 3 philosophy for our clients.

  For instance, we are creating a new par 3 course for BOYNE Golf and The Highlands at Harbor Springs (Michigan). It is replacing a current par 3 course with something new and incredible on the same land, and next to it we are creating a new and exciting nine-hole putting course. Construction on that will start in the next year, perhaps in the fall of 2022 or in the spring of 2023.

  At the Inn at St. Johns for the Pulte Family Foundation in Plymouth, Mich., we are planning a unique seven-hole par 3 course and a Himalayas-style putting course in addition to a new championship 18-hole course. This is part of a large project, which includes a new wedding event center and much more, with groundbreaking on May 1st this year.

  We are also set to work on a 9-hole par 3 at the classic Maple Lane Golf Club in Sterling Heights, Mich., which dates to the late 1920s in serving golfers. It is in addition to the brand new 18-hole course  on the existing golf site for the Moceri family. The plan is to start that project May 1 of 2023.

  Meanwhile in Maine at the highly regarded Sugarloaf Resort for BOYNE Golf we are doing an incredible nine-hole par 3 course and Himalaya putting course, too.

  There are more we are talking with clients about, too.

  We are having fun doing this and while not trying to reproduce a replica of a great green from the golden age of course design, we are adding some fun and strong flavors of some par 3 gems on those classic designs. At St. Johns and at The Highlands golfers will find perhaps a classic Radan or Postage Stamp green adding to the fun.

   It’s exciting. We continue to do our award-winning restoration and renovation of classic courses, including some that date to the pre-1900s, and we are adding new and exciting par 3s and more for our clients to help them move forward and attract new golfers in the years ahead.


"Raymond Hearn is part artist and part engineer."

Michael Konick

Golf Writer, Delta Airlines Magazine


Raymond Hearn Golf Course Designs
119 West 37th St.
Holland, MI 49423