What’s An Executive Golf Course And What Are The Benefits Of Playing Them

Par 3 Golf Course 3

Executive courses are getting more popular by the day and offer a perfect balance between a short par 3 course and a longer regular course that’s going to take hours to play.

An Executive course is shorter than a regular course and it has a lot more par 3’s with a couple of par 4’s and the odd par 5 thrown in here and there on certain courses. Executive courses require less distance to be travelled and less shots to be hit, meaning the game can be completed more quickly.

Executive courses get their name from being popular with businessmen who like to do deals on executive courses and get a quick round in during their lunch break.

What Defines An Executive Golf Course vs A Traditional Course

A traditional course is generally a full day affair, unless you purposely play quickly with an electric cart and shave a couple of hours off.

There is nothing at all wrong with a full day out at the golf course but not everybody has the time to get a full round in, especially during the week.

Executive golf courses are simply scaled down versions of regular courses and that means fewer strokes (Hopefully!) and fewer steps.

Executive Vs Regular shouldn’t have any impact on the quality of the course, both executive and regular courses should be kept in the same immaculate condition.

Regular Course Characteristics

  • 6,700 Feet For 18 Holes

  • 3350 Feet For 9 Holes

  • Par Of 68-72 For 18 Holes

  • Par Of 34-36 For 9 Holes

  • Plenty Of Par 3’s, 4’s & 5’s

  • Lots Of Space – Needs Long Time To Play

Executive Course Characteristics

  • 5,200 Feet For 18 Holes

  • 2,600 Feet For 9 Holes

  • Par Of 57-63 for 18 Holes

  • Par Of 28-32 for 9 Holes

  • Lot’s Of Par 3’s, Couple Par 4’s, Rare Par 5

  • Condensed Space, Less Shots, Less Yardage To Travel

Executive Course Vs Par 3 Course

Par 3 Hole 4

As you can see, an Executive Golf Course is not to be confused with A Par 3 golf course which is bigger than a pitch and putt course but contains par 3 holes exclusively.

It has a par rating of 54 for 18 holes and 27 for 9 holes.

An executive also has some par 4 and the odd par 5 depending on the course in question.

A Par 3 course should be more substantial than a pitch and putt course and allow you to possible break out a low Iron, Hybrid or Wood from the tee box.

Both Par 3 Courses and Executive Courses are roughly the same square footage but we would expect and executive course to be slightly bigger.

Par Three & Executive share a lot of the same benefits and are perfect for certain people or situations.

People Who Executive Golf Courses Are For:

Par 3 Golf Course 2

People Who Are Short On Time:

It’s true that these Executive courses get their name because of the busy business executives that would play them for an hour on their lunch break to get out of the office or to conduct business meeting in a shorter space of time to get deals done.

With today’s hectic lifestyles, there are plenty of reasons why people will have less time to play a full round and Executive courses are going to allow them a quicker game where they can still break out the driver from time to time.

People Short On Fitness, Energy Or Concentration

Golf is the ultimate sport for retirement but doing the full size course 3 or 4 times a week can get a bit too much. An executive allows you to play more rounds with less energy expended.

Some people love to golf, but lose their concentration after the 14th or 15th hole, an executive golf course may be the perfect way for them to get their fill of golf and then head for the 19th hole.

People Who Want To Save Money

Joining an exclusive golf course can cost an arm and a leg and even paying the green fees can be quite costly, especially when they add up over time.

Joining an executive can be a much cheaper option, for someone who just wants a quick round, wants a yearly membership or only wants to play at off peak golfing times.

Executive courses have the advantage of being less expensive in general but not as a strict rule.

People Who Want To Improve

If you are learning how to golf, playing Par 3 courses, Pitch and Putt and Executive courses can be a progressive way to learn how to play golf well in the shortest amount of time.

Sure, going to the driving and hitting the ball straight is great practice but there is no feeling quite like getting the ball from tee to hole to build your confidence and get better quickly.

A good executive course will allow you take all of your clubs out of the bag but it shouldn’t generally be as big and as difficult as a regular course.

Benefits Of Executive Courses

Besides saving time, money and energy there are a ton of other benefits to playing Executive Courses:

Mastering Your Approach Game

While your first shot on a regular course is likely to be a driver, Wood or Hybrid, you first shot on an executive is going to usually be with a low iron, wood or hybrid.

With shorter holes to play, you can focus on your accuracy a lot more, whether you are aiming for the green of laying up next to the green on a par 4.

Shorter courses mean more shots with the higher clubs and an increased emphasis on the shorter side of the game.

With a lower total par, and less shots, the game of executive golf is going to be won on lost on the shorter side of your game.

Practice Putting On Immaculate Greens

Putting is going to account for roughly half of your shots, even if you are Dustin Johnson.

With that being said, it is still the most difficult aspect of your game to practice. How are you going to find excellent greens with varied slopes and lies for realistic practice.

Sure, expensive home putting greens and the putting green at the local range can help but there is nothing like the feeling of trying the get the read of new greens that you haven’t played before and with the added pressure of trying to make a birdie or par added in.

Besides a regular course, executive courses and par 3’s are the very best way to improve your putting.

Improve Your Confidence

When starting out in golf, in can seem impossible to break even 100 on a real course, we have all been there.

Because an executive course is much shorter and easier to navigate, you’ll be able to shoot a decent score a lot more quickly there.

This shows you exactly what kind of progress you are making and builds your confidence for when you play golf on a regular course.

The mental side of golf is just as important as the physical side and building up your confidence is a sure fire way to improve your game overall.

Playing Executive Courses Alone

While playing a regular course on your own can be a lot of fun and allow you to play your best golf with the pressure off, it is still slightly frowned upon on regular courses, especially when they are busy.

Executive courses are generally far less busy and much more receptive to solo golfers. It can easy be a lot easier to meet other solo golfers and make friends on these more laid back and approachable courses.

The fact that they usually cost a lot less is simply an added bonus.

Excellent For Seniors, Ladies And Juniors

Par 3 Golf Course

Stepping up to a fairway 100’s of yards away on the first tee box can be a daunting experience, especially as a junior or senior, who aren’t the biggest hitters.

While women can use the ladies tee boxes, there are still going to be long and difficult drives on almost all courses.

Executive courses are excellent for shorter hitters who might have just as much skill as bigger hitters but can’t find the distances to layup for their green approaches.

Just because you can’t drive the ball as far as Bryson DeChambeau doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to score close to or under par on a golf course.

Executive courses provide a level playing field for shorter hitters to show just how good they are at the sport of golf.


In this article, we have offered you faster, cheaper and sexier golf where you get to work on your irons, pitches and putting a lot more than regular golf, and hey, it is also a lot more fun.

If that is not enough to lure you in to check out Executive golf, we are not sure what will.

With that being said, Regular and Executive courses are not mutually exclusive but designed to go hand in hand.

Use Executive courses when you are short on time and want to improve your game and use regular courses to see how far you have come and to relax on a full Saturday or Sunday and get an enjoyable round in, where you can practice with your driver your hearts content and see how much work you still really need to do.