What is An Executive Golf Course? Who Is It Suitable For?

Golf isn’t just an elite sport reserved for the wealthy and well-connected; it’s one of the most popular sports in the world, enjoyed by all ages. Many people have heard about executive golf courses, but what does that mean? Let’s explore what defines an “executive golf course” and why so many avid golfers—from beginners to professionals—are drawn to this modified version of the beloved game.


What Is An Executive Golf Course?

An executive golf course, also known as a “short course,” is a type of golf course designed to be shorter and less challenging than a traditional golf course. These executive courses tend to have more par 3 holes than par 4 or par 5 holes, which require fewer strokes to complete. These courses are popular among beginner golfers or those who want to play a quick round without spending too much time on the course.

Characteristics of an executive golf course:

  • Size: As I mentioned earlier, an executive golf course is smaller than a regular one. It is designed to be played in a shorter amount of time, making it ideal for busy individuals who may not have the luxury of spending a whole day playing golf.
  • Layout: An executive golf course usually has a more straightforward layout than a regular golf course. The fairways are usually wider, with fewer hazards, such as bunkers and water hazards. This makes it easier for beginners and those who may not have as much experience playing golf.
  • Cost: Playing at an executive golf course is usually more affordable compared to a regular golf course. This is because the course is smaller, and it requires fewer resources to maintain.
  • Skill Level: While an executive golf course is suitable for beginners and those with less experience playing golf, it can also be challenging for more experienced players. The shorter length of the holes and the narrower fairways can test a player’s precision and accuracy.


What Makes Executive Golf Courses Different From Typical Courses?

what is an executive course
What Makes Executive Golf Courses Different From Typical Courses?

Executive golf courses differ from conventional ones in several notable ways, primarily in terms of hole length and overall par variation. One can easily compare the length of the holes between the two courses by examining the total distance. While varying in shape and size, executive golf courses generally measure less than 5,200 yards for 18 holes or half that distance for a 9-hole course. In contrast, a typical golf course measures around 6,700 yards on average for 18 holes, making for a longer and more challenging round.

Another significant difference is the number of pars between the executive and standard golf courses. The average par for a traditional 18-hole round is between 71-72, while executive golf courses typically have a par in the low 60s. This is primarily due to more par-3 holes and fewer par-5 holes on executive courses, resulting in shorter and less time-consuming rounds.

It is important to note that these variations in course design significantly impact the golfer’s playing experience and level of challenge.


Executive Golf Course Vs Par 3 Golf Course

An executive golf course and a par 3 golf course are smaller, shorter golf courses. However, there are some differences between the two.

An executive golf course typically has a mixture of par 3 and par 4 holes, with some par 5 holes possible as well. These courses are usually designed to be played in a shorter amount of time than a full-size course, often in 2-2.5 hours. They are ideal for golfers who want to play a quick round or for beginners who may not be ready for a full-size course yet. Executive courses may also have fewer hazards and obstacles than full-size courses, making them more forgiving for less experienced players.

As the name suggests, a par 3 golf course has only par 3 holes. These courses are usually very short and can be played in an hour or less. They are often designed to be beginner-friendly and can be a great way to introduce new players to the game. However, they can also be challenging for experienced golfers who must work on their short game.

Executive and par 3 golf courses serve different purposes and offer different experiences. The best one for you will depend on your skill level, available time, and personal preferences.


Who Is Executive Golf Course Suitable For?

What is An Executive Golf Course
Who Is Executive Golf Course Suitable For?

An executive golf course is suitable for a wide range of golfers, including beginners, intermediate players, and experienced golfers who are looking for a shorter, less time-consuming round. These courses typically feature 9 or 18 holes, with a mix of par-3 and par-4 holes, making them shorter and easier to navigate than a standard golf course.

Here are some reasons why an executive golf course might be suitable for different types of golfers:

Beginners: Executive courses are ideal for beginners because they are less intimidating and easier to navigate. The shorter hole lengths and simpler course layouts can help build confidence and improve basic golf skills.

Intermediate players: For those looking to improve specific aspects of their game or practice their short game, an executive course can provide a focused environment for honing skills.

Time-conscious golfers: Executive courses generally take less time to complete than full-length courses. This makes them a great option for golfers with busy schedules or those who want a quicker round of golf.

Senior golfers: The shorter distances and less challenging course layouts can be more suitable for senior golfers or those with limited mobility, making it possible to continue enjoying the game without overexertion.

Families: Executive courses can be a fun and accessible option for families looking to spend time together outdoors. With less demanding courses and faster play times, golfers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy a round together.



An executive golf course is a great way to get a taste of the game without committing to a full game. It fits easily into even busy schedules and allows players of all skill levels to experience the fun and challenge of golf.

Executive courses provide a discount for groups, allowing for larger outings or tournament play at an economical rate. Most importantly, the short holes make it much easier for beginners or non-golfers to come along and have fun with friends.

With shorter holes and fewer sand traps, this type of golf course takes some skill from every golfer but still provides a restful break from everyday stresses. If you’re looking for a quick round of golf in less time than your typical 18-hole course, try an executive one!



How Long Does It Take To Play A Round Of Golf On An Executive Golf Course?

A round of golf on an executive golf course typically takes around 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on the speed of play and the number of players in the group.

Are Executive Golf Courses Only For Beginners?

Executive golf courses are suitable for players of all skill levels. While they may be more beginner-friendly, experienced players can still find the shorter length and narrower fairways challenging.

Can I Use My Regular Golf Clubs On An Executive Golf Course?

You can use your regular golf clubs on an executive golf course. However, since the course is smaller, you may not need to use your longer clubs as much.

Is There A Dress Code For Playing On An Executive Golf Course?

There is usually a dress code for playing on an executive golf course. While the dress code may be more relaxed compared to a regular golf course, it is still important to dress appropriately.

Are Executive Golf Courses Less Well-Maintained Compared To Regular Golf Courses?

While executive golf courses may be smaller and require fewer resources to maintain, they are still well-maintained to ensure a pleasant playing experience for all golfers.

How Big Is An Executive Golf Course?

Executive golf courses are typically 5200 yards or less in length for 18 holes and a haft for 9 holes.

Why Is It Called An Executive Golf Course?

Executive golf courses are so named because they are typically shorter and require less time to complete than traditional golf courses. Executive courses also feature larger tee areas and fewer obstacles, making them ideal for golfers of all skill levels.




  • Alvin Daniel

    Hello everyone, I'm Alvin Daniel. I was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when I was 16 years old. I started playing golf at that age and have loved it ever since. I turned professional when I was 21 and have been working as a golf instructor and guide ever since. My goal is to help everyone know more about this great game of golf. And, hopefully, through my instruction, they can improve their skills and enjoy the game even more.

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