Bill Boswell, ASGCA, of Boswell Golf Design, has taken the philosophy of shorter courses and par 3 routes to a new level with his design and development of “Nature Trail Golf” in Grovetown, Georgia. Boswell’s new take on the game was profiled by The Augusta Chronicle.

The article includes:

The idea of creating a scaled-down version of the game he loves has been a long-time side interest. The only thing holding him back was the golf ball.

“The problem was finding a decent ball to use,” Boswell said. “Cayman balls were always lopsided and you couldn’t putt with it. Dave Pelz came out with the “Almostgolf” ball that goes a third of the distance with good balance and a true roll. I thought, ‘this would work.’”

Three years ago, Boswell went to a garage sale in Grovetown and spotted a site across Wrightboro Road. He called the Canterbury Equestrian Center pretending to want to board a horse and struck up a conversation with the owners about the fenced-in 50 acres adjacent to it that was undulating and relatively open with scattered trees.

Two years later, Boswell has 11 greens and 12 holes – ranging from 120 to 555 feet – criss-crossing the picturesque site he calls the Canterbury Golf and Equine Trail. The actual golf footprint is five acres and requires only six hours of maintenance a week in the growing season to keep the fairways and greens trimmed. It utilizes natural elements like fallen trees and marshy low spots to enhance the challenge.

The rules are simple. Players only need three clubs (4- and 8-iron plus a wedge) and use the Almostgolf balls. The holes are a foot in diameter but each hole has a 6-foot “gimme circle” around it. A threesome can play nine holes in about 45 minutes.

“You can take kids out and nobody is intimidated,” Boswell said. “It’s a good way to introduce people to the game or back to the game who gave it up for whatever reason.”