As Arlington Lakes Golf Club (Arlington Heights, Illinois) completes its first year since a renovation from Mike Benkusky, ASGCA, (Michael J. Benkusky, Inc.), the Chicago Tribune reports on the positive reception golfers have to the 3-hole, 6-hole and 9-hole “short course” options.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Architect Michael J. Benkusky renovated Arlington Lakes by resurfacing the greens and reworking the bunkers, which is standard procedure for courses getting a facelift.
Where the innovation lies is in the layout of the front nine.
Benkusky rerouted the course so when golfers finish the the third, sixth and ninth holes, they return to the clubhouse. Instead of committing to play a minimum of nine holes, golfers can play three at a time.
The revamped course also has about one-third of the bunkers of the original design that opened in 1979.
Golf operations manager Tim Govern said the course hosted 42,000 rounds in the first year since it reopened. Of those rounds, about 500 were of the three- or six-hole variety.
He added that most of the shorter rounds are played in the middle of the day or early evening. That allows businesspeople to get in a few holes at lunch time or after work.
“It’s been well received,” Govern said. “It helps with player development, provides a nice experience for the municipal-type golfer who doesn’t have a lot of time.”
Govern added that he recently booked an evening short-round tee time for 28 women.
“They are pretty new golfers who don’t have to be intimidated by playing a nine or 18-hole round or during the day,” Govern said.
In January 2016, before the course reopened, Govern spoke at a United States Golf Association conference about the changes. He said the USGA has stayed in contact with Arlington Lakes and asked for regular updates.
Benkusky and Arlington Lakes were honored by the American Society of Golf Course Architects Design Excellence Recognition Program last year.
Meyer said the golfer who prefers nine or 18 holes is still the norm at Arlington Lakes. Group outings and leagues are still popular at the course, with golfers seeking shorter options filling tee times when full-length golf is less popular.
The complete article can be seen here.