3 Courses Short On Yardage But Not On Fun

If you haven’t noticed lately, short courses are popping up everywhere, particularly at some of the country’s finest golf destinations.  Some courses are new, while some have been around for a while and are being revived.  When visiting a big-time golf destination, the goal is to get in as many rounds possible.  This is where short courses become favorable to a variety of golfers. Whether you’re growing your game as a beginner, trying to squeeze in some golf on your arrival or departure day or simply not up for walking 36 holes, these courses are for you. Most short courses can be played in under 2.5 hours which to some is more idealistic than the typical 5.

As the future of golf is ever changing… one thing is for certain, there is never a shortage of fun. We’ve rounded up 3 short courses that you should check out on your next bucket-list trip!

Bandon Preserve – Bandon Dunes Golf Resort  Bandon, OR

Carved out of the sand dunes alongside the Pacific Ocean you will find Bandon Dunes’ par 3 track. Bandon Preserve features 13 holes, all of which make you soak up the views before you think about putting your tee in the ground. Designed by the dynamic duo of Coore & Crenshaw, each par 3 hole is both stunning and challenging.  Depending on the wind direction you could end up using most of the irons in your bag, even your putter.  A tradition here is that you leave your wedges in the bag on the last hole and test you long putting game. We know that sounds weird but depending on the pin location it’s perhaps your best play.  Bandon Preserve is the perfect place to finish off the day with your buddies over some cold beers and Pacific sunsets. 

Take a peek at “The Preserve” here

Goat Hill Park – Oceanside, CA

Saved from being shut down just a few years ago by John Ashworth & Co., Goat Hill Park delivers one of golf’s most unique places to visit.  With a motto of “World Class | Working Class”, Goat Hill is a place for everyone…even your dog.  While the layout is extremely fun, many of the par 3’s will truly test your game.  Once you step out of the car at Goat Hill you feel as if you just landed at the local hangout spot built for golfers of all ages and backgrounds.  The mix of golf is just as good with an extremely fun and challenging layout of 9 par-3’s and 9 par-4’s on the card.  They’re even building a 3-hole layout for kids, called The Playground.  Everything about this place is truly unique and needs to be a must-play if you’re in the San Diego area.

Get more plugged into the people’s park of Oceanside here

The Cradle – Pinehurst Resort   Pinehurst, NC

Appropriately named considering it’s a baby-sized course, the Cradle might be short on yardage but it’s certainly not short on fun.  The Cradle is the latest addition to Pinehurst Resort, designed by Gil Hanse.  Kids even play free when accompanied by an adult.  With yardages ranging from 50 – 130 yards it’s a short course that will really test your wedge game, as well as your creativity.  Since we’re talking Pinehurst, you know there’s history behind the course.  The Cradle was actually built where the first nine holes of sand were carved out back in 1898.  Sitting just steps away from the revamped putting course, The Cradle makes for the perfect finish to your day while you settle any unfinished business on the Thistle Dhu.

Learn more about Rockin’ the Cradle here

What’s To Come

Sand Valley is opening up The Sandbox in 2018 and there are plans already in place to open up a par-3 course by our friends up north, at Cabot Links.  The future of golf might be getting shorter allowing for more fun while on the course.

Next time your planning a trip to these large destination courses, keep these short courses in the back of your mind. You’ll be thankful you did!

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Kiawah Island Golf Resort: 90 Holes of Championship Golf

Kiawah Island Resort

Snuggled up against the beautiful South Carolina coast, the views and scenery at Kiawah Island Golf Resort are beyond picturesque. As you make your way towards the resort, the road is lined with pine trees and live oaks which are draped in Spanish moss and form a nice, cool canopy. Even though Kiawah Island is located amongst wetlands and lagoons, the resort has made valiant efforts to preserve and protect the natural wildlife. The resort has even earned an Audubon Certification for their efforts.

Home to five golf courses, or 90 holes, Kiawah has plenty of choices to cater to every style of golfer.

Ocean Course

Kiawah Island Resort’s most famous course, Ocean Course, opened in 1991 and was designed by Pete and Alice Dye. This challenging course’s location was intended to give golfers a view of the Atlantic Ocean shoreline while also combating the strong winds that occupy the area.

Located on the east end of the island, Ocean Course has more seaside holes than any other course in the Northern Hemisphere. Golf Magazine and Golf Digest, along with other publications, have consistently named this course as one of the best courses in the world. With all of this attention, Ocean Course was featured in the film The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000), and was also the first digital golf course available to play in the video game World Golf Tour.

Turtle Point

Designed by one of golf’s greatest players of all time, Jack Nicklaus, Turtle Point offers low profile features that take advantage of the island’s dune ridges and natural contours. Throughout the 18 holes, the course seamlessly flows through forests, brushes up against backwater lagoons and leads to three holes side alongside the beautiful Atlantic coastline. Turtle Point also contains subtle greens which require players to maintain skillful concentration and possess a deft touch in order to conquer this Golden Bear masterpiece.

Turtle Point

Osprey Point

Unofficially known as the favorite course on Kiawah Island, Osprey Point is as much a nature walk as it is a golf course. Designer Tom Fazio, most acclaimed golf architect in history, was challenged to compete with the already popular course on the island. Throughout the course you will travel through dense maritime forests full of live oaks, palmettos and pines, visit four natural lakes and several saltwater marshes. Osprey Point blends together with nature in such a way that Fazio was able to use the surrounding environment to provide natural hazards. Osprey Point is adored by locals and visitors alike because it is a visual treat whether you’re golfing or just enjoying the scenery.

Oak Point

More than the other golf courses at Kiawah, Oak Point has undergone extensive renovations over the past few years, which has drastically improved the overall quality of golf and player experience. Located in close proximity to the Kiawah River, Oak Point was able to be molded into a first-class course featuring undulating fairways and trying greens. This course is not designed for hard hitters though. Those who take their time and form strategies will benefit from Oak Point’s classic course design instead.

Cougar Point

Cougar Point

Cougar Point is the perfect blend of a course that emphasizes accuracy and power alike. Architect Gary Player got the chance to design Cougar Point atop the former site of Marsh Point, which had also been his creation back in the early 1970’s. This par-72 course provides panoramic views of the Kiawah River, endless seas of needles, and runs parallel to broad stretches of tidal marshes. Designed for championship standards, Cougar Point is challenging for scratch players, yet still delivers an enjoyable experience for all.

The Resort

Kiawah Island Resort, being only a short 20 mile drive from Charleston, is a very accessible vacation destination. The Sanctuary Hotel offers 255 luxurious rooms and suites. The hotel also offers every amenity you could imagine, including their award-winning spa, royalty-style dining rooms, clay tennis courts and countless activities to keep children occupied for days.

If you’re looking for a more private experience, Kiawah Island Resort has 500 villas and 90 houses to choose from. Personally select the villa or house the best suits your needs, from the number of rooms you need, type of view you want, or location on the island. With so many available options, Kiawah Island Resort guarantees that they have the right accommodations for you.

The Resort

Stress-Free Delivery

Don’t run the risk of carrying your clubs on a flight or shipping them in the mail. Use the company that eats, sleeps, and breathes golf. Ship Sticks will gladly pick-up your golf clubs and deliver them to your clubhouse or have them ready to go for tee time. Kiawah Island Resort is a featured and proud partner of Ship Sticks, so avoid the headaches and hassle and ship your clubs the way the professionals do.

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Experience Golf in its Purest State: Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort
With five courses to choose from and one impressive putting course known as the Punchbowl, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort near Bandon, Oregon continues to be one of the best golf destinations in the world.

Bandon Dunes & Pacific Dunes

The first course, designed by David McLay Kidd, was an instant success and it’s no wonder since it sits high above the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the spectacular ocean views that surround every hole, Bandon Dunes winds its way around natural dunes and native vegetation. As a ‘thinker’s course’, the winds and natural environment create a unique experience each time you play.

In the summer of 2001, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort unveiled its next course, Pacific Dunes. Designed to mimic the natural landscape once again, the fairways and natural bunkers that line the course remain preserved and left just as they were originally discovered. With enormous 60-foot sand dunes, Pacific Dunes is just enough of a challenge to test every aspect of your game. In 2005, Golfweek voted Pacific Dunes as the #1 Resort Golf Course in the country.

Bandon Trails & Old MacDonald

Owner Mike Kaiser still felt like he could push the envelope even further and called on the architectural help of Bill Coore and the design eye of Ben Crenshaw to create Bandon Trails. Unlike the first two courses, this trail does not route along the Pacific Ocean. Instead, you can experience a game that starts in the sand dunes, travels through an expansive meadow where it eventually leads up to the forest and ends back in the dunes. In 2005, Golf Odyssey named Bandon Trails as The Best Place on the Planet For Golf.

The fourth course to be added, Old Macdonald, opened in 2010 and paid tribute to the traditions and classical concepts of golf design. Inspired by Charles Blair Macdonald, Tom Doak and Jim Urbina meticulously designed this course to include intricate angles of play as well as intense bunkers.

Bandon Dunes Punchbowl

Bandon Preserve & The Punchbowl

Bandon Preserve, a unique par-3 short course, contains 13 holes with over the top Pacific Ocean views surrounding each hole. Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, this course starts high above in the sand dunes and continues to wind down towards the beach. In addition, any net proceeds from Bandon Preserve go directly to the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, which supports conservation of the southern Oregon Coast.

As the latest upgrade to the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, the Punchbowl offers golfers a 100,000 square-foot putting green. Designed by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina, this putting course contains dramatic slopes, unexpected contours, and is unlike any other. Mike Kaiser envisioned golfers leisurely putting around, making bets and sipping drinks all while hanging out with good friends.

By listening to the needs and wants of golfers, The Punchbowl truly embodies the essence and spirit of a friendly game of golf. Located at the base of the clubhouse, golfers can also enjoy food and drink service as well as little cup holders at every tee.

As a proud partner with Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, this is a must-add to any golfers bucket list of courses to play. Each course offers a different set of challenges and entertainment along with breathtaking views that are individual and unique to each hole.

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Focus on Speed to Sink More Putts

sinking more putts

When it comes to putting, distance control is far more important than aim. After all, the amount that a putt will break depends on how fast the ball is rolling.

A lot of players are under the impression that in order to sink a putt you have to achieve a perfect combination of both speed and direction, but this isn’t necessarily true, and if you continue reading you’ll find out why.

First things first, if your putt doesn’t make it to the hole, it’s impossible for it to go in. It doesn’t matter how perfectly you read the break, if you don’t hit it hard enough, you’re not going to make anything.

On sloping putts, many golfers think that if they hit it hard and take out the break there’s a better chance of it going in. This generally holds true for putts inside of 3 or 4 feet but on longer putts, the odds of making it are pretty slim. It’s also risky to hit it hard because if you do miss you won’t have a tap in coming back. Basically, when you hit a putt that has too much speed, it won’t go in unless you hit the dead center of the cup.

Obviously, if you hit a putt with less speed you have to play more break. However, a putt with less speed can still drop even if it catches the edge of the cup (otherwise known as a lip-in). So if you correctly gauge the speed of a putt, the range of lines that your putt can travel on and still go in the hole will increase and you won’t have to be quite as precise.

So now the most important question: How hard do you want to hit your putts? And the answer is very simple; about 1 to 2 feet past the hole.

In a perfect world, every putt would drop into the hole on its last rotation but no ones perfect and if you make a habit of trying to do this, you’re going to end up with a lot of putts stopping short. So next time you have a putt of considerable length, try to visualize how hard you need to hit the ball in order for it to stop just past the hole.

You can practice by putting at something other than a hole. Put an object down on a flat part of the green and try to focus on getting your ball to stop just after it rolls by. By thinking about something other than your ball dropping into the bottom of the cup, you’ll be able to focus more controlling your distance and if you can master that, you’ll make more putts. And the ones that you don’t make won’t end up too far from the cup.


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Common Golf Aches and Pains – Which Ones are Okay and Which Ones Aren’t

Tiger Woods Injury

Though golf isn’t quite as physically demanding as sports like football or basketball, it does require players to put their bodies in a lot of unusual and straining positions. Professional golfers are some of the most flexible athletes on the planet and yet week in and week out, they’re constantly battling injuries.

Unfortunately, were not any different. Whether you’re out on the course once or twice a week, or you’re pounding buckets of balls on the range everyday, your body is eventually going to feel the effects, and though you may think that all aches and pains are a sign of something bad, this isn’t always the case. Read about some of the most common golfing injuries below so you know which ones are normal and which ones you might need to get checked out.

Back  – The twisting and rotating that goes on during your golf swing can put a lot of stress on your back and for that reason, a little soreness now and then is very normal. In fact, if you’re playing a lot, the chances of you feeling a little bit of tightness in your lower back is pretty high (even if you’re doing everything right).

Sharp pain or stinging sensations aren’t okay. If you feel some uncomfortableness in your back and you don’t think it’s muscular, you may want to see a doctor. These types of pains are often associated with nerve injuries or spinal issues and playing through the agony only makes them worse. The same applies for neck aches and pains as well.

Legs – Although most of the movement during your golf swing occurs from the waist up, your legs have to provide a great deal of support and it’s not uncommon for them to get sore from time to time (even if you ride in a cart). While the most common area you’re likely to feel some tightness is in your hamstrings, soreness can occur anywhere (calves, quads, groin).

Knee pain on the other hand, may be a sign of something a little more serious. Your knees take on a lot of stress in your downswing and the last thing you want is damage to any of your major ligaments. Tiger Woods is living proof that even with a near perfect swing, the pressure put on your knees can be enough to cause major structural damage. If you experience any kind of pain in this area or if you’ve had trouble with your knees in the past, don’t ignore it, see a doctor.

Arms and Shoulders – The most common golf injury when it comes to this part of the body is “tennis elbow” (sometimes referred to as “golfers elbow”). It’s generally caused by repetitive movements and overextension of the elbow and common symptoms include soreness or tenderness on the outside of the elbow. There are a number of remedies available for this condition and in general, it isn’t considered serious.

Beyond that, any type of aching or sharp pains in your shoulders should be checked out by a doctor. Torn rotator cuffs and severe tendonitis aren’t uncommon in golfers and you don’t want to make any issues worse by continuing to put stress on already injured parts of your body.

Last but not least, if you’re ever unsure about something that’s hurting, see a doctor. Don’t assume it will just go away. Be active and take care of your body.

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Sink More Putts with Three Easy Tips

Golf putts

Putting should be the easiest part of the game, right?

There aren’t any hazards to watch out for, the wind doesn’t really affect the ball, you don’t have to worry about topping your shot or hitting it fat, it should be pretty straightforward. But it’s not.

Putting is without a doubt the most important and the most difficult part of the game. It’s what separates us from the pros and if you want to shave strokes off your score, the easiest way to do it is to leave your bag at home, take your putter and spend some time on the practice green.

You can use some of the tips below to get you started.

Have Light Hands – There’s nothing more detrimental to a putting stroke than tense muscles. When you tighten up, you lose feel, and when you lose feel you can’t control the distance of your putts.

Your putting stroke should be a pendulum and your hands should simply be what connects the club to the body. You don’t want to hit putts by flipping your wrists, you want to hit them by rocking your shoulders.

Grip the putter like you’d hold an egg. Not hard enough to make it crack but not light enough to let it slip out of your hands.

Keep Your Head Down – Don’t watch your putt drop in the hole, hear it drop in the hole.

Not lifting your head after you hit your putt is a very simple but very difficult thing to do. Many amateurs have a tendency to immediately watch their ball as it leaves the face of their putter and the result is a very poor stroke.

Whether it’s a 30-footer or a 3-footer, try to keep your head down until the putt is well on its way to the hole. You’ll be amazed at how many more end up going in.

Pick a Spot to Putt Over – Is it easier to aim at a target 30 feet away from your ball or a target 2 inches away from your ball? Obviously the latter.

Next time you’re standing over a rather lengthy putt, don’t focus on the hole. See the line you think your ball needs to be on to go in the hole and then pick a spot on that line a couple inches in front of your ball. If your ball doesn’t go in, at least you know you hit the putt where you wanted it to go.

A famous player once said, “I don’t try to make putts, I simply try to roll the ball over my target and the hole gets in the way”.

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The Gimme: 101

conceded putt

Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people don’t know how to use it and some people purposely abuse it.

The gimme (derived from “give me”), otherwise known as a conceded putt, has been and will likely continue to be a hot topic of debate among amateur golfers wherever you go.

And while the official rules of stoke play golf clearly state that a player cannot record a score on a hole until he/she has retrieved their ball from the bottom of the cup, we concede putts every time we play.

Plain and simple, the gimme speeds up pace of play. When you’re out leisurely playing with a few of your friends and one of your buddies leaves his putt one inch short of the hole, it’s a whole lot easier to just say “pick it up” then it is to have him mark his ball or tip toe around everyone’s line to tap it in.

With that said, there are times when it’s appropriate to concede putts and times when it’s not appropriate.


During stroke play tournaments – Never ever concede a putt to someone if you’re playing in a stroke play tournament. It doesn’t matter if the putt is on the edge of hole ready to drop in.

In any organized tournament, it is against the rules to pick up your ball and move to the next hole before it’s in the bottom of the cup. The consequence for doing so is disqualification.

When you or the person you’re playing is in competition – Even if it’s not a sanctioned tournament that you’re playing in, you shouldn’t ever give a putt to a person that may be in competition with someone else.

Maybe that person has a bet with another golfer not playing in your group. If this is the case, the person shouldn’t really be picking up any putts but if they do, make sure that everyone in the group agrees that it is okay.


 High score on a hole – Depending on your handicap, the USGA designates a maximum number of strokes you can take on any single hole. If you record anything higher than it, your overall score has to be adjusted.

This is to prevent handicap inflation and it does effectively serve its purpose. If you’ve already hit three balls out of bounds and you’re on the green putting for a 10, just pick it up because it’s going to be adjusted anyways. Though as previously stated, this only applies if you’re not in an organized tournament.

 In Match Play Tournaments – The only time the rules allow you to legally concede a putt to your opponent is in match play format. If you’re in with a birdie and you’re opponent is putting for par, he already lost, so it doesn’t matter if he makes it or not.

In fact, there are many different strategies to conceding putts in this format but we’ll save that topic for another day.

If it’s “Inside the Leather” – “Inside the leather” is a commonly used phrase to describe a ball that is a shorter distance from the hole than the length of the putter grip (typically about 8 to 10 inches).

If this is the case and all the other things we’ve discussed have been addressed, then it’s okay to just tell your opponent to pick it up. And if you don’t want to tell them, then don’t. It’s entirely at your discretion.

And if at anytime you’re uncertain about any situation on the course, just tap your ball in. The only way you’ll be able to avoid confrontation with 100 percent certainty is to finish out every hole on the course regardless of the circumstance.

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Amazing Golf Chipping Tips that can Guarantee a Win

In the recent past, there has been a growing trend that has realized the emergence of golf as one of the leading sports all over the world. This is due to the reason that golfing is one of the most relaxing activities and also quite beneficial.

As a golfer, creativity is one of the basic things you need in order to secure a win. This is mainly because of the fact that with creativity, there is usually a very high likelihood that you are able to see an opportunity that your opponent cannot see.

This therefore implies that you have a higher probability of securing a in than your opponent has.

Chipping is one of the most important strategies that most golfers usually overlook. Golf chipping tips mainly focus on helping players to be able to improve accuracy and consistency when playing golf. These skills are the most important skills that any player can have in order to be able to know how to make the right shots and secure a win.

Pick a target

One of the most common mistakes that most players usually do is aiming the pin directly when making a chip. This should not be the case as in most cases, it is required that you should aim at a strategic point in front of the pin. You should always try to land your chip on your target, a considerable distance from the pin.

In most cases, after making a chip, the ball rolls close to the pin. Therefore it is important to ensure that when landing the ball, use breaks such that the ball rolls as closest to the pin as possible. It is advisable to choose a target that is at least 6 feet from the pin.

Avoid a lot of thinking while playing

One common mistake that players make while playing golf is having s many thoughts that are running across their minds. As such, the mind’s ability to think straight is usually hindered and as a result the player is not able to hit the target with accuracy. It is important to ensure that you pre-empty your mind every time you want to play golf.

This helps in ensuring that you are able to be creative enough in order to be able to land the ball as closest to the pin as possible. Always analyze every shot before making it so as to b able to line up your chip and be able to know how to make your shot effectively.

Know your club well

There are many golfers who usually use one club while practicing and while playing. This should not be the case as in most cases; you should try your hand in different clubs and see which one suit you best. This helps in ensuring that you are able to develop comfort while playing your games and hence you have a higher likelihood of securing a win.

While choosing the right club, it is important to ensure that you are able to carefully analyze each club and get to know it better. This is quite important in that it helps to ensure that you are able to make the right decision on the most suitable clubs. In conclusion, there are many golf chipping tips that can be of great benefit to golfers if properly utilized.

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How to Putt Better – 5 Techniques to Turn Bogies Into Birdies

All golfers want to know how to putt better. Even if you are a beginner, you should know that golf is often won and lost on the greens. Look closely at the good and the bad putters around you and the following should stand out:

•A good putter has a definite concept for his or her putting stroke and sticks with it
•A bad putter will change his or her putter and/or technique often
•A good putter concentrates on feel and distance more
•A bad putter concentrates on his or her line and stroke
•A good putter has plenty of confidence
•A bad putter lack confidence, even if he or she makes a few putts

To become a great putter, you need to be highly skilled in the following areas:

Improvement of your putting technique

Putting practice

Learning how to putt better is not always easy. Your goal should be to find the simplest method, which will allow you to constantly swing the putter along the same arc and make contact with the ball in the exact same place of the putter’s face each time.

•Create a constant arc for your putting stroke by only rotating the shoulders around the neck.
•Always relax both your arms and hands during the putting stroke. Keep them quiet too, to ensure consistency.
•Your neck, head and lower body should be motionless all through the stroke.

Try holding the putter in the palms of your hands, so that the putter’s shaft and your forearms are on the same line, which will allow them to work together as a unit. Keep your shoulders parallel to the line of the target and the back of your neck almost horizontal. This allows the shoulders to move up and down more and the putter to swing along a straight line. Never try using your arms and hands to manipulate the putter in any way.

Develop great touch


To learn how to putt better, you need to go through various feel drills and concentrate on distance control when you play. The feel of a putt comes from the sub-conscious mind. Here are some essential drills:

•Take about three to six golf balls and hit them various distances.
•Rehearse each stroke several times first, so that you can feel the power that is needed for the stroke. Place three of the balls on an identical line from the hole at about 30, 25 and 20 feet. Rehearse the stroke and take your time to try and make each putt. Repeat this process several times, but from many different putting distances and angles, and practice uphill, level and downhill putts too.

Develop a putting routine that is consistent

Putting Golf Ball

•Start by gathering information about the upcoming putting stroke. Before it is your turn, walk around and walk near to the line between your ball and the hole to get a feel for the slope.
•Choose your line, but always commit to it when stroking the ball.
•Several rehearsal strokes are necessary with definite goals: Try to feel the power needed for the ideal speed and visualize your ball disappearing into the middle of the hole as well.
•Before stroking the ball, set up correctly to the ball. Track the target line with your eyes by rotating only your neck. Make the best possible stroke and ensure it is done smoothly.

Keep everything absolutely still throughout the stroke and only look up after you made contact with the ball. Hold this position while the ball is still in motion.

Wondering what your cost to ship golf clubs is? Then fill out our form on our main page to receive a quote on the cost of shipping.

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