If you are an avid golfer, chances are you have played every type of golf course. However, with how long it takes to play golf and the interest that some people have in spending all day out there, sometimes a better option can be an executive course. 

If you have never heard of an executive golf course, but you love the game of golf, take a look at this information and see if this could be a style of golf that works for your needs. 

What Is a Golf Executive Course? 

Executive golf courses are shorter than standard golf courses, they typically feature par 3’s and par 4’s, and they can have either 18 holes or 9 holes. The idea behind an executive course is that you can go get a quick nine holes in on your lunch break and then make it back to the office for the remainder of the day. 

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Many players use executive golf courses as a way to learn the game. Getting a tee time is typically a bit easier than a traditional 18 hole course. These courses also tend to have rental clubs, and some even have golf carts you can rent. 

If mini golf isn’t enough, a par 3 golf course is a bit short, but if you are not ready for typical golf or championship golf, an executive course can bridge that gap. 

Be sure to check out our reviews of the best Public golf courses around the US. 

What Are the Different Types of Golf Courses?

Most golfers are accustomed to the standard golf club where there are 18 holes and at least 6000 yards. These larger sized courses are not the only options for players, even though they may be the most popular. 


Championship courses are typically those that have hosted golf tournaments at some point. Whether the tournament was a national event for junior golfers or a US Open, a championship course is usually long, has several sets of tees for professionals, and will have players testing their game.

An example of a championship course would be Congressional Country Club in Maryland. Some golf courses will call this a tournament course instead of a championship course.    


Executive courses are shorter than championships, but they can be a 9 hole course or 18 hole course. A par 4 on an executive course may be less than 300 yards. There is no set standard or formula for an executive golf course, so you can’t expect them all to be the same. 


Links golf courses are those that typically have no tress, large waste areas, and very difficult greens. Some people think that links courses are easier because they are more wide open, but make no mistake, you must still be accurate to play well. 

An example of a Links style course would be Whistling Straits in the state of Wisconsin

Par 3 

The par 3 course features just par 3 holes. These are fun to play for younger kids that are learning the game or golfers who want to get good at golf from 150 yards and in.  The nice thing about Par 3 courses, is you still can work on your short game, putting, and you may even want to participate in a Golf betting game with your opponent or partners.

Pitch and Putt 

The pitch and putt is a golf course that typically allows for a short shot of less than 50 yards or so and then a putt. The golfer wants to try and get up and down, and this is an excellent option for those that are trying to really fine-tune their short game.   

What Is the Point of an Executive Course?

Executive golf courses have some benefits over full length courses, and sometimes they were built simply because there wasn’t room for an 18-hole championship golf course. The golf experience on an executive course can feel a bit more laid back.

Many players will find that they can work on fine-tuning their golf game without the pressure that the larger or more challenging golf course brings. 

If you like fun golf and want to try and shoot some lower scores, executive golf could be a good option. 

How Many Yards Is an Executive Golf Course?

There is no set yardage for an executive golf course, but most are less than 5000 yards. Some are considerably less and short.

Golf course architects sometimes have a bit more freedom with executive courses as they are typically not designing them to hold championships. 

What Is the Difference Between a Short Course and an Executive Course?

A short course and an executive course can be the same thing. Some golfers don’t know the name of an executive course, so they call it a short course. The bottom line is that the courses both feature golf holes and the experience to play; executive courses are just shorter golf courses. 

Are Executive Golf Courses Suitable for Beginners? 

Beginners can get quite a bit of enjoyment out of an executive course. In fact, instead of heading to an entire 18 hole golf course, beginners should think about playing some rounds of golf at an executive course.

This will help them understand the rules of the game, the importance of the pace of play, and the shots they need to work on. 

Is a Par 3 Course and an Executive Course the Same? 

Par 3 golf courses and executive golf courses are not the same. Although executive golf courses feature shorter holes, they are not all par 3 holes. Many executive courses have par 4 holes, and some may even have a par 5.

The main difference will be the total length of the course. The executive is considerably longer than the par 3 courses. 


At this point, you should feel like an executive golf course expert. These courses are fun if you have one in your area to play. In fact, many business executives love having one of these courses close to the office; it means they can still squeeze some golf into their day.

Overall, if you play an 18 hole championship golf course or an 18 hole executive course, you still need to make great shots and take great swings. The game of golf can be quite tricky, regardless of the type of golf course you play. It can be beneficial to your game from time to time to enjoy golf at a different facility.

Please be sure to check back often to AECinfo.org – You may also enjoy Walking the golf course which describes the benefits of walking instead of riding in a golf cart, as well as What is a forecaddie