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The Chain short course by Coore and Crenshaw opens soon at Streamsong

The Chain short course by Coore and Crenshaw opens soon at Streamsong

BOWLING GREEN, Fla. – There are expectations for architects as they design a golf hole. Length, width, severity of contours, difficulty, placement of the green – there’s room for creativity, sure, but stray too far from tradition and a few eyebrows certainly will be raised.

Except for short par 3s. Great architects have long let their imaginations wander with the most miniature of holes on many acclaimed courses.

“It seems that’s there a theme that every wonderful, great course I’ve ever seen always includes a little short par 3 somewhere,” said Ben Crenshaw, the two-time Masters champion, golf historian and design partner with Bill Coore. “Short par 3s are pretty tantalizing for a lot of people. There’s so many brilliant examples of that. It just adds spice.”

Coore and Crenshaw have included many such holes on the dozens of golf courses they have designed together. Often not much over 120 yards or even shorter, these pint-sized par 3s are famed for offering intrigue as players plan for birdies but often pencil in bogeys or worse on their scorecards.

Soon comes a new chance to play a string of such holes as Streamsong opens all of its newest short course, The Chain, to preview play March 31. Until then, the resort is allowing limited preview play on less than the full course as it continues to grow in. The Chain is expected to fully open to resort play later this year.

The new par-3 course, The Chain, at Streamsong in Florida (Courtesy of Streamsong/Matt Hahn)

Built by Coore and Crenshaw, The Chain will offer 19 holes ranging from 41 to 293 yards, each offering a vast teeing area that allows players to pick a length. Want to play No. 8 with a driver? Step back to the huge metal chain link sunk into the ground and swing away. Want to play the same hole at 170? Go for it. It’s totally up to each group, or even each player. No. 1 can be 57 yards or 110, all the way to No. 19 at that ranges from 115 to 145.

The resort never refers to par for any hole, though the vast majority of them will require just one full shot for most players. Call them par 3s, or call them whatever you like – the resort’s operators don’t really care as long as players are having a blast.

The course was laid out in such a way that players can take a six-hole or a 13-hole loop, but resort operators expect most to play all 19. The Chain is a short walk from The Lodge at Streamsong, so late-afternoon tee times will be at a premium after many players tackle…


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