Connor Farrell is the PGA Senior Assistant Professional at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland.
What if I told you that on a 53-degree day, with winds in excess of 30 MPH, a 160-player event had nearly a 95 percent show-up rate? You would ask “How did this happen?” At Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, the annual Woodmont Par-3 Tournament has grown every year. We turn our North Golf Course, a regular site of U. S. Open Sectionals Stage qualifier, into a fun, yet challenging, par-3 course. Each of the past two years, more members have played in the Par-3 than any other tournament. The event brings out youth golfers, club champions, families and couples. One great reason to hold an early season par-3 event is its kind to players who have had limited time to practice for the upcoming season. No drivers or fairway woods are needed in our par-3 tournament. It’s a fast event, beneficial if the early spring weather does not fully cooperate. Teams play a step-aside scramble. The round is generally played in three hours and 30 minutes. At every tee there is a creative description that describes the best way to play the hole on a well throughout yardage book.
The Par-3 has grown by at least 15 players every year since it began in 2013. Most tee shots are hit from an adjacent tee boxes from other golf holes. For example, the fifth blue tee was used as the tee hitting into the first green playing 110 yards. Each year, subtle changes are made to keep the event fresh. We incorporate six to 12 new holes a year. Over the years we have changed the themes including electricity, movie themes and monopoly. The yardage book descriptions and hole names are derived from these themes. I encourage my fellow PGA Professionals to think outside the box with events at your club. Consider a Par-3 Tournament at your facility and watch the good times roll.