What is an Executive Golf Course? A Golfer’s Guide in 2023

Most likely, you are familiar with the concept of traditional golf courses. But have you ever wondered, “What is an executive golf course?”

In simple terms, an executive golf course is a shorter version of a standard 18-hole golf course. It is like the condensed, fast-paced sibling of traditional golfing experiences. These courses, while not as widely known, have their own unique charm.

If you are curious about executive golf courses and want to learn more, you better keep reading this post. Today, you are about to find out why an executive golf course is your best choice if you are a novice.

What is an Executive Golf Course?

Whether you are an avid golfer or just starting out, you might wonder, “What is an executive golf course?” Well, it is a golf course designed for quicker rounds and less time spent on the greens.

Unlike regular golf courses, executive golf courses are shorter in length. Originally, they were created for busy business executives who wanted to enjoy a game of golf without investing too much time.

Most of these courses have par 3 holes. Sometimes, they have the occasional par 4 or short par 4. Some even feature a short par 5. There are executive golf courses that have only nine holes, while others offer a full 18-hole experience.

What is great about these courses is that they are more casual in nature. Most of the time, they don’t require a strict dress code. This simplicity makes these courses ideal for beginners and casual golfers.

Moreover, executive golf courses are well-suited for seniors, juniors, and those who prefer a more relaxed golfing experience. You can find them as stand-alone courses. These courses have various tee options to accommodate different skill levels. However, some may not even require tee times.

How Many Yards is an Executive Golf Course?

The total distance of an executive course is much shorter than a standard course, typically ranging from 5,500 to 7,000 yards or even less.

The reason for this shorter length is to make the game faster and more time-efficient. Executive golf courses achieve this by having fewer par holes. Often, these courses are played with par 5 holes and more par 3 holes, which speeds up the rounds considerably.

Typical Golf Courses vs Executive Golf Courses

When you compare a typical golf course to an executive golf course, you will notice some key differences. The most significant distinctions are in the length of the holes and the total par score.

In terms of hole length, it is quite evident when you check the overall distance of the courses. Usually, an executive golf course spans below or around 5,200 yards for 18 holes. And as for 9 holes, it is about half of that length.

On the other hand, a typical golf course averages around 6,700 yards for 18 holes. With this substantial difference in length, typical golf courses are longer and more challenging for golfers.

Another major contrast lies in the total par score between executive and regular golf courses. A typical golf course has a par score, running from 71 to 72 for an 18-hole round.

In contrast, an executive golf course has a lower par score, usually in the low 60s range. This is because executive golf courses tend to have more par 3 holes and fewer par 5 holes.

To discover the key differences between typical golf courses and executive golf courses, let’s take a look at the simple comparison table below.

Typical Golf Course Executive Golf Course
Hole Length (18 holes) Around 6,700 yards Below or around 5,200 yards
Hole Length (9 holes) Not applicable (18 holes) About half the length of 18 holes
Total Par Score (18 holes) Normally, 71 to 72 Often, in the low 60s
Par Distribution Mix of par 3s, 4s, and 5s More par 3s, fewer par 5s
Aim Challenging and longer rounds Shorter and faster rounds
Suitability All skill levels Great for beginners and busy golfers

What is the Purpose of an Executive Golf Course?

If you have gone through the previous section, then you may already have an idea of why executive golf courses were invented and played. These courses serve several valuable purposes. Some of the main purposes are listed below.

  • Skill Improvement: Executive golf courses are a great place to enhance your golfing skills. These courses provide an ideal environment to practice various wedge shots. So, you can become a better golfer if you are a novice.
  • Fast Golf Play: Executive courses are your solution if you are short on time and can’t commit to a 4-5 hour round of golf. On such courses, you can play a round of golf much more quickly than on a standard course. Hence, executive courses are convenient for busy individuals.
  • Increased Activity: Walking is more common on executive courses, which is a good way to get some exercise while enjoying a golf round. An executive golf course not only improves your physical endurance but also serves as a warm-up before tackling a full-length golf course.
  • Save Money: Usually, it is more cost-effective to play an executive golf course. You can enjoy the golf round while saving money. Therefore, executive golf courses are an attractive option for both novice and experienced golfers.


What is the Duration of an Executive Course?

The duration of playing an executive course can vary, with some nine-hole rounds taking as little as an hour, while others may take longer. The time it takes depends on various factors. Generally, it should take around half the time or even less to complete a round on these shorter par 3 courses.

What Does an Executive Par 3 Mean?

An executive par 3 course is made up entirely of par 3 holes. Each hole has a legitimate distance to the green. In contrast, an executive course combines par 3 and par 4 holes, which are shorter in length compared to those found on a standard full-length golf course.

What is an Executive 9?

An executive 9 golf course is a condensed and more accessible version of traditional golf. It features only two types of holes – par 3s and 4-holers. The average par score on executive courses is around 60, whereas on regular courses, it is usually higher, often around 72.

Should Beginners Play Executive Golf Courses?

Yes, beginners can enjoy and learn the rules of the game from executive golf courses. Rather than heading to a full 18-hole golf course, beginners should consider playing rounds at an executive course. Executive golf courses are an excellent starting point for those new to the game.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have found your answer to the query, “What is an executive golf course?” These courses can provide all the joys of golf in a more manageable package. It is an excellent option for both seasoned golfers looking for a faster game and beginners seeking an approachable entry into golfing.

So, if you are planning a golf round very soon, don’t forget to give it a shot at an executive golf course. I bet you will have a different kind of golfing adventure.

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