How many dog-track par-3 courses are in your neck of the woods? When considering par-3 courses, one doesn’t think of a top resort or golf travel destination. I used to think of “Paul’s Par-3,” a very low budget track which fetches $2.00 on weekdays and $5.00 on weekends, payable through a donation envelope deposited into a slit in a steel pole by the first tee. There’s no pro shop.
Treetops Par-3 Course, “3Tops” – Click for more…
Following my thorough examination of Treetops Resort in Gaylord, Michigan, my view of par-3s has completely changed. I had so much fun playing the par-3 course at Treetops, called “3Tops,” that I’d rather play that course over countless 18 hole par-72 tracks.
3Tops has 9 par-3 holes ranging from 90 yards to as long as 220+ yards. The elevation changes are absolutely stunning. Bring your camera. Many holes have elevation drops which can call for as many as 4 clubs worth of distance. The 220+ yard 3rd hole for instance, had a drop which I estimate to be over 100 feet. For that tee shot 7-irons were hitting pin high, after being airborne for somewhere around 22 minutes.
The course design is wonderful and fun, winding up and down large hills. Add plush green grass, white sand bunkers, and dense forest framing up the holes, and the result is a complete winner. In fact the track is widely known as the best par-3 course in America. I’ve toured the par-3 at Augusta National Golf Club and 3Tops is every bit as beautiful and surely more challenging with the massive elevation changes.
Treetops Par-3 Course – click for more
I tried my hardest to reproduce the $1,000,000+ hole-in-one Lee Trevino carded on the 140 yard 7th hole. Trevino aced it during the Par-3 Shootout on ESPN back in 2007. My gap wedge hit about 3-4 feet from the back pin. Unfortunately the ball spun back an incredible 24 yards. I was happy to make a par. No million dollar prize for me, but I did enter the Michigan lottery. You never know. Check out the video below documenting the shot:
Conclusion – 3Tops at Treetops IS Tops!
A round of golf on 3Tops runs $50. Not cheap for a par value of 27. But in that nine holes is enough fun to cover 18 regular holes or more, plus rounds clock in at around a hour. As a bonus, the chance of making one’s own ace, whether for a million bucks or $2 worth of 50 cent skins, is increased by more than double over a standard 18 hole track.
I’m at 36,000 feet, on my way home from a golf business trip. I’m currently flying over Kansas or perhaps Nebraska. I had to start this post now, having just finished reading The Longest Shot – Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan, and Pro Golf’s Greatest Upset at the 1955 U.S. Open, a book by my fellow golf blogger and friend Neil Sagebiel. My apologies to Neil for taking as long as I have to finish the book, but I’m not the fastest at reading books. And I even moved this one up to #1 in my book queue.
I must comment at how amazed and proud I am of what Neil has accomplished in this book. The depth of research Neil must have gone through to produce such a fantastic accounting of not only the 1955 U.S. Open, but the backgrounds of Jack Fleck, Ben Hogan and the supporting cast of this story, must have been massive.
The research was only part of it. The way Neil puts it all together into such a great flow and timeline is brilliant, especially considering much of the play by play had to be assembled so intelligently. You see, back then tournament player positions did not have the same structure they do today, with the leaders being put in the final groups. Players and their positions were all over the proverbial course map in Saturday 36 hole finals. There was no play on Sunday with the leaders positioned in the final group.
I knew a little about Ben Hogan, his golf career, the auto accident and the Ben Hogan golf company. Reading this book just for that information alone is worth the price of admission if you are into golf history.
Sagebiel’s shot-by-shot coverage of the tournament and especially the 18 hole playoff had me glued to the book, despite my already knowing the outcome. I felt like I was experiencing the tournament from the perspective of the players, feeling the emotional swings and pressure in what will likely forever be known as the toughest test in major championship history.
There are many great side stories in the book as well, from the beginnings of Arnold Palmer’s and Jack Nicklaus’s careers to what members of the press had to go through to cover golf in the typewriter era.
Neil Sagebiel obviously poured his soul into researching and writing this fantastic book. I strongly recommend you pick up a copy and give it a read.
Very well done Neil. Bravo.
I know Neil is up for an interview about the book and I do have many questions I’m dying to ask. Stay tuned.