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By Design


ven experienced golfers are

playing fewer rounds as time

in our daily routines becomes

harder to dedicate to golf,” says Damian

Pascuzzo, ASGCA, the architect who,

with partner and tour pro Steve Pate, is

behind the Challenge Course concept.

The courses consist of between nine

and twelve par three holes that can

easily be played in 90 minutes. Each

of the holes is distinctly different, with

multiple large turf tees, providing

options on hole length and angle of

attack to fit all skill levels.

The oversized, undulating greens are one

of the distinguishing features of Challenge

Courses, carefully crafted to create several

different hole locations. Two flags are used

on each hole, with one easier location and

the other more challenging.

“We needed to create something

that will welcome and encourage new

players while providing an enjoyable

and satisfying golf experience for veteran

players,” says Pascuzzo. “It must be

an interesting alternative for players

who don’t have time, or desire, to play

a full sized course. The course can

easily be incorporated into a residential

development and look every bit the part

of a traditional golf course to maintain

desirable views from the homes and

increase lot premiums.”

The two Challenge Courses already

built and operating – at Monarch Dunes

in Nipomo, California, and The Club

at Spurwing, in Meridian, Idaho – are

“demonstrably versatile, fun and short,

and appeal to everyone from those

curious about trying out the game to

seasoned players,” says Pascuzzo.

“One of our clients uses an eight inch

cup at their easier flags to provide an

interesting option for their players,”

explains Pascuzzo. “Green surrounds

are crafted and shaped to present

different types of recovery shots. Lakes

and bunkers are strategically placed to

defend certain portions of the green

while leaving open access to others. Turf

selections vary depending on climate

but superintendents are encouraged

to lower green speeds to balance the

contours of the putting surfaces. The

result is a remarkably versatile golf

course that appeals to a broad spectrum

of players who find it a fun and

challenging way to play golf.”



Nipomo, California,

and Meridian, Idaho


Damian Pascuzzo, ASGCA

Steve Pate, PGA

Pascuzzo & Pate Golf Design

Project summary:

To attract new players, Damian

Pascuzzo, ASGCA and Steve Pate,

PGA developed the Challenge

Course concept. With two facilities

already open for play, these courses

consist of nine or twelve par three

holes with oversized greens and

multiple large turf tees on each hole

to provide options for length and

attack angle for all skill levels.


Woodland Ventures LLC

Sundance Development

The Toro Company

West Coast Turf

Turf Seed

United GLI

Wadsworth Golf Construction

Image: Aidan Bradley