Small But Mighty

Aerial view of Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course seen from the Atlantic Ocean and included in article by Michael Duranko of GolfToons titled 'Small but Mighty' originally published in The Golf Supplier.
Aerial view of Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course seen from the Atlantic Ocean and included in article by Michael Duranko of GolfToons titled 'Small but Mighty' originally published in The Golf Supplier.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better

The Golf Supplier originally published ‘Small But Mighty’ about the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course on 12/9/2020 as part of the Travel section. See other articles by Michael Duranko.

The Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course is stunning.

Family-friendly and challenging to any golfer, regardless of skill set. 

When next in Southeast Florida, PLAY THIS GOLF COURSE! 

Open to the public, the Town of Palm Beach owns this joyous golf treat. The web address says it all,

Dick Wilson then Raymond Floyd

The original architect when the course opened in 1961 was Dick Wilson of Bay Hill and Doral fame.  In 2009 Ray Floyd spearheaded a renovation and redesign.

Floyd brought the golf course up to standards, and I’ll tell you about what the greenskeeper said to me at the end. 

The layout is tight but safe, and the many challenges do not get in the way of the fun. In our group, two of us walked, the other two shared a golf cart.  

The whole property is such that you can see most groups on the course.

I saw family foursomes, beginners to smooth-swingers, hipsters to the Lilly Pulitzer-clad, and everything in between. 

All were having a blast; the way golf should be. 

There is an ever-present ocean breeze impacting every shot, on every hole. 

Ranging from 80 yards to 200+ when factoring in the wind, any of these holes could fit on any golf course, anywhere. 

And I will go further and say there should be more sub-100 yard par threes on the PGA Tour.

An 85 yard shot to a pin tucked in the corner with a stiff breeze is not a guaranteed par or bogey! 

A six from 90 yards IS possible.  

Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course

It does take a while to get to an ocean view, actually until the 12th green.  But it is worth the wait.

Hole 13 plays along the ocean to a green overlooked by those lunching on the veranda.  More on that later. 

Then, hole 17 brings you back up another rise into the ocean breeze.  The finishing 18th is along the Atlantic with a stand of trees and a bench to frame a perfect picture.  The Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course is Stunning

On the critical side, the greens could be faster, but they don’t need to be. This place is about fun golf. 

This mighty, tidy golf course is located less than 4 miles from Mar-a-Lago and even closer to Billionaires Row.  Nice company to keep.  

After golf, the 2nd-floor restaurant combines a modern clubby feel with unimpeded vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. 

You will find the non-golfing, beautiful ‘Palm Beach Crowd’ at one table and the tatted up, muni-warriors at the next. The food is upscale at prices probably far more reasonable than on nearby Worth Ave. 

The pro shop has a fine selection of merchandise and a ‘Wall of Fame’ with the donors that made the project possible.   

The entrance has a replica of Floyd’s U.S. Open trophy and a picture of him hoisting it in 1986 at Shinnecock Hills.  I wish there were a picture of Floyd lifting the Claret Jug; that would have given him a career Grand Slam.  I’m sure Floyd would agree.   


Lastly, I did have a chat with the greenskeeper.  Tim (I think?) and an assistant were testing the sprinklers on the 5th tee.   

He told me he was there before the renovation.  Floyd rerouted a bunch of holes and switched the nines.

Mostly, they upgraded the overall condition of the golf course and added diversity to the green complexes.  Well done!

As the greenskeeper and his assistant drove away, the sprinklers went off and doused the two in the golf cart. This honest mistake may have led to a different outcome at some of the more posh, nearby golf courses! 

Our riders dried off with dirty towels and got teased for riding and not walking. 

We all laughed for the rest of the day. 

The way golf should be.


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