'Sangria League': Six-hole golf course coming to west Michigan facility

From the department of golf takes too long and is too expensive for some players comes this: a new short course in Michigan, designed to address both of those of those problems.

Scott Lake Golf & Practice Center, a 27-hole facility just north of Grand Rapids, has begun construction on an innovative six-hole short course aimed at attracting new golfers by providing a quicker and less expensive option to enjoying the game. The idea is to build upon three existing holes that were underutilized at the facility's expansive seven-year-old practice center and add three more holes to provide an option for golfers who don't want to spend all day or even a half day on the course.

"We talked with staff and wanted to come up with an answer for golfers who enjoyed the social aspect of golf, but didn't necessarily always want to play nine holes in a league, so we came up with what we called the Sangria League," said Jeff Hoag, who co-owns the course with his brother Paul. "They would play four holes and come in for a pitcher of Sangria. It evolved from there to five holes and stayed a very social, fun league."

With three holes already in place, Hoag said the construction can be completed at a modest cost and then provided to the customer at a great rate. It also keeps in theme with the facility's logo and slogan, "Scott Lake -- Where Golf is Fun." Already in place at Scott Lake are family programs, very affordable lesson rates and attractive membership rates.

"The infrastructure, the irrigation, the room for the holes is there," Hoag said, "and we will do most of the work ourselves as we always have."

The brothers, who purchased the 52-year-old course from their parents Oliver and Annette Hoag in 1975, have consulted with golf course architect Jeff Gorney, who previously designed the third set of nine holes and the practice center to the original 18 by Bruce Matthews. The new holes will be designed in the style of the existing golf courses at the facility. All six will be par-3 holes that range from 120 to 220 yards with multiple tee options.

The Hoags are hoping to open the new course by late summer 2016.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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All golf courses should be 3 loops of 6 holes.

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'Sangria League': Six-hole golf course coming to west Michigan facility