Par-three course provides added dimension to park experience
ELK CITY STATE PARK -- "Drive for show, putt for dough," is an old golf adage, and as a rule of thumb this principle applies to golf's short game in general. For those who love state parks and would like to sharpen their short game, Elk City State Park's new 3-par golf course is the place to go. While you won't be able to putt, each hole ranges from 60-100 yards, offering the perfect opportunity to practice approaches and chipping. Elk City State Park is in Montgomery County on the shores of Elk City Reservoir, just west of Independence.

The course was the brainchild of park manager Chris Hammerschmidt and his staff. The first nine holes were built in July of 2008, with fairways mowed through tall pasture grass and "greens" consisting of a tightly-mowed area with a car rim embedded in the ground and filled with sand. A permanent pole complete with flag is placed in the middle of the "cup," and linksters are required to chip, rather than putt, to hole out. Each hole is complete with hazards, including dog-legs, trees, and water.

The course proved to be so popular that another nine holes were added in the fall of 2008, and players can be seen on the links every weekend throughout summer. The only cost is a park vehicle permit.

As an added attraction, a 12-team tournament was held on Memorial Day Weekend. A tournament scheduled for July 4 had to be cancelled because of weather, but others are scheduled for Labor Day and each of the summer holidays in the future.

For more information on the "Elk City 18" or other amenities in the park, phone 620-331-6295.