Our crusade for pitch-and-putt golf

We have par-3 golf in America, but we don’t have Irish pitch-and-putt. The short game, as it is commonly known, has its own technique, its own rules and its own governing body. It arose in Cork in the mid-1930s and caught on during World War II, when gasoline rationing and other deprivations made regular golf an impossible luxury. The earliest layouts were often extremely short. The first hole at the original course, in Fountainstown, measured just 16 feet from tee to green. (To begin a course with an easy hole is “to set the sprat to catch the mackerel,” in the words of an early chronicler of the game.) Not long afterward, a similar game grew up around Dublin. There, the holes measured up to 100 yards, and the players carried three clubs (one of them a putter) instead of just two, as they did in Cork. The games evolved separately until 1960. Then representatives from the two regions settled on a compromise hybrid, and they created the Pitch and Putt Union to govern it.