Playing nine is fine: An argument for nine-hole rounds

Jean Harris

Playing nine is fine: An  argument for nine-hole rounds

The game of golf is too slow for many people. Millennials are not playing golf like their parents did years ago. A four- or five-hour 18-hole round is incompatible with the modern lifestyle. Most other recreational activities take two hours or less.

Shorter options like movies, tennis, bowling or going to the gym are better suited for the amount of time that an average American is willing to set aside. Playing nine holes fits nicely into this category.

For years golf purists frowned upon playing only nine holes. They thought it was for beginners and high-handicappers. However, this attitude is changing and nine holes is becoming an acceptable way to play the game.

The United States Golf Association website lists reasons why golfers should be playing nine holes:

  • The first U.S. Open in 1895 was played on a nine-hole course.
  • 90 percent of U.S. golf facilities now offer nine-hole rates.
  • Early-risers can play nine and still get to work on time.
  • It is a great way to end the day and shake off stress.
  • It might be all the time you have for golf.
  • It is a great way to learn the game without the time commitment needed for 18 holes.
  • It is the best way to get a beginner out on the golf course.
  • Playing nine is good for all ages, both young and old.

The USGA now allows golfers to post nine-hole scores toward their handicaps. "Play nine - post nine." This handicap can be adapted and used in 18-hole competitions.

About 80 percent of all American golf course layouts come back to the clubhouse after nine holes, making it easy to have a nine-hole rate.

There are more reasons to play golf than excuses not to take it up. If the reason you haven't been playing is time and money, then think again about playing nine. The rate for nine holes will be significantly lower than an 18-hole rate.

Golf is a great leisure time activity and a perfect way to spend quality time with significant others.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris;