It’s Time to Play Nine Holes of Golf
In honor of the United States Golf Association’s Play 9 Day today, we’re celebrating the benefits of playing nine-hole courses and half rounds on 18-hole courses. Playing nine is good for your body and soul and great fun. Come on—it’s time to play nine holes of golf.
Making time to play nine holes of golf is an ideal option if your schedule is jam-packed or your resources are limited. Compared to a full 18-hole round that consumes a good chunk of the day and may be expensive, the average time to play nine holes of golf is only two hours or so, and the cost of the round is markedly less. Responding to the realization that golfers have to fit work, school, errands and family affairs into their days, more and more 18-hole courses are offering nine-hole rates or customized rates based on a reduced number of holes. Playing nine-hole courses has become a hot trend in the golf world. According to the National Golf Foundation, short courses—typically nine holes but also encompassing any course with fewer than 18 holes—comprise more than a quarter of all layouts in the United States and yet account for more than a third of all rounds played. So join the crowd and make time to play nine holes of golf.
Here are nine key benefits of playing nine holes that may inspire you to get out on the course today.
Playing 9 Holes Saves Time
Do you only have 2-3 hours of free time? The average time to play nine holes of golf is just under two and a half hours. If you are only playing 9 holes of an 18-hole course, some facilities will be flexible about where you start your round (hole 10 is most common), possibly allowing you to finish in even less time. When you start your nine holes first thing in the morning or at the very end of the day, the pace of play is often brisk.
Playing 9 Holes Saves Money
Trying to squeeze more out of a dollar these days can be tough. Many nine-hole rates are typically discounted up to 50 percent off of the full-round rate.
Playing 9 Holes is Healthy Exercise
Were you planning to do your normal workout, or were you thinking of skipping your regular exercise routine? Why not make time to play nine holes of golf instead. You’ll not only add variety to your fitness regimen, you’ll get the benefit of a good workout and fill your lungs with plenty of fresh air. Even better, since no two rounds are alike and you’ll be outdoors, every time you play you’ll enjoy a unique experience and face new challenges.
Playing 9 Holes is Easier on Your Body
Playing golf can be more physically demanding than you think – especially if you walk 18 holes. Even if you are driving a cart, spending four or more hours in the elements and making your way to and from your ball over a variety of terrains is physically taxing. Playing nine holes allows you to get great exercise without overdoing it. It’s also an ideal option for kids and seniors.
Playing 9 Holes is a Great Way to Start the Day or to Unwind
Because the average time to play nine holes is much shorter compared to playing 18 holes, many golfers opt to tee off first thing in the morning or during twilight hours after work. Golf courses are peaceful. They’re a perfect place to begin a day, and after a quick, early nine-hole round you can still accomplish what you need to do the rest of the day. Meanwhile, a nine-hole round squeezed in before dark is also the ideal way to clear your head and recharge after a stressful day.
Playing 9 Holes is Better for Beginners and Duffers
Golf is a tough game, and unfortunately, a full 18-hole round is often overwhelming for novices and skill-challenged golfers. Playing nine is well suited for golfers who are trying to learn the game. It makes the game more mentally and physically manageable and eliminates a lot of the fatigue and frustration that builds up during longer rounds.
Playing 9 Holes Can Offer Solitude or Sociability
Whether you prefer to play golf alone or amongst others, it’s easier when you play nine holes. Course starters are more likely to allow singles to play alone if they are only playing nine, and they’ll often squeeze singles in when they otherwise wouldn’t for larger groups. On the other hand, it’s easier to round up friends and pull them away from their other obligations if the plan is to play nine holes. Finally, the vast majority of golf leagues are nine holes and they can be an ideal way to get connected to a wider group of people and to make new friends.
Nine-hole Scores Still Count
If you keep a golf handicap, you can still submit your nine-hole scores. Nine-hole rounds really up the ante on your friendly matches as well. Each hole stokes the competitive juices since there are fewer opportunities to make up for error.
Nine-hole Courses Are Worthy
Some golfers have the mistaken impression that nine-hole courses are less worthy than 18-hole layouts. Not true. All of golf’s great course architects—Donald Ross, Alister MacKenzie, Gil Hanse, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, to name but a few—have designed nine-hole layouts. In fact, until 1974, nine-hole courses outnumbered 18-hole layouts in the United States. It’s no wonder many golfers list a nine-hole course as their favorite course to play. The benefits of a nine-hole round are seemingly endless, the savings are real, and you still get to play the great game of golf without sacrificing other commitments. No more excuses – get out and play nine holes of golf today. Want to find a nine-hole round near you? Visit GolfNow’s Play Nine page to browse available nine-hole tee times.