The game of golf is, In itself, a large commitment. It can be costly, challenging and most importantly time consuming. Slow play has been golf’s pink elephant in the room since its inception and despite numerous efforts has not improved upon itself much over the decades.
Slow play not only can be frustrating but can also limit the amount of golf you are playing all together. Most golfers have what I like to call a traditionalists view of the game where 18 holes and only 18 holes constitutes a round. There is nothing wrong with this perception, I myself enjoy playing a full 18 hole round as well. The problem with this logic lies in the fact that the only way to play a ‘round’ of golf for traditionalists is to have a full 5 hours to commit to the process. This number is not including travel, pre-round practice and 19th hole beverages afterwards.
Between work, school, family and other obligations, chances are 5+ hours of free time are hard to come by for most golfers. If you are in a rush and don’t have time to eat at a nice sit down restaurant, chances are you probably head to a drive through. If you can’t make it to the start of your friends cookout, chances are you probably join in when you can get there, so If you don’t have time to play 18 holes of golf you should try to play 9!
There is a stigma from traditionalists about playing only 9 holes. I have no idea where it came from but I will tell you that I couldn’t disagree more with this notion. Here are a few reasons why you should embrace playing 9 holes if you don’t have the time for 18:
1. Cost- Most courses have a separate 9 hole rate and depending on the time of day, especially in the late evenings, a round can be extremely affordable.
2. Availability- Playing a 9 hole round gives you and the golf course some options. Since at an 18 hole facility there are 2 separate 9’s you will almost always be started on the less occupied side. This can cut down an already shortened round of golf even more.
3. Bringing your children to play- If you have been wanting to take your young son or daughter out on the course, there is no better time than for 9 holes in the evening. Many courses will offer a discounted rate for juniors during specific times of the day and a quick 9 hole round its fun for both them and you.
4. Playing with your buddies- It doesn’t get much better than meeting up with your friends after work for a quick 9 hole match.
5. Playing by yourself- Instead of hitting up the range again why not head out for a quick 9. There is no better practice space than the actual golf course. Playing by yourself, chances are you can finish in under an hour and a half. If the course is crowded and the pace is somewhat slower, play 2 balls and you are essentially playing 18 holes in the time it takes to play 9.
There are also a few myths about playing 9 holes I would like to address, especially evening rounds.
1. Leagues- After ‘Outing’, the word ‘League’ is the worst 6 letter word a golfer wants to hear when inquiring about a late afternoon 9 hole tee time. Truth of the matter is most courses allow for public play off of the opposite 9 and therefore you will likely not even notice the league.
2. GHIN Posting- Many golfers still believe that only 18 hole rounds can be posted for Handicap purposes, this Is not true. 9 Hole rounds are eligible for posting as well.
The only way to play more golf this season is to actually get out there and play. If you only have a few hours to spare don’t trudge your clubs unto the driving range again, head out to the course for a quick nine instead.
About the Guest Author
Dennis Rysz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis is entering his 4th season as an Assistant Golf Professional at Westchester. Click here to take a look at other post written by Dennis.