"If golf were invented today, it would be a nine-hole game." - Page 2
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Part of the problem around here is the *perceived* value of playing 9. A lot of guy with their own carts will pull in after work and play 3,4,9 holes.
The average cheapskate (around here) does not want to pay more than half the 18 hole price.
At our club the cart fee is $21 for 18 and $12.50 for 9. The only time any of us plays 9 is with the wife and it is because it was her idea to go out and play 9 - we'll always take 9 over not playing.
I think this is the biggest issue. If the cost of 18 holes with a cart is $30 where I play, often the price of 9 holes is like $21. You aren't getting half off for playing half the course. And far to often I see the cart fee at courses I play be priced at $9 for 9 and like $12 for 18. That doesn't make much sense to me as I am sure it doesn't to a lot of other golfers.
As far as my wish, I think the perfect course would be 14 holes. Front 7/Back 7. Cuts out 4 holes and close to an hour of golf.
I play 9 all the time. I can just get out and play or practice on the course. But having a membership makes it much easier to do. The wife and I really enjoy a quick 9 after work too. I do find that I play the front probably 75% of the time so now if I see #9 is open I start on 10 to get more back 9 in.
It would be interesting to see a course totally change up the game on a weekend where the mid morning tee times are usually the most popular and actually book only 9 holes till 11am.....you would having matching tee times for both the front and back for just 9. Then at 11 it would be 18 hole tee times beginning on 1 and the 9 hole times would end on the back at noon as the 18 hole guys started to catch up.
It makes you wonder how popular it would be so a family guy can get a quick round in with this buddies on the weekend and still be home by noon for the rest of the family time. Instead of golf being an all day adventure it might entice more play. Even if it's just one Saturday a month it might promote the game differently.
I think a good course would be 24 holes going in "wheel n' spoke" kind of layout. You could play 6,12 or 18, but not really 24. Keep everything moving. 9 holes is not enough time for me to have beers or smokes.
My CC had a Happy Hour 9 hole tournament every Friday that started in the clubhouse with one drink @ 6pm, then golf. $10 buy in, $10 for the club, cash money on both. Worked well that way, and only time I liked playing 9 holes.
Agree that 9 should be 1/2 of 18 amywhere.
I realized 2 things from an Internet golf forum.
1) Everyone hits their driver 300 yards, even if their swing speed is 98mph.
2) Everyone plays four ball rounds in under 3.5 hours.
On topic, I personally don't like playing 9 holes. I honestly feel like 18 holes is a "complete game/match". There are some options for late afternoon 9 hole rounds in this area, but I'd always rather play 18 holes, even if it drags on for 5 hours.
My home course (private) has 18 great holes, with lights on 9. I play 9 holes almost every day after work. It's rarely crowded. The last tee time is 7:00 PM and the course is almost deserted. I've played 9 holes in a twosome in 1 hour 15 minutes.
Courses could put lights on 9 holes and extend the day to maybe aleviate some of the traffic that causes 5-6 hour rounds.
I often go out for 9 holes after work, or even on a weekend but will play a full round whenever I can.
Last time out my 18 hole round only took 2 and a half hours, and that was with 96 shots and a few lost balls and walking.
Ding ding ding......we have a winner!
It does NOT need to take 4 hours to play a round of golf. It needn't take 3 hours.......and handicap has little to do with it.
I really don't like playing less than 18 because it feels incomplete. I'll show up to the course and squeeze in what I can, but I will go to great lengths to squeeze in 18 instead of 9 when possible.
But its probably true that if the game were invented today it would be shorter than 18 holes. Something like 12 would be my guess. Isn't that one of the things Jack is pushing? 12 hole rounds?
After reading a bunch of these comments, I'm not sure everyone is loving ths as an initiative. It seems around half don't even like 9-hole golf. Another portion does not have 9-hole golf available to them. Another portion isn't willing to pay 75% of the cost of an 18 hole round to play 50% of the golf. And another portion is already playing plenty of 9-hole golf. I think it is more available to folks who have a membership.
iacas's suggestion of faster golf is great - but from a practical standpoint, you can only play at your desired pace when there is no one in front of you. Which is almost never. The tee it forward thing might have helped pace - but I find so many that are unwilling to do it. Whenever I am paired with people I don't know - they almost always play the blues - even if they are terrible. I don't know how to get a packed golf course to get people through in 3.5 hours. Sounds tough.
Maybe this initiative should be rolled out to the course management instead of the masses. If this was intended for the actual golfers, and if what I've read in this thread is representative of golf as a whole, then they are essentially trying to bring people to the game by saying - play at crappy times and pay almost the cost of 18 to play 9. You'll love it!