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Would Golf be Better or Worse if 12 Holes Had Become the Standard?

A 12-Hole Standard?  

76 members have voted

  1. 1. Would the game of golf be better or worse off now if 12 holes (3 par 3, 6 par 4, 3 par 5 = par 48) had become the standard?

    • Better off
      34
    • Worse off
      22
    • This fence is mighty comfortable!
      20


130 posts / 6825 viewsLast Reply

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19 hours ago, Jeremie Boop said:

I just don't find golf to be a "time sink" because I enjoy the time being there. I don't really want to get it over with quicker. I mean, I don't enjoy regular rounds that last 5+ hours because the course is slow, but it's not about the 5+ hours total, it's because the time per hole is too long. That wouldn't change if it were 12 hole rounds. On a slow day each hole would still last as long. I can appreciate people who have a more busy lifestyle thinking that having the option of play 6 or 12 holes would fit in their schedules better though. For my part though, it wouldn't make me able to play anymore than I currently do.

Play an extra half round then ..😊. Just think of the days when we have a super screwy round and drive home wishing you had a do-over. Well there you go! Get another quick solid 6 to erase the doo doo round. You still be inside of 5 hours with an a bonus recordable round in! Yay!!! 

Ok, I'm half kidding. But the point is you can always get more if more is what you want. Of course admittedly the assumption is there's an equitable cost adjustment. 

 

Edited by GolfLug

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28 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Play an extra half round then ..😊. Just think of the days when we have a super screwy round and drive home wishing you had a do-over. Well there you go! Get another quick solid 6 to erase the doo doo round. You still be inside of 5 hours with an a bonus recordable round in! Yay!!! 

Ok, I'm half kidding. But the point is you can always get more if more is what you want. Of course admittedly the assumption is there's an equitable cost adjustment. 

 

That's my point though, I would already be doing that just because it's my personality. Changing the number of holes the course is wouldn't change that. I would just have less variety of holes that I'll be replaying.

7 hours ago, iacas said:

Cool, Jeremie, but many people don't have 5+ or even 4+ hours.

I never said or indicated that they do. I was speaking from my point of view. Which is also why I specifically mentioned appreciating that people who have a more busy lifestyle might like the idea of shorter rounds.

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12 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

That's my point though, I would already be doing that just because it's my personality. Changing the number of holes the course is wouldn't change that. I would just have less variety of holes that I'll be replaying.

The question is would golf as a whole be better off, not would @Jeremie Boop be better off.

Think beyond yourself.

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7 minutes ago, iacas said:

The question is would golf as a whole be better off, not would @Jeremie Boop be better off.

Think beyond yourself.

Seriously, I did, I said I could appreciate other people liking the idea. Many other people have mentioned how it would benefit them if it were different, why is it wrong that I mention that it wouldn't benefit me?

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2 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

Seriously, I did, I said I could appreciate other people liking the idea. Many other people have mentioned how it would benefit them if it were different, why is it wrong that I mention that it wouldn't benefit me?

It’s not “wrong.” Just not the question.

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3 hours ago, GolfLug said:

In fairness I will post again once I get my head out of my own a$$ too. 

Yeah, it's also not just about how you would be affected too, Vishal. 😉

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9 hours ago, Jeremie Boop said:

Seriously, I did, I said I could appreciate other people liking the idea. Many other people have mentioned how it would benefit them if it were different, why is it wrong that I mention that it wouldn't benefit me?

 

8 hours ago, GolfLug said:

In fairness I will post again once I get my head out of my own a$$ too. 

Well your personal perspectives do shed some light. Some people who currently play golf would like it better, some wouldn't. If golf were 12 holes, there would be a different mix of golfers. I don't know if different is necessarily better, I only know it would be different.

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     I retired two years ago and no longer have to play on the weekends. I like to play at a fairly quick pace. If my group has the first tee time we will easily finish in 3 hours! If we are on the course behind two hours of tee times the most likely time will be 4 1/2 hours. If 12 holes were a round of golf you will certainly play in fewer than 4 1/2 hours but many groups would still play in 3 1/4 or 3 1/2 hours! If that is what the course owners think they can make more money doing then more power to them! Since I rarely play on the weekends I don't know how many under 30 year olds are even playing golf. My age group (69) and older are starting to thin out from poor health or death. I have seen articles that say the younger (1980-2000) generation are not getting into the game.

     Personally, I wouldn't mind playing a 12 hole round if I could get back out on the course and play another 12 if it wasn't going to turn into a "death march" behind some dawdlers!

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I like 18. Maybe because I don’t like change. Plus it never bothered me if I had to play a 5 hour round ( it’s rarely happens anyway). I’m in no rush (I still play fast ~4 hour rounds) when I play and always grateful I have the chance to play the game. 

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20 minutes ago, iacas said:

@BogeySwine, the question isn’t about changing golf. It’s about if golf had always been.

I voted for the "This fence is mighty comfortable!" I don't see the game being any different with either number of holes. The game will change as time goes on just like so many other games, occupations or beliefs. When I was young I didn't understand why anyone would play golf. I've been playing since I got out of the Army in 1972. I won't quit playing until it is physically impossible. 

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1 hour ago, Aquaguru said:

I like 18. Maybe because I don’t like change. Plus it never bothered me if I had to play a 5 hour round ( it’s rarely happens anyway). I’m in no rush (I still play fast ~4 hour rounds) when I play and always grateful I have the chance to play the game. 

That was not the question asked.

59 minutes ago, BogeySwine said:

I voted for the "This fence is mighty comfortable!" I don't see the game being any different with either number of holes. The game will change as time goes on just like so many other games, occupations or beliefs. When I was young I didn't understand why anyone would play golf. I've been playing since I got out of the Army in 1972. I won't quit playing until it is physically impossible. 

The game hasn’t changed from 18 in like 200 years.

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I took myself out of it.....well, as much as I could.

Golf,  in the hearts and minds of lot of avid life long practitioners, and 18 holes seem to inextricably linked. For some like myself, it could no more than more holes/less holes type difference or at least the transition to it would not be terribly difficult challenge. But for many devotees the change in this basic premise of golf could diminish its identity. Golf has a historically monumental structure. While the OP challenges us to visualize 'what if we never knew about 18 holes', I can (and I am sure, so would OP), understand that for some, even if a though exercise, it may simply not be possible. The etching is simply too deep. I guess, understandably so.

Other simple con of this is that lot of golfers actually like that it is at least 18 holes. Any less would be, well, just less. 

But, on the flip side there are equally powerful pros of it being 12 holes. Aside from accommodation of many more people with limited time engagement availability in today's thinly spread life, good arguments have been made that the courses, their owners, could benefit too. Substantially so. There's a slice of pie in it for everybody. 

Cricket, which has similar roots and history went through a dramatic change similar to this in early 80s going from a mind-boggling 5 day version for a single game to a single day 7 hour game to today's ultra quick 4 hour version very successfully. With today's floodlit, colored uniformed version the landscape looks dramatically different. In my opinion, better. It also brought in a more fun, light-hearted yet aggressive mindset to the game. Even the most ardent supporters of the original 'pure' 5 day version have mostly either begrudgingly accepted it or have grown to even love it. Believe me, it is certainly more entertaining and from my perspective, has not lost its soul at all. If anything it has brought in multitude of more people and even many more countries to the equally great and historically intrinsic game. It is still the same game of beating a ball with a paddle, skill set and the same rules. 

I took up golf relatively late (was 30 the first time I touched a club). What made me fall in love with golf on the municipal range then is the same thing I see in my 9 year old son fall in love with - beating the dog shit out of the little white ball with a stick, however infrequently he manages to even make contact. Some times he lasts 3 holes, some times 9. But when I think about it from his perspective, if we were to have never known about doing this for 18 holes, the love would not diminish. 

Of course this thread is a theoretical exercise in 'what if' but I honestly think if this idea were to gain momentum and substantiate then in my opinion the soul of golf would still be just as bright. We still be out there flag hunting on some days and scaring squirrels on others, 18 holes or 12. And that's about as close as I can come to not being biased.  

   

Edited by GolfLug

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I voted better, primarily because I think the 2 1/2 hour commitment would attract more folks, hold their commitment, and create a larger market for the game. I think many people in the age range 30-55 or so have to quit or curtail golf because "life gets into the way"--kids, careers and such. 2 1/2 hours is easier to fit in on a busy weekend schedule than 4 1/2 to 5. While 9 hole rounds are an option now for busy folks, many of us don't define this as real golf since 18 holes is the standard.

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I'm not sure that the game would really be different in any significant way.  Just the nature of the game and how it developed, I think that the evolution of golf would be much the same.  I don't think that time spent playing has had a big impact until the last 15 years or so.  I don't think that the general perception of the game would be any different.  Costs might be slightly less, but since the game grew up around private clubs where golf was just a part of the overall experience, the cost of membership would not really change.  Even as it moved out into the mainstream, the idea that it was an "elite" pastime would have been retained.

Paying 1/3 less to play 2/3 as many holes in 2/3 the time might be a better idea, but I'm thinking that the cost per hour of playing time would still be about the same, so that's not really a factor in figuring value.  There wouldn't be any 18 hole rounds to compare with, so that relationship can't be added into any equation.  The time savings would matter to some (even though they wouldn't know that they are saving time since there has never been an 18 hole round to weigh it against), but most don't take up golf with time as a consideration.  If it ultimately becomes a factor as they move on in life, 9 holes isn't that much less than 12.  

So my answer is no, I don't think it would have made a significant difference.  Golf would still look much as it does now, probably with the same discussions about the same topics, only starting from a slightly different perspective.  I hope that fence isn't a pointy picket type... I'd rather be sitting on a nice rail fence. :-$

Edited by Fourputt

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On 8/28/2018 at 7:54 PM, iacas said:

I think the game would be better off. Not by a lot, but enough to notice.

  • Less land would be required.
  • Rounds would take about 2.5 hours.
  • Golf would cost less.
  • Golf would require less land.
  • The truly dedicated could still play 24 or 36 in a day.

I almost kinda wish it was 12 holes, really. Try to let go of your hold on 9 and 18… and imagine a world in which golf was 12 holes, and what that would mean.

I could see playing 13 holes and 7 holes almost immediately still following the current rules. Would that still count as 18 and 9 or do you need to play most or almost all of the time correctly the full 9 and 18?

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