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

A 12-Hole Standard?  

69 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
      31
    • Worse off
      19
    • This fence is mighty comfortable!
      19


123 posts in this topic Last Reply

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I voted better off for a few reasons knowing how it stands in modern times now

  • I work in real estate/land valuation, and I think golf courses might be better off if they didnt have the expenses for holding so much land. Not every taxation jurisdiction grants favourable property tax rules for golf courses
  • Related to above, smaller course is cheaper to maintain
  • This is a problem baseball has as well, but in modern times with people's shorter attention spans and busier lifestyles, golf is too long for most people. There was a day and age where golf didnt suffer from this "time" problem.

Where actually have a local course that converted to 12 holes, and supposedly its been doing well with it.

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Wanted to add this sooner but had to save my post above to run off and finish something.

Adding to my post above, I played the 12-hole course I mentioned here in Saskatoon called Greenbryre. It was an 18 hole course that got re-developed when a housing development got built through it. The course has a CR/SR if you play 6/6/6 on either starting 9.

I recently played it for a work outting, so I played it people that might golf 5-6 times a year, one being a mother. They ended the round saying they wish more golf courses were 12 holes, as they thought 6 was too short after we finished but another 6 would be good. One of them said they hated the time they played 18 this year.

As someone who regularly walks and plays 18 when I can, I sometimes think 18 is a big time commitment but I still like it.

I've seen it suggested that a 18 hole course designed with every 6th hole returning to the clubhouse could be a way around this problem.

 

 

I think the 18 hole round becomes even worse when it comes to a tv sport, and its similar to baseball deciding 9 innings in a different time. However, at least baseball at the minor levels with less pomp-and-circumstance plays quicker, and most amateur baseball decides to play 7 innings anyway.

A lot of the more modern sports that are more popular had the advantage on deciding their formats within the last 120 years. Even the early 1900s resembles our modern times more than the 1700s/1800s.

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Given that I think golf as an outdoor sport will be non-existent in 30-40 years, I think smaller courses are temporarily inevitable.  Not sure that means it is better.

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On ‎10‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 12:09 PM, Michael said:

Given that I think golf as an outdoor sport will be non-existent in 30-40 years, I think smaller courses are temporarily inevitable.  Not sure that means it is better.

Would you mind expounding a bit on that?  30-40 years is not a long time.  I agree that golf will continue to suffer in the modern world but 30-40 years to non-existence as an outdoor sport?

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9 is not enough. 18 is too much and takes too long. 4 hours (on a good day) is a lot of time to be away from family, job, etc....
I always think about Myrtle beach. In the 15 years of going I have watched many courses turn to condos. I guess they make more money that way.
Golf, as is, is a dying sport, unless they get more economic, less time consuming and expand to the new generation, which has no patience.

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1 hour ago, Elmer said:

Golf, as is, is a dying sport, unless they get more economic, less time consuming and expand to the new generation, which has no patience.

I get those silly LinkedIn "news" emails and have seen separate articles about what industries my generation (millennials) are killing and saving.  Golf has shown up on both...interesting what statistical interpretation can do.

My experience seems to be otherwise.  My company has a rotation program and with every new group of 4-5 22-24 year olds that come in each year, at least 1 plays golf regularly.  When I started a few years ago, there was the one team of "young guys" playing in the company charity tournament.  Now there are multiple.  And one of those teams has won the tournament 4 out of the past 5 years.

I play the cheaper courses and I regularly see not only younger people, but also teenagers.  Makes sense since, surprise surprise, they tend to be on a budget.  Maybe it depends on the type of course, maybe it depends on the area, I don't have the answers...but I plan on playing golf until I am dead.

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2 hours ago, Foot Wedge said:

I get those silly LinkedIn "news" emails and have seen separate articles about what industries my generation (millennials) are killing and saving.  Golf has shown up on both...interesting what statistical interpretation can do.

My experience seems to be otherwise.  My company has a rotation program and with every new group of 4-5 22-24 year olds that come in each year, at least 1 plays golf regularly.  When I started a few years ago, there was the one team of "young guys" playing in the company charity tournament.  Now there are multiple.  And one of those teams has won the tournament 4 out of the past 5 years.

I play the cheaper courses and I regularly see not only younger people, but also teenagers.  Makes sense since, surprise surprise, they tend to be on a budget.  Maybe it depends on the type of course, maybe it depends on the area, I don't have the answers...but I plan on playing golf until I am dead.

Locally, we have 1 country club which is selling off 9 of its 27 holes for the purposes of building condos. This same club is also going to demolish and downsize the club house. The reason is their membership is down and the business of hosting weddings has diminished. This was one of the oldest clubs in the area, founded in 1904.
Another course in the same town has been trying to sell to developers for a few years.

I know plenty of young people who are playing, but nowhere near what it was many years ago. Just too many other options out there for spending 
$45 to $65 on a Saturday!

 

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27 minutes ago, Elmer said:

Just too many other options out there for spending 
$45 to $65 on a Saturday!

Yikes.  That may have something to do with it.  I generally pay $20-25, but I also prefer to walk 9.  Some courses I can do under $10 during the week.

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18 hours ago, Foot Wedge said:

Yikes.  That may have something to do with it.  I generally pay $20-25, but I also prefer to walk 9.  Some courses I can do under $10 during the week.

I can walk 9 for $19 to $22.
But that is on the weekday and you have to tee off between 1-3 or after 5 due to leagues. 

 

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Shorter rounds, less fatigue and hopefully less expensive as well. Nine holes is usually not enough for me, and eighteen is often two or three holes too much, especially if I walk.

Twelve sounds like a reasonable number.

 

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I am on the fence. :whistle:

Yes, courses would be easier to build and maintain, it would take less time to play, it might be cheaper (but don't necessarily count on it), scores would be much lower (about 2/3 lower, ah!), nearly everyone would break 100 and I could easily shoot my age (I am 59 now). :beer:

On the other hand, 12 holes is kinda short: 9 holes is definitely not enough and 12 is only marginally more. I think 16 is around where I typically start to get tired (I walk most rounds). And I am sure we'd still complain about 4 hours for 12 holes, the same way we have sometimes 6 hours round for 18 holes... :doh:

We will probably never know for sure. :unsure:

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If golf were originally set at 12 holes instead of 18, we'd play it and think nothing different.   It would be easier to play 6 after work, the leagues wouldn't take as long and the course maintenance would definitely be cheaper.   I'm sure the handicap system would have been setup to the 12 hole standard.   TV coverage would be shorter.   

If all of the courses would change from 18 to 12, I'd be good with that too.   I just want to play.

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On 8/31/2018 at 6:20 PM, iacas said:

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

Then we wouldn’t be having this debate because golf would be 12 holes. 😉👍🏻

You cant ask people what their opinion is and then say don’t think about yourself. It’s their opinion, when you form an opinion you will always include your own bias because it’s your opinion. You yourself included your own bias towards liking the 12 hole idea because rounds would be faster which you are a fan of. 

But to answer your question;

better for recreational golf, worse for tournament golf.

Golf would definitely be cheaper. My course is 55 for 18 so that’s 3.05 a hole. Which would be 36.60 for a hypothetical 12 hole course.  Realistically 37. So yea it’s cheaper, it would be faster for sure. Courses would have opportunity for more revenue due to quicker rounds. Less impact on the environment certainly.  Possibly more people playing due to better affordability and quicker rounds. But, you could possibly have seen more courses built causing less people at each course. So what happens, courses either cut green fees to attract golfers which impacts how much they can put back into the course or someone builds a nicer 12 hole course and charges more so would it really end up being cheaper?  Would there be more abandoned courses that didnt survive due to so much competition?

PGA tournaments would have smaller purses due to less TV/ Advertisment exposure due to shorter rounds and shorter tv time slots. But we wouldn’t really know how big purses could have been because we would only know 48 hole tournaments. 

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The cost of operating a golf course isn’t necessarily linear with the number of holes: yes, mowing and watering probably scale with the number and size of holes, but running the pro shop or the cart barn probably doesn’t as much... Other business overhead like licenses, accounting, human resources, etc don’t scale directly either.

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I would definitely play more golf, probably a lot more, if it were 12 holes. Hunting and fishing cut into my schedule, and there's only so much time to go around.

If golf took closer to 2.5 hours to play a round, much closer to almost every other sport, I'd fit it in a lot more often.

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