As our lives continue to become more and more busy, many of us find ourselves moving away from the game of golf.  Work schedules, family commitments, and other activities constantly keep us busy, and often times it can be difficult finding time to get out and golf.  Golf is very commonly associated with 18-hole rounds, and while most golf courses do offer 9-hole options, most golf groups and golfers will choose to play 18 and dedicate an entire day or afternoon to their round.  I love doing that with my friends and family, and I think days like that are a big reason golf is so great.  I thoroughly enjoy these golf days, playing 18-holes alongside friends and family for hours, and I always look to get my golfing groups together when I can.  Playing golf with your companions is a fun social activity and is arguably the greatest thing about golf.  Unfortunately, as my life and the lives of my friends and family continue to get busier and busier, it can be extremely difficult to find 4-5 hours where we are all available.  Because of that, playing 9 holes can be an amazing alternative. 

One of the biggest benefits of 9-hole rounds is the time factor. 9 holes can be quickly played in less than two hours.  This means that you can squeeze in a late twilight round with your friends after work or get in 9 holes in the morning before your workday starts.  A quick 9-hole round with your buddies can replace meeting at a bar or restaurant after work. Getting a full 18 holes in is not feasible in this scenario but playing 9 can be a fantastic alternative.  For those working 9-5 type jobs, an after work 9-hole round can be an amazing activity. I think many busy golfers do not think of playing 9, and a common misconception is that golf has to be played in 18-hole rounds, or 9 holes is not an “official” round.  9-hole rounds are legitimate, and the USGA’s Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN) allows you to post 9-hole scores to maintain your handicap index.  Because of this misconception, many golfers likely miss out on potential golf outings.

This can also greatly benefit early risers, who are able to squeeze in 9 holes before work in the morning. Many of us do not have 4-5 hours to spare in the morning before they start their days, but 9 holes is achievable. I believe this can also be a great alternative for those who like to walk in the morning to start their day. Walking 9 holes can be done under 2 hours, and you will likely get 1-3 miles in. For those who love golf, early morning 9-hole rounds can be a fantastic way to start your day. 9-hole rounds are also perfect for beginner golfers and children. As a beginner, it can be frustrating (and not fun) suffering through an 18 holes. In many cases, it can be beneficial to start with 9 holes when you are learning, and progress from there. For parents who are looking to get their children involved with golf, 9-hole rounds are the perfect place to start.

So, whether you are a beginner looking to get into the game, or an experienced golfer, 9-hole rounds can be very beneficial and fun.  Hopefully, this blog post inspires you to re-think the common misconception that golf always has to be played in 18-hole increments. After all, golf is all about fun and the social interactions with those close to you, so 9-holes are a perfect way to cater to our busy schedules.  Want to capture the magic of golfing with your friends and family? Play 9 holes!

 – Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic GC

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