You Know, A Nine-Hole is Still A Golf Course
Over at Travelgolf.com, writer Chris Baldwin makes an excellent point on the lack of 9-hole courses. To me, he’s right on the money. I’ve often complained that golf is a sport that isn’t growing and one reason is that an 18-hole round takes 5-6 hours to complete. Add to that the excessive costs and the distance you must travel to find a course if you live in a major city, it’s no wonder that for the last five years, as many people pick up the game as drop it. Even for someone like me that is involved in the golf industry, it is very difficult to take that much time (especially during the weekday) to play. If there were 3,000 yard 9-holes, I’d think that many more people would pick up the sport and stick with it. It would also be easier for businesspeople to go to the course on a long lunch hour, especially if they were close to the population centers. Unfortunately, the nice mature courses get plowed under for housing. Golf is often accused of being an elitist sport. It is a hard enough sport to learn and play, why make it even more difficult by requiring those who play to ante up $75 green fees and 5-6 hours to play?
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Why are so many investors calling on Dye and Nicklaus to design courses, clearly too difficult for the average player, and when did it become acceptable to have 1/4 mile drives between holes? Courses don't need to be longer than 6,600 yards for most players and economic course routing needs to play a part in design again. That might speed up play. Another problem is courses that employ 300+ acres and are heavily wooded on each side of the fairway - making lost balls more common. I like the classic courses because you can spray your drive OVER the trees into the next fairway and still have a shot at the green. Now that's golf.
Designers should also be sought out whose work is better than their name, it'd keep costs down. Also, carts cost between $10-25 extra per round per person. If golfers in the US weren't so lazy and hoofed it once in awhile, that would shave off serious cash, but then where would we keep our beer?
Barry & I like twilight golf. We like to walk and can watch the sun set together...it's kind of...romantic.
Oh no. You're getting all mushy. I didn't think that golf and ....romance mixed.
As far as the great distances between holes is concerned, the reason this has become common is simple: golf carts have afforded architects the opportunity to design courses using non-contiguous acreage. And, for one thing, this allows them to build golf courses around homes, as opposed to just homes around golf courses.
And one-quarter of a mile is nothing. I played the Country Club of the Poconos, and I don't exaggerate when I say that there was a one mile gap between two of the holes. Look at the bright side, though: this does allow there to be golf courses in places in which you may not otherwise have them.
Lastly, getting back to the attrition rate of new golfers, can you imagine how crowded the courses would be if all these folks didn't quit? I say goodbye and good riddance. The fewer hackers we have on the links the better.
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