Many golf purists see 9 holes as an incomplete round. I kind of get their point. After all, does playing 2 quarters constitute as a basketball or football game? If we played 4.5 innings, is that a baseball game? No, but there are factors involved.
If we break it down and look at this from a participatory view, we must include the elements that are important to us; the participants. When we think about heading out to the golf course for a round, the two main concerns for most are time and money. It’s no secret golf costs a few bucks to play and takes the most time out of any other recreational sport activity.
A recent report by NGF (National Golf Foundation) shows a decline over the past two years in returning or former golfers with a surprising gain in the beginners category. NGF has also done some research into the whole 9-hole thing. Their findings were that the shorter rounds appeal to many beginners and those that don’t have the time or money to play 18. This seems pretty obvious but should not be overlooked.
As with anything, we must adapt in order to survive. That being said, golf’s governing bodies see this trend and have already instituted plans to address this. The biggest being USGA’s Play 9 Campaign. Granted their Play 9 day has already passed (July 23), but the residual effects should hopefully ripple through the golf community and get dormant golfers out there, even if it’s a trip to the driving range.
As always, our sentiment is to just get to out there and play, whatever it may be. 18 holes, 9 holes, driving range or putting in your living room – enjoy the game!
Hit’em long…yell FORE!!!