For the last three years, the United States Golf Association (USGA) has sponsored its PLAY9 program to emphasize the benefits of playing nine holes of golf.
This can be especially ideal for RVers who spend a lot of time traveling on the road and would perhaps like to fit in a quick nine-hole round during their travels. On a personal level, I’ve also been doing this routine for the last few years, and find myself actually golfing more by playing just nine holes at a time.
As the USGA points out on its web site, the nine-hole round is highly regarded for a range of appreciable benefits, including:
• It involves a lesser time commitment than playing 18 holes
• It can be a less intimidating format to newcomers in learning the game’s fundamentals, rules, and etiquette
• Nine-hole scores are eligible for handicap purposes
• A nine-hole round is cost-effective
“What we love about PLAY9 is the opportunity to welcome more people – both recreational golfers and non-golfers alike – to the great game of golf,” said Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director/CEO. “We’re clearly excited about the results we’ve seen, committed to expanding the program, and optimistic about its long-term potential to grow globally.”
Get with the PLAY9 Program
Since 2014, the USGA’s PLAY9 program has been actively educating and rallying golfers around the concept of the nine-hole round as a simple yet effective solution to address the challenge of fitting golf into busy days and schedules. In its first year, the PLAY9 program sparked a 13 percent year-over-year increase in nine-hole scores posted to the USGA’s Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) for the first two months following the program’s launch. Nine-hole scores posted to GHIN increased another 11 percent in 2015.
This year, to help encourage more golfers to play nine holes, the USGA introduced its PLAY9 Days golf promotional, which is observed on the ninth day of each month, through October. However, you don’t have to wait until Aug. 9, Sept. 9, or Oct. 9 to tee it up.
With nine-hole golf facilities making up more than 30 percent of public courses in the United States, and 90 percent of 18-hole public facilities offering nine-hole rates, the USGA supports PLAY9 Days as an optimal opportunity to play the great game of a lifetime, and encourage additional participation.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer, and writer who lives in Olympia, Washington. Rick writes a golf column, “The RV Golfer,” which is published every month in rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.