A recent survey out of London indicates what many have been thinking: A round of golf takes too long to play. The survey was commissioned by the R&A and received responses from 56,000 golfers in 122 countries who answered questions about their experiences playing a typical 18-hole round. Sixty percent of respondents said they would like the game better if it took less time to play.
While there’s something to be said for playing the traditional 18-holes, many golfers find they simply can’t devote the needed four-to-five hours to play, whereas a nine-hole round may take only two hours. For busy Americans, who are constantly juggling more responsibilities with less time, a nine-hole round may be key.
The survey results were even more pronounced among the younger generations. Of respondents between the ages of 25-44 who said they were never happy with the pace of play, 21 percent said a round would have to take 90 minutes or less for them to play more often. Of this age range, 19 percent indicated they would like to play nine holes.
In Superintendent’s annual survey of golf course superintendents, 46 percent indicated that what their golf course needs right now is more membership and golfers. In a January article on the topic, Superintendent stressed the fact that maybe “let’s play nine” should be golf’s new mantra, as it could be key in attracting the next generation of golfers to the game and for courses to reach their revenue goals.