The benefits of 9 hole golf


pandemic was disastrous for sport, golf included—there’s no doubt about that.

were closed, social mixing banned, and professional tournaments postponed left,
right and centre. However, now that all of this is behind us for good (touch
wood), the uptake in 9 hole golf is arguably one of the industry’s most notable
trends—and it’s growing quickly.

For many people, life is a lot different now to how it was pre-Covid. Be it daily routines, how and where we work, or the time we spend with family—our priorities have changed. This means golf has also changed, and we golfers have had to adapt in order to keep on playing the game we love.


The benefits of 9 hole golf

There are many benefits to 9 hole golf, some of which you may not have necessarily considered before now. Well, that’s why you’re here, right?



This is an
obvious one. Playing a 9 hole round is much quicker than a full 18, and that’s
arguably why it’s become so popular so quickly.

The time
factor is one of the biggest benefits of playing 9 hole golf. With flexible,
remote working now the norm for lots of us, a 9 hole round can be easily squeezed
into a lunch break or before the work day even starts if you’re lucky enough to
live near a course.

A full 18
is serious business and can take five hours plus to complete, even on a good
day, once you’ve also factored in all the walking between holes. The sad reality
is that most of us probably don’t have this much time spare each day.

Instead, however, a shorter round gives you your precious time back, making golf a much more feasible day-to-day option rather than just at the weekend or on special occasions.



Playing 9
holes works out much cheaper than a full 18.

For a start, having new and expensive clubs and other equipment is less important on shorter rounds, especially if you’re using them for practice. Second-hand clubs will do the job here.

Also, some clubs
won’t require you to be a fully paid member to play 9 holes, and there are many
pay-as-you-play options out there. As we all know, yearly membership fees can
be expensive, but it’s important to remember they aren’t always necessary.

Related: 15 ways to play golf on the cheap


Game improvements

tend to be less bothered by their score when playing 9 holes instead of 18, which
makes it a perfect opportunity to practice and work on your weak points.

example, let’s say you’ve been trying to perfect a tricky lob shot for a while but
feel too pressured to give it a go in a full 18 setting when you’re up against
it. A shorter, more relaxed round is the ideal time to bring it out.

Many golfers use a 9 hole game merely as practice, especially if squeezed into a lunchtime or even a quick after-work round—so it’s perfect for experimenting. Put in the hours on the 9 hole course, and you’ll reap the rewards the next time you play a full 18—trust us.



A full 18
can be pretty intimidating if you’re new to golf and just starting out. If you
haven’t quite caught ‘the bug’ yet either (you’ll know when you have), you
might find you get bored after a while, too. However, shorter rounds are a
great way to ease yourself in and stay motivated.

After all, 18
holes can be a struggle if you’re a novice.

On the
other hand, 9 holes are great if you’re an experienced golfer looking to get
your family more involved. Young children, for example, are far more likely to
stay engaged for longer when not being dragged around a larger course.

Put it this way—you’ll probably have better luck pitching golf to the kids as a one to two-hour activity as opposed to five or six!



We touched
on this a little earlier on, but your score is less of a focus in 9 hole golf. While
this is indeed true, playing 9 holes can still be highly satisfying for those
who like to score well regardless.

With fewer
shots and holes, the greater the opportunity to accumulate a competitive score.
The average score for a typical adult playing 9 holes is around 45—or bogey
golf. But, of course, scores depend on various factors, such as weather
conditions and the difficulty of the course.

decent amateur-level golfers can expect to record scores in the 30s if they’re
playing 9 hole rounds regularly, so it can be a good confidence booster.

Related: What is a good golf score for 9 holes?


Less pressure

It’s easy
to feel the ‘heat’ on a full 18, especially if you’re playing in a competition,
but much of this stress is eased on a 9 hole round.

Not having to constantly overthink your score on every hole allows you to feel cool, calm and collected out on the course.


How long do 9 holes of golf take?

9 hole golf

The time it
takes to complete a round of golf ultimately depends on you and your game. Some
golfers like to take things slow and steady, while others will race around the
course lightning quick.

You’ll know
which one of those categories you fall into yourself. However, those already
acquainted with 9 hole golf say completing a round in less than two hours is
more than doable.

Related: How long should it take to play a 9-hole round of golf?


9 hole golf courses

9 hole golf

In a world where
a full 18 is often the norm, a 9 hole round might seem hard to find, but that’s
not the case. Many full-service golf clubs and ranges now offer the option to
play shorter rounds—and the choice will only grow as the trend continues.

It’s arguably never been easier to get into 9 hole golf. Check out our interactive map of some of the UK’s best 9 hole golf courses and find your nearest one.


Specialist golf insurance with Golf Care

Although you might associate shorter rounds with less risk, accidents can, of course, still occur if you’re only playing 9 holes instead of a full 18. So, regardless of the golf you play, you may want to consider protecting yourself with specialist golf insurance.

With Golf Care, policies include Equipment cover up to £7,500, Public Liability of up to £10m and more. What’s more—thanks to the ‘Ripe Guarantee’, you won’t find the same level of cover for a better price elsewhere either.

Click on the banner below to learn more about specialist golf insurance and get a quote today.

Golf Care offer