Is a 9-hole course worth anything?
It’s amazing to hear someone say that a 9-hole course isn’t worth the land it’s on. But I’ve heard that — more than once.
This came up recently on one of the local club’s message boards. There was discussion about a 9-hole course and one of the area players was quite adamant about the waste that is a 9-hole course.
Someone asked about a possible course and if it would start as a 9-hole layout. They were told that it would be 18.
A response came about “it must be” 18 holes. And that “most people” think the 9-hole courses are a joke. Nobody plays or cares about them. And, of course, no tournaments.
And being this person said it, it must be the truth, right?
What followed was some banter where people defended 9-hole courses and, of course, couldn’t sway the naysayer.
Apparently, it’s a mental exercise for people to argue in favor of a 9-hole course, he noted. Yet, his brain doesn’t have enough cells to argue with “this sort of craziness.”
Then, as if this was a court case with closing arguments, it was noted that “Disc golf courses have 18 holes. Period. More than 18 is even better.”
Quite the interesting situation, I’d say.
The benefits of a 9-hole course are easy enough to explain — it’s a place for people to play, it gives options, you can get through a 9-hole course quick enough and, if in a good spot, it can be just as challenging and scenic as an 18-hole course.
The fact that one person feels his opinion is the ultimate say on this matter doesn’t irritate me. That happens in everyday life. But the realization here is that 9-hole courses do have their place in this game.
I’m quite sure I’ve noted here before that if I want to play a legitimate round of disc golf, I need to travel about 1 hour, 20 minutes. By legitimate, I mean a course with a real layout and baskets. There’s a 9-hole course on some college property about 15 miles from me, but there’s no signs, no rhyme or reason to the layout and it’s basically baskets in the woods. I’ve seen 18-hole courses like this, too, so it’s not just a 9-hole course.
Over the past couple of years, a local player has fought to get a course in the ground in the next city over from me. Where the course is proposed, I can get to it in 20 minutes.
But with red tape and everything else, the course is in limbo.
Many local people — in my town — have talked to me about disc golf. They’ve wondered what it would be like to have a small course around here.
See, my town is small. When the state college here isn’t in session, the population of the town is probably around 3,500-4,000 people. Give or take. And that might be a kind estimate, but I’m basing that on knowing the village has about 2,500 people.
Anyway, for area kids and community members, there’s not a lot to do around here. There’s no movie theater or bowling alley. No malls and barely any true activity programs. It’s small-town life as it is.
There are a few wonderful parks which have some nice hiking trails and such. One of them, which is in the village limits has a beautiful pond, with some trails and woods surrounding.
I’ve walked it several times with some other disc golfers. I think a small 9-hole course would be a wonderful addition to the community. But, of course there’s the process of getting it done, something I’ve recently started.
That being said, this course won’t be a world-championship level course. There won’t be any true course designers or anything like that. It’s going to be a basic 9-hole course, utilizing what is there. For most experienced disc golfers, it will be a pitch-and-putt. One or two holes will allow you to air out a little, but leave the big drivers home. They won’t be needed.
It’s going to be basic. Natural tee pads (one per hole), a tee sign and a basket. That’s it. A straight-forward place to play a little golf and have fun.
A nice course where people can come play disc golf.
Just to be able to play disc golf without having to use a ton of gas or worry about it becoming too serious.
A 9-hole course like this can go a long way. It’s a way to show people the sport and give them the chance to play it. It’s also a way to give back to a community I’ve long been a part of.
I think the community here would rally for a thing like this. I don’t fear the ability to get hole sponsors, if we need to do that. I also think getting some local scouts to help — maybe to build a pavilion at the first hole or benches from trees that might have to come down — would be perfect for a major project.
We’ve already noted that if trees need to come down, we’re more than happy to buy and plant other trees in different parts of the park to make up for this.
Of course, this is just the beginning. Maybe it won’t happen. Maybe the community won’t want it or others might not want to get involved. But those I’ve talked to seem interested. So maybe there’s a chance. Only time will tell. I hope so.
That brings me back to the original part of this post — what do you all think of 9-hole courses? Are you one of those who think they are a waste and have no place in the sport? Or do you like them? There are so many positives for 9-hole courses. They can work well in ball golf, so why not with disc golf?
Leave your thoughts and such in the comments below. I’ll be interested to see what people think.
P.J. Harmer is the lead blogger for Rattling Chains. If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj [at] rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitterand like us on Facebook!