When I first started Nine Is Fine, it’s purpose was to share items of interest at my home course, Green Woods Country Club in Winsted, Connecticut. While there are still plenty of happenings at Gdubs, I’ve decided to change direction. The goal of the Nine Is Fine will now be to try to bring attention to the underappreciated gems that are the nine-hole golf course. I grew up playing at places like the forgotten Terre Haute GC in Bethel, CT. and Sunset Hills in Brookfield, CT. Vacations were spent in Vermont with rounds at Bradford GC. These courses are often hidden in places you wouldn’t expect. I want to try as many as I can, and let anyone who wanders to these pages try them too.
Whenever you see a list of the best golf courses, there is never a nine-hole course.
Golf Digest gives an occasional mention. Small Wonders.
Links Magazine too. Our Favorite 9-hole Golf courses.
There is also a new book. The Finest Nines.
But the truth is these lists are afterthoughts and the book is hardly a best seller. The USGA encourages playing 9 thru a special program. But it seems more like trying to get 18 hole courses to set up a 9 hole rate.
The Joys of a Nine-Hole Course
You can play in under two hours. They are usually easy to walk. Many have a great history as they were among the first courses built in America. They are usually shorter but don’t be fooled into thinking they are pushovers. I’ve seen many a scratch golfer walk away from Green Woods CC shaking their heads. They can provide a real test of golf for golfers of all ages and skill levels. They’re not pretentious, if you are there it’s because you love the game.
This site will not contain reviews, but Appreciations. Even though some courses could be charitably called cow pastures, each has their own unique charms. At one of the courses I grew up playing, some guy took our money while working out of the trunk of his car. Not fancy, but playing helped develop me into a lifelong golfer. Here are the things I will be looking for as I play each course (I will only rate what I have played).
Atmosphere/History: What makes that course what it is?
Playability/Condition: Do I enjoy playing it? Do they make the second nine play different?
Amenities: What else do they have?
Overall: Just the general vibe, remember this is very subjective, I’m not Consumer Reports.
As much as I would like to play every course, sadly time and funds will not allow (if you are an executive with Callaway or Foot Joy, send me an email I’ll gladly accept a sponsor). In the meantime, my goal is to play and feature as many as I can. I encourage anyone who wanders by this site to try these courses out, or to send me suggestions in the comments. I hope to see you out there, but if you are slow, let me play thru.