New initiative encourages 9-hole rounds; USGA, PGA of America to provide support
NEW YORK -- Americans are spending an average of 500 to 1,400 more hours at the office per year than their parents did. Most people have seen time for leisure activities shrink to two hours per day, maximum. But even a two-hour window of free time can be a chance to play nine holes of golf. In its June 2013 issue, Golf Digest, the bible of the avid golfer, is launching a campaign to support and encourage more nine-hole rounds. Many golfers can play nine holes even when they are busy—and a little golf is always better than no golf at all.
With promotional support from the United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, Golf Digest will create a list of nine-hole-friendly golf courses that will appear at golfdigest.com. The Time for Nine list comprises courses that allow and promote nine-hole play for men, women, juniors and families on layouts that make it easy to do so. Golfers are encouraged to submit qualifying courses to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or Timefor9@usga.org and the list will be published at golfdigest.com.
“We think golfers will play a whole lot more if they join the growing number of golfers who have come to love nine-hole rounds,” says Golf Digest Chairman & Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde. “The real message is, don’t let the inability to play 18 pull the game away from you. Eighteen is great. But nine is fine.”
In addition to serving as President of the PGA of America, Ted Bishop is the general manager and PGA director of golf at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Ind. Thus, he understands the time constraints that many people are under and is a proponent of nine-hole rounds, both as an industry leader and a golf-facility operator.
“We are very pleased to support Golf Digest and the ‘Time for Nine’ initiative,” says Bishop. “Golf can be experienced in many different ways, and I’m proud that PGA Professionals across the country are encouraging people to have fun by playing nine holes. This new effort shows the commitment that Golf Digest has for the long-term well-being of the game, and I am confident that PGA Professionals will embrace it.”
The USGA’s support for the “Time for Nine” campaign is part of a multifaceted program that was announced in February to identify challenges and solutions regarding pace-of-play issues in the game of golf. This USGA-led set of initiatives includes: an analysis of key factors known to influence pace of play; the development of a pace-of-play model based on quantifiable data; improvements to the USGA Pace Rating System; on-site assistance at golf courses to help managers assess and improve pace of play; and the creation of player-education programs.
“Five-hour plus rounds of golf are incompatible with the compressed time that many of us have available for recreational activities,” said USGA President Glen D. Nager. “Time for Nine is a fun and creative start to promoting the nine-hole round of golf as a complete and enjoyable experience that is consistent with the traditions of playing the game.”
According to the USGA, nine-hole rounds of golf are fully compatible with both the Rules of Golf and the USGA Handicap System. For more information on how to calculate a nine-hole handicap, visit www.usga.org/play9.
About Golf Digest
Golf Digest, the world’s foremost authority on how to play, what to play and where to play golf is part of Golf Digest Companies and is published by Condé Nast. Condé Nast is home to some of the world’s most celebrated media brands. In the United States, Condé Nast publishes 18 consumer magazines, four business-to-business publications, 27 websites, and more than 50 apps for mobile and tablet devices, all of which define excellence in their categories. The company also owns Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM), whose portfolio of brands serves as the leading source of news and analysis for the global fashion community. Condé Nast has won more National Magazine Awards over the past ten years than all of its competitors combined. For more information, visit condenast.com or follow us on Twitter @CondeNastCorp.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.
About the PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.