This has never, to the best of our knowledge, been done before. So we hope you enjoy the inaugural Top 100 9-hole courses feature.
If nothing else, we hope that the following pages will make you realise that 9-holers have much to offer. We think 9-holers are too often patronised and then dismissed when discussing the best layouts.
Compiling this feature has been an education to us as well. We were genuinely surprised not just by the quality of nine-holers across Britain but also the quality.
Specifically, we are talking about Scotland, which seems to take nine-holers more seriously than elsewhere in Britain. Scottish courses make up over half of the list and every one of them, we can say with real confidence, is a beauty.
As pioneers in the field, this feature can be thought of as a voyage of exploration. These are 18-hole courses in miniature, with every bit as much care and attention lavished on the design, layout and conditioning as their big cousins.
What we cannot say with as much confidence is that we will not have omitted your favourite 9-holer.
As pioneers in the field, this feature can be thought of as a voyage of exploration. We do not claim that what follows is perfect – but rather the beginning of a long discussion.
Click the links below to find out which courses made our list. Do let us know your views either by emailing [email protected] or via Twitter @NCGmagazine
Course Guide – South East
WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR
A true test
Not in the sense of needing to be championship-length, rather in terms of being the most thorough possible examination of your game.
Many of the courses in our list were shaped by the great names of architecture – like James Braid, Dr Alister MacKenzie, Harry Colt and JH Taylor. We wanted to show that nine-hole courses have just as rich a heritage as their 18-hole counterparts.
If for no other reason than logistics, most nine-holers are not going to host many championships. So, even more than full-size courses, they are about fun, convenience and accessibility.
Listen to our incredible chat with Billy Foster!